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December 31, 2017

Sixto Guerra’s Memo to Captain Otti on Recognition Concerns, July 1945

The Ibaan Regiment was one of many units of the Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT), a large guerrilla group founded by the former US Army officer Hugh Straughn, that was operating in Batangas during the Japanese Occupation. It was commanded by one Sixto Guerra. In this document1 Guerra wrote a memorandum to one Captain Otti of the United States Army regarding some concerns about guerrilla recognition by the United States Army.

[p. 1]

Ibaan, Batangas
27 July 1945

SUBJECT
TO
: Rosters, recognition of
: Captain Otti
   Contact Team Leader
   Thru the Grla. Coordinator
   11th A/B Division, and
   Col. Q. Gellidon

1. In connection with the organization of the remaining elements of the “IBAAN REGIMENT,” subject of our letter of 14 June 1945, and our verbal understanding, I beg to submit the following reports, comments and recommendation:

A – REPORTS:

(1) The remaining elements mentioned above have been reorganized in accordance with the accompanying table of organization which was furnished by your representatives.

(2) Only the members who rendered active service during our attachment and who are desirous to be processed in the Army are included, for obvious reasons.

(3) There is also submitted herewith the rosters covering the said table of organization, in the usual form. The total number of officers submitted is 24, 17 of whom appear in Roster “A,” i.e. “Roster of officers included in the recognized roster” and 7 appear in Roster “B” – “Roster of officers not included in the recognized roster.” Roster “C” is a roster of enlisted men all of whom have not been recognized. Roster “A” is grouped into (1) those “Already processed as of the ranks shown in attachment schedule “R” and (2) those “Already recognized as of the ranks shown in attached schedule “R”; not yet processed but available for processing if commissioned as above.”

B – COMMENTS:

During our short stay in Camp Murphy, it had been observed that several of our junior colleagues in guerrilla service have been recognized as of the ranks originally held by them, outranking most of those who founded and headed the said movement. It is, therefore, not a rare happening here that veteran guerrillas come face to face with [an] ex-Jap PCs who used to chase the former but who are now their seniors because they (the ex-PC) happened to be commissioned as guerrilla officers. This has been a source of ever-mounting dissatisfaction among those concerned and it needs no stretch of the imagination to figure out how hopelessly difficult the maintenance of discipline is in the camp. The numerous guerrilla officers, mostly “fence-sitters” if not collaborators during the Jap occupation who sprang out almost simultaneously with or after liberation, have added to worsen this situation. How others retained their ranks and why others who have the same number of men under them and who have the same if not better qualifications and accomplishments cannot be given the same rank is incomprehensible to most of us.

[p. 2]

With particular reference to this unit, it may not be out of place to recall that when we first submitted our roster in Tagaytay sometime in April, last, wherein our staff officers carried their original ranks, it was that same headquarters which caused them to be reduced, with the statement that the request for recognition of the whole unit may be submitted later on and, if approved, the ranks would be automatically raised. It may also be stated here that this statement was verbally affirmed by Captain Whitehead of that Division who came down to our headquarters just before we left for Camp Murphy. Please refer also to our roster which is already recognized where the following notation appeared: “The ranks shown above are for purposes of attachment (ration) only; the ranks of the above listed officers and men in the “Ibaan Regiment” are shown in a separate roster, for record purposes and for future reference.”

C – RECOMMENDATION:

1. In view of all the foregoing, it is recommended that everything possible be done to give to the men concerned (those in Roster “A”) the ranks corresponding to their positions in the table of organization. It is understood that there are already precedents of this nature and, knowing that more than anyone else you feel the plight and sentiments of the guerrillas because of direct contact with them, my men and I will hope that you will not fail to help us in this matter. It this is not possible, we beg to submit to your wise discretion the giving of ranks to these officers.

[Sgd.] SIXTO M. GUERRA
Captain, Infantry
(Commanding Officer
1st Bn., Ibaan Regt.
Fil-American Bats. Grlas.)

Enclosures: As stated above.



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Notes and references:

1 “Ibaan Rgt Fil-Amer Batangas Guerrillas FAIT,” File No. 110-6, downloaded from PVAO.


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