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December 30, 2017

Affidavit of Alejandro Aguila on Being Forced to Sign Anomalous Document, April 1946

The San Jose Batangas Guerrillas was another unit in the province of Batangas that fought the Japanese under the banner of the large guerrilla organization called Fil-American Irregular Troops, commanded by the former United States Army Col. Hugh Straughn until he was caught and executed by the Japanese. The San Jose unit was commanded by one Amado Masilungan. In this document1 is an affidavit of one Alejandro Austria, a member of the San Jose Batangas Guerrillas, on being forced to sign under duress an anomalous document pertaining to Jose Aguila’s supposed membershp in the guerrilla outfit.

[p. 1]

United States of America
Commonwealth of the Philippines
City of Manila

17 April 46

AFFIDAVIT

I, Alejandro M. Austria, 37 years of age, married, and at present residing at barrio Taysan, San Jose, Batangas, after having been duly sworn to according to law, depose and say:

That I am a bona fide member of the Batangas Guerrillas, San Jose Unit, under Maj. Amado Masilungan; with the rank of Sergeant;

That on the night of 15 April 46 (Monday) at about 9 o’clock P.M., a certain policeman of the town of San Jose, Batangas, whose name I cannot definitely remember but who I can point out any time, woke me up at my residence, with the verbal order that the Chief of Police and Mayor of the same municipality wanted to talk with me. Being a law-abiding citizen, I went with the same policeman, who took me to the house of Toribio Mitra, north of the municipal market of San Jose, Batangas. When we reached the house, I met there Mayor Fernando Aguila and [the] Chief of Police, Juan Rodriguez, alias “Jhonny.”

That upon meeting, the Chief of Police, Juan Rodriguez, confronted me with papers which he demanded me to sign. I deliberated and asked him to read the contents of the paper, the chief refused, I read it myself and I could only dimly remember the following:

That Lt. Col. Jose Aguila was a member of the Folsom’s Fil-American Guerrillas.

That Andres Alcantara’s and Florentino Alcantara’s horse and cow are missing.

That upon hearing this false statement regarding Jose Aguila’s guerrilla connection, and the loss of the horse and cow above mentioned, of which facts I know nothing about, I flatly refused to sign the statement, whereupon Mayor Fernando Aguila stood up and in an angry and threatening manner stated “You son-of-babets. You are only good when you are in need.” Simultaneously, Juan Rodriguez stood up with his pistol and in a threatening manner obliged me to sign the statement.

[p. 2]

That after careful deliberation of the circumstances to which I’m at and realizing the safety and future of my children and wife in case anything happens to me, I was forced against my will to sign the said statement.

That I am making this affidavit to prove that I was under duress when I signed the above referred to statement and to bring into light the [un]scrupulous and condemnable steps taken by the parties of Lt. Col. Jose Aguila in collecting affidavits in their vain effort to prove their authenticity as guerrilla leaders and members in San Jose, Batangas during the Japanese occupation.

In testimony of this, I hereby affix my signature on this statement this 18th day of April 1946.

[Sgd.] Alejandro M. Austria
Affiant

[Sgd.] Eugene F. Murphy
2nd Lt. Inf.
Witness
[Sgd.] Howard C. de Silva Jr.
2nd Lt. Inf.
Witness


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Notes and references:

1 “San Jose Batangas Grlas, FAIT,” File No. 110-37, downloaded from PVAO.


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