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December 30, 2017

Joint Affidavit of the Citizens of Malvar on the Malvar Guerrillas, March 1947

The President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG) was a guerrilla organization that operated in Luzon, including Batangas, during the Japanese occupation. The organization had many units in Batangas Province, including the Municipality of Malvar. In this municipality, the unit was formed and commanded by one Wenceslao Cornejo. In this document1, the citizens of the Municipality of Malvar issued a joint affidavit attesting to the efficacy of the Malvar Guerrilla Forces for the benefit of the town during the Japanese occupation and liberation.

[p. 1]

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
MUNICIPALITY OF MALVAR
PROVINCE OF BATANGAS

JOINT AFFIDAVIT

We, the undersigned, Filipinos, of legal ages, and residents of the Municipality of Malvar, Province of Batangas, after being duly sworn in with law, depose and say:

That of our knowledge, we know of the existence of the Guerrilla Forces in our Municipality under the overall command of Atty. Wenceslao L. Cornejo;

That to the best of our knowledge, information, and belief, it was initiated with a handful of men a few months after the Japanese Forces landed in our place, on or about December, 1942;

That gradually, it grew into a big organization until members of our family were soldiers thereof;

That from the lips of our own male household members and from casual conversation with the commanding officer, it was primarily organized to combat and counteract the Japanese depredations, as well as to eradicate from our midst and to prevent the infiltration of bad and lawless elements who posed themselves as Guerrillas and pried into our weaknesses;

That said organization really prevented the inflow of bad elements into our town;

That the Commanding Officer, thru his special couriers, had, in most instances, been instrumental in saving plenty of lives by wanton arrests and the protection of property from Japanese depredation and confiscation by always being ahead of them and advising the people of the impending peril;

That [in] the early part of the occupation, we know that the said organization took care and hid from the Japanese Forces in our town some American fliers who were found by some of them thereof on the outskirts of the town, almost dying from hunger and sickness;

That the Commanding Officer fed his men who are on active duty either by himself or with the contributions solicited from the townspeople.

That he was the one responsible for the mass evacuation of the townspeople during the first bombings made by the American Forces; being always in the midst of his own people;

That those of us who are living today, and the little properties that we were able to save, we owe them all to Atty. Cornejo and his gallent men who defied the Japanese soldiers and fought against them, even with the meager supply of arms and ammunition;

That we have seen in most occasions Japanese pistols and rifles which were confiscated from them either by stealth, force, or after a fight, and which were proudly displayed to us and the lot among us, and built up greatly our morale;

That during the last days of the occupation of our town, they did and cause havoc and chaos in the midst of the Japanese garrison by blowing up their ammunition dumps in our airfield burning their

[p. 2]

bodegas, cutting supply lines and communications;

That they, too, were the ones responsible for the mass evacuation of the whole town’s people when the Japanese forces began their dastardly and inhuman slaughter and massacre of non-combatant civilians and the burning of their homes in the neighboring town of ours, from the ravines and forests of our town across to the west in the mountain fastness of Pulo Islands, guarding our retreat and the lot of us until the whole town was safely conveyed across, thanks to the Commanding Officer and his men, the massacring forces did not catch us;

That these acts might have been the cause of the burning of our homes and the little properties that were left behind, but still we are grateful to that organization because we were tided and brought over to these better times;

That some sons and husbands, members this guerrilla force, were killed or executed either in the line of a fight against the Japanese or caught wounded by them;

That we and the rest of those who have not signed this affidavit would not be alive today, if it were not for this organization which took care of us and covered our retreat at the foot of the Tagaytay Ridge when a renegade of some four hundred (400) Japanese soldiers swooped upon us from the fastness of the mountains and where they fought a gallant battle until everybody was safe on top of the ridge but which cost the lives of some of his men.

[122 signatures follow.]

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 17th day of March 1947, at Malvar, Batangas, Philippines.

[Sgd.] PEDRO LAT TORRES
Acting Municipal Mayor


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Notes and references:

1 “Malvar Grla Forces, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-27, downloaded from PVAO.


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