History and Activities of the Highlanders United Guerrillas
The Highland United Guerrillas was guerrilla outfit that operated in the Province of Batangas out of the Municipality of Mataasnakahoy in World War II. It was under the command of one Alfredo Silva. In this document1, the leader of the US Army team that investigated this guerrilla unit after its application for official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the US Armed Forces filed his report.
HIGHLANDERS UNITED GUERRILLAS
HISTORY AND ACTIVITIES OF THE GUERRILLA UNIT
The Organization of the Unit
ACTIVITIES OF THE UNIT
BATTLES WITH THE JAPANESE
Notes and references:
1 “Highlanders United Guerrillas,” File No. 161, online at the United States National Archives.
Mataasnakahoy, Batangas, Philippines
February 20, 1946.
Account of the Delay in the Submission of this Request for Recognition
Before going into the history and activities of this guerrilla unit, it is believed of considerable importance at the outset that account be presented of the cause of the delay in the submission of this request for recognition. This is a big guerrilla unit, organized way back in 1942, not long after the Japanese had started to plunder the Philippines, and this unit had fought many battles with the enemy, sometimes by themselves alone, and at other times side by side with the American forces and other guerrilla units which are now already recognized. But, “Why,” – it may be asked – has not this request been presented earlier, when the interests of so many members, dead and alive, are involved? It was because it was thought sufficient that the roster of this unit was given to Major Summer of the 158 Infantry which led the liberation of many towns in Batangas and with whose men our unit fought many battles with the Japanese, especially in the liberation of the town of Alitagtag, and the town of Cuenca, province of Batangas. Furthermore, when Major-General Swing established office in Mataasnakahoy, where the headquarters of this unit had been located, after conference with him and his officers, another roster was presented to said office. Obviously, the roster presented to Major Summer may have been lost in the movements of the troops. Major Summer was killed in Lipa, but whatever fate the roster presented to him might have met, we did not care much about, as another roster was presented of the Office of Major-General Swing in Mataasnakahoy. In view of the foregoing antecedents, and of the unfamiliarity with the requirements on recognition of guerrillas, this unit failed
#Note: The roster presented to the Office of Major General Swing was only partial, containing only the names of members of the unit who then had arms, and who then were available for patrol work in the camp area.
to submit to the AFWESPAC a formal request for recognition earlier than this date. The arrival several days ago at the camp in Mataasnakahoy of thousands of processing guerrillas of other units, many of whom were with our men in the battles against the Japanese, stirred the envy of our members, – that was but human – and stirred our attention to inquire what happened to our rosters above-mentioned. After going around the offices of the AFWESPAC in Manila, we finally discovered that we had to present the present petition as the proper initial step in the request for recognition of our unit. Thanks to the extension of time granted by the AFWESPAC to present requests for recognition, that we were able to seek recognition men of our unit are long waiting for. The interests of all the members, dead and alive, we trust will be taken care of by the AFWESPAC as well as we had done our part in the battles to wipe out the Japanese.
Unbearable living conditions under the Japanese. – The Japanese forces occupied Lipa, Mataasnakahoy, and other neighboring towns of Batangas, on December 30, and 31, 1941, and finally occupied Manila on January 2, 1942. Since then, we found the Japanese fast exploiting our country — taking properties of the inhabitants; monopolizing the best available foods, buildings, supplies of all sorts, as well as trade and commerce, and natural resources; and leaving nothing for the subsistence and use of the people, except the remnants of their greed. The people everywhere were terrorized; and subjected to inhumane torture on suspicion of collaborating with the Allies, or on mere failure to give desired cooperation. Steadily, the Japanese tightened their tyranny on the inhabitants as well as the Allied prisoners of war, that we readily felt the need for secretly organizing guerrillas to clog the operations of the Japanese and to sabotage their installations at the proper time, and in the meantime that we were waiting for the return of the American forces, to bolster up the morale of the people.
Mataasnakahoy, ideal place to organize the unit. – For purposes
of sabotaging the installations of the Japanese which were of great importance in the war, he had chosen Mataasnakahoy as the ideal place to organize this unit. This town is just about less than a kilometer’s distance from the big airfield at Lipa, where Japanese airplanes and plenty of ammunition were being kept.
Organization started. – The organization was started in July, 1942. Select men were first enlisted, precaution being then seriously taken to avoid detection by the Japanese. Ex-Bataan men who had returned home were enlisted. Able-bodied civilians from Mataasnakahoy were secretly contacted, and they all agreed to join the unit. Select individuals were also enlisted, with the help of Major David Dimaculangan, from the towns of Rosario, Lobo, Lipa, and San Jose. With the help of Mayor Gelasio Ocampo, others were selected from the towns of Santo Tomas and Cuenca. Towards the months of September and October of 1942, a big regiment was enlisted, including capable individuals to handle the intelligence, medical, and engineering corps units. The total enlistment reached 1,476 men, including a few women, whose names and ranks appear in the attached roster. This unit was composed of General Headquarters Staff, Intelligence Unit, Medical Corps, Engineer Corps, and 6 companies, — A, B, D, D, E, F.
The first difficulty encountered by this unit was the procurement of badly needed arms. Upon the arrival of the Japanese, they confiscated the firearms of the civilians, and available firearms for the use of the guerrillas became scarce. This unit, however, was able to accumulate 20 revolvers and pistols, and 18 rifles, all with ammunition. This was considerably very inadequate but it was about one of the biggest assemblage of guerrilla equipment at the time. However, we managed to acquire more by buying secretly from other places, like Cavite. Of course, at any rate, we knew from the result of the work of our Intelligence Unit that we would be fully equipped when the time to retake the Philippines came.
With respect to the financing of the organization, salaries were held pending, as the organization had no funds. For sometime as there was nothing much to do during the early part of the organization, the members supported themselves. Later on, however, activities became numerous, especially for the Intelligence Unit and the General Headquarters Staff, and living expenses became heavier, especially due to the tremendous inflation of the currency. Voluntary contributions were given by the members who were financially sound, and by some civilian sympathizers. When firearms were located in the barrios, funds were raised by similar contributions of the financially able for the purchase of the same.
Supporting Americans stranded in Batangas forests. – Among the matters which engaged the early attention and activities of this unit was the giving of aid to certain American officers who got stranded in a forest in Malvar, Batangas, encircled by enemy lines. That was shortly after the Japanese effected occupation of the Philippines. Four American officers, Lt. James J. Kraus, Lt. Robert P. Preipart, Lt. Edmond E. Jennings, and Lt. Joe F. Smith, of the Engineer Corps of the United States Army, found their way into a forest in Malvar, from where there was no possible escape except thru enemy lines and camps. They were in a very serious predicament. They had no food, no money, and their clothing were worn out. Two were sickly and needed medicine. This unit was able to send to them aid in the form of money, clothing, medicine, newspapers and cigarettes, thru Mr. Exequiel K. Kalaw of Lipa, Batangas, who is known to the unit as being a member of a guerrilla unit in Mandaluyong, Rizal, and who happened to get first connections with the American officers. The aid given by this unit was delivered by our Lt. Col. Artemio M. Lobrin to Mr. Kalaw who took them to the American officers in their hiding place at late hours of the night to avoid detection by the Japanese. However, after a few months of stay in the forest, the
four officers decided to surrender to the Japanese, and when this unit learned of it, they had already surrendered.
In support of the facts herein narrated, the affidavit of Mr. Exequiel L. Kalaw, who is in possession of papers signed by the four officers containing the names and addresses of the next of kin they had in the United States, is also herewith attached as Exhibit “I.”
Dissemination of short-wave broadcasts. – Another activity undertaken by this unit during the early part of its organization, and continued persistently in 1943, 1944, and the early part of 1945, was the dissemination of short-wave broadcasts on the progress of the American and Allied forces in various theaters of war.
It was so worked out by the Japanese forces upon their occupation of the Philippines that people were fed with false and exaggerated propaganda. They took over the control of the press, the radio stations, and mail, and everything they published in the newspapers was exaggerated figures on the losses of the Allied forces. If such state of affairs was allowed to go uncontradicted, it would work out harmfully to the cause of the American and Allied forces. The only way to counteract the bad effects of this false propaganda of the Japanese was to secure short-wave broadcasts of the real developments in the various war fronts. Copies of the typewritten news received from broadcasts by Radio Station KZEI at San Francisco were secured almost daily by Captain Jose M. Lobrin, Liaison & Intelligence Officer-at-Large of this unit who has house at 1318 Gregorio del Pilar, Manila, and transmitted to this unit. Upon receipt of the news copies, this unit conducted murmuring campaigns in Mataasnakahoy, Lipa, San Jose, Rosario, Lobo, and other neighboring towns advising the people of the developments of the war. This activity was very effective in bolstering up the morale of the guerrillas and the civilians, and the news of the approaching counterattack by the American forces alerted the people to prepare for their evacuation to safe places, and for the preparation of their family supplies.
The sources of the short-wave broadcasts in Manila, from which this unit thru our Liaison & Intelligence Officer-at-Large got our copies were: Mr. Nestor Garcia, Radio Operator, who was apprehended by the Japanese sometime in the end of 1944, and found with his own copies, and brought to Fort Santiago where it was learned later he was killed by the Japanese. Another source was the short-wave broadcast being received at the old cemetery in Singalong Subdivision. Another source was the Philippine Underground Movement, under the command of Colonel J. Pardo de Tavera of the Division of Investigations.
Sending of vital information to American forces. – One of the activities of this unit which was conducted jointly with another guerrilla unit, was the sending of vital information concerning the military secrets of the enemy to the American forces. There was much to transmit to the said forces. Relative positions of the Japanese planes, aviation gasoline, and ammunition in the airfield in Lipa and Mataasnakahoy, were graphed or mapped by our unit. This, we were able to make by getting the information from Filipino laborers compelled by the Japanese to work in the airfield. These secrets were transmitted by this unit to Col. Hermenegildo L. Lopez of the guerrilla unit of Colonel Anderson. Colonel Lopez was being contacted in the barrio of Pagulingin, Lipa. Their unit had a transmitter, and Col. Lopez undertook to relay the information furnished by us to the American forces thru their transmitter, station CUP. We believe that the cooperation we made with the unit of Colonel Lopez and Colonel Anderson helped the American Air forces, as the bombings of the airfield which ensued registered direct hits on the planes, gasoline deposits and ammunition dumps indicated.
In support of the facts herein narrated, there is attached herewith an affidavit of Col. Lopez attesting to the fact that he received information and military secrets from this unit for transmission thru their transmitter, station CUP. His affidavit is marked Exhibit “2.” His unit has already been recognized.
Evacuation of civilians. – During the middle of 1944, this unit advised the people in the territories of Mataasnakahoy, Lipa, San Jose, Rosario, Cuenca and Alitagtag, and other neighboring towns to prepare for evacuation to places far from the airfield and other installations of the Japanese, to avoid danger resulting from bombs which may at any time be dropped by American planes. During the middle of September 1944, considerable civilians, especially of Mataasnakahoy which was nearest to the airfield, were evacuated along the shore of Taal Lake. Within a few days, American planes bombed the airfield, and the Japanese became very distrustful of the people, and prohibited their coming even to the poblacion.
Sabotage of the airfield. In the early part of January, 1945, the headquarters of this unit also evacuated to the shore region of Lake Taal. Our Intelligence Section reported that the Japanese had moved their gasoline deposits and drums closer to the poblacion of Mataasnakahoy, from the airfield, and taking advantage of the fact that the Japanese soldiers had left temporarily the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy, leaving only a handful of soldiers to patrol the guard the place, this unit sabotaged the airfield by a mass raid to destroy the aviation gasoline deposits which they moved near the poblacion. A big portion of our force, numbering about 400, joined in the raid, and we destroyed the gasoline and kerosene dumps near the schoolhouse and the cemetery of Mataasnakahoy. We also cut the telephone and electric wires installed by the Japanese in the town. Civilians also joined in the raid, and helped dismantle the sheds of the Japanese. As in the afternoon of that day, January 3, 1945, sounds of on-coming trucks of the Japanese were heard from the south towards Mataasnakahoy. We took cover in the nearby forest and left the place when we saw numerous soldiers of the enemy with plenty of ammunition, against whom it was futile to stage [an] encounter, for [the] big difference in armaments between the enemy and our unit. At any rate, we had accomplished a very big job in the sabotage,
and we took precaution not to stage [an] encounter in the meantime, as the civilians had not been evacuated far enough from the vicinity to be safe from repercussions, and also because we intended to conduct another sabotage of the airfield by destroying planes, which we did, and accounts of which are related herein below, somewhere in this history.
Evacuation of civilians went further. – During the first two weeks of January, 1945, many raids by American planes were made of the Lipa-Mataasnakahoy airfields, and the raids left the airfields practically useless due to tremendous destruction. The Japanese in the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy and Lipa became furious and desperate, and started raiding civilians everywhere, killing even women and children. This unit marshaled its efforts and forces to evacuate the civilians to Taal Volcano, which is an island in the center of Lake Taal, big enough to hold thousands and thousands of evacuees. We commandeered the sailboats and rafts available along the shores of the lake, and helped rush the evacuation of the civilians from Mataasnakahoy, Lipa, Santo Tomas, Rosario, San Jose, Ibaan, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Lemery and Taal, in collaboration with the guerrilla units of Colonel Pasia and Colonel Folsom, many civilians, thousands of them, especially those slow in packing up their things and in leaving their affairs at home, were victims of the Japanese massacre conducted in many places in Lipa, Mataasnakahoy, Cuenca, and Taal.
After evacuating considerable civilians to the volcano, numbering about 60,000 persons, our unit transferred our headquarters to the said island, and in conjunction with other guerrillas quartering there, we helped patrol the shores to prevent any possible raid of the island by the Japanese.
Casualties of our unit incidental to evacuation campaign. – While we were evacuating the civilians to Taal Volcano, we assigned men or our unit to do patrol work. While performing
patrol work in the barrios of San Sebastian and Santol, of Mataaasnakahoy, some members of our unit were attacked by the Japanese. On January 22, 1945, while civilians were being rushed to the volcano, the following members of our unit were attacked and killed by the Japanese while on patrol work in said barrios: Cpl. Rodolfo M. Silva, Cpl. Crispulo Ulan, Pfc. Julio Lumbera, Pvt. Juan Maranan, Pvt. Matias Malaluan, Pvt. Manuel Tisbe, Pvt. Eusebio Calingasan, and Pvt. David Tibayan, and Sgt. Benito Landicho.
Another incident took place in the barrio of Pangao, town of Lipa. While the people in said vicinity were being advised to evacuate to the forest, and preferably to the volcano, a group of our unit under the command of Major David Dimaculangan was attacked by the Japanese while asleep in a house in said barrio, and the following were killed: Pfc. Leon Arasola, Pfc. Julian Mendoza, Pfc. Sebastian Dimaano. There was an encounter, and one Japanese was seriously wounded.
Landing of the 11th Airborne at Tagaytay and Nasugbu; Acquisition of more arms. –
In the month of February, 1945, the American forces landed at Nasugbu and Tagaytay. This gave opportunity to our unit to get [in] contact with the returning forces, and to secure needed arms. A group in our unit was sent to Tagaytay. They climbed the steep and rough mountain ridge to Tagaytay, and were given arms and ammunition and medicine by the 11th Airborne troops then camping at Tagaytay.
The battles at Alitagtag. – News reached the various guerrillas then having quarters in Taal Volcano, that American forces have started to move eastward from Taal towards Lipa, via Alitagtag and Cuenca. But there were plenty of Japanese in Alitagtag and Cuenca, and it was considered very important that our guerrilla forces contacted the American forces at Alitagtag and Cuenca, and be their guides in the attack against the Japanese.
This unit ordered Major Gelasio Ocampo to lead a portion of our men who had been provided with arms and rifles
to proceed to Alitagtag and contact the American forces and lead the attack against the Japanese whose positions in the Macolot Mountain area were graphed in our maps.
A group of our men, numbering about a hundred, left the volcano on sailboats under the command of Major Gelasio Ocampo bound for Alitagtag. It was afternoon of March 2nd, 1945. The group reached the opposite shore at the foot of Alitagtag, and spent the night in a house in the barrio of Dalipit. In the same place, they met members of the guerrilla unit under Colonel Pasia of the Folsom’s Fil-American Guerrillas. In the said house in Dalipit, that night, they were attacked by the Japanese, and after steady firing, we ran short of ammunition. The group, together with the men of Colonel Pasia, retreated to 4 kilometers away where it was found that the 158th Infantry of the American forces under the command of Colonel Shoemaker were having quarters. The guerrillas were given ammunition and rifles, and the following morning, they again referred to the place of encounter in Dalipit.
In the encounter the previous night, 2 men of Colonel Pasia were killed.
Upon reaching Dalipit again that morning, an encounter with the Japanese took place, but after a short fighting, which lasted only one hour, the Japanese took flight. The group returned to the Headquarters of Colonel Shoemaker who requisitioned guerrillas to serve as guides for Companies A, B, C, and D of the American forces. Our unit supplied some of the men, and the unit of Colonel Pasia supplied the others.
Our group stayed in Alitagtag for about 4 days more, and then proceeded to the town of Cuenca in pursuit of the Japanese who were being driven eastward towards Lipa. Company D of the American forces encountered with the Japanese, and it is known that one of Colonel Pasia’s men died in the encounter.
The battles in Cuenca. – In the meantime, we took quarters in the same place in Alitagtag where Colonel Shoemaker established headquarters.
One morning, a civilian appeared in the headquarters and informed that there were Japanese in the sitio of Bungahan, town of Cuenca. Our men and other guerrilleros immediately proceeded to that place and encountered the Japanese. After long fighting, the Americans arrived at the place, and reinforced us. They proceeded to the front; made rapid fire, ordered us to retreat a few hundred yards as they would fire with trench mortar against the Japanese. The Japanese retreated and we advanced. After pursuing some distance, we found the supplies left by the Japanese, like rice, raincoats, medicines, etc., which we confiscated. A little while, another encounter took place and the Japanese further retreated. One Japanese, whom we killed, was beheaded, and the head taken to the headquarters of Colonel Shoemaker.
Sabotage of the planes at the Lipa-Mataasnakahoy airfield. – In the meantime, rumors circulated in the volcano that the Japanese intended to attack the civilians and guerrillas there. It was further rumored that the trucks had arrived in the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy, with motor boats taken by the Japanese from Manila, and which they intended to use in raiding the island volcano.
The rumor was being verified, but the author of the news could not be ascertained. To preserve the morale of thousands and thousands of civilians gathered in the volcano, our unit decided to proceed to Mataasnakahoy and investigate. The raiding party was headed by the Commanding Officer himself. With a group, he left the volcano and reconnoitered the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy. No trucks were found, except a few which were burned. No motor boats were found, and there were few Japanese seen in the vicinity of the schoolhouse.
Our party entered the airfield, and came to a place where planes were camouflaged and hidden in a coffee plantation. We destroyed the planes by cutting the wiring. We attempted to remove the machine guns in the planes, but they were attached permanently to the planes, and could not be removed. We returned to the base at the volcano.
Reinforcement of our group in Cuenca. – After the sabotage of the airfield, and the return of the Commanding Officer to the volcano, reinforcement from our guerrilla unit arrived to join the group headed by our Major Gelasio Ocampo in Cuenca. The reinforcement was headed by the Commanding Officer himself.
In the meantime, fighting ceased in the Cuenca area. Upon order of the Commanding Officer, Colonel Silva, the prisoners of war (those suspected of espionage work against the American forces) kept in Taal Volcano were taken to the CIC at Cuenca by Major Gelasio Ocampo and a group under him.
In Cuenca, while our unit was in the foxholes, 4 Japanese snipers succeeded in breaking through, and bayoneted some of our companions in the foxholes. Nobody, however, died, but the 4 Japanese disappeared in the dark.
The American forces (known to be under Major Summers) advanced rapidly and drove the Japanese eastward. When information reached us that Lipa was already liberated, the Commanding Officer returned to the volcano with our men, to advise the people. A party was ordered to survey the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy, and report was received that there were no more Japanese to be found.
Return of civilians to their homes – guarding against snipers. – The volcano was so thickly populated that an epidemic broke out. Our medical unit, under the command of Capt. Lauro M. Lobrin, was kept busy to control the spread of the stomach sickness which broke out. Upon report submitted by the various groups sent out by our unit to find the conditions of the neighboring towns, it was decided to depopulate the volcano, for the good of the civilians themselves. Those from Taal, Lemery, Lipa, and Mataasnakahoy were advised to go home. Sailboats once more became busy carrying civilians across the lake. Danger from snipers delayed the return of civilians to Cuenca.
With civilians back home in the areas of Lipa, San Jose, Mataasnakahoy, and Rosario, our unit kept busy on patrol duty to keep Japanese snipers from killing people.
Attachment of this unit to American forces. – It will be recalled above that in Alitagtag and Cuenca, we fought side by side with the American forces under the command of Colonel Shoemaker and Major Summer. It was to the latter that we submitted our roster, which must evidently have been lost, as the same is not in the AFWESPAC. Unfortunately, for unfamiliarity with the requisites on recognition, and due to the disorder and excitement of the hostilities, we failed to secure [a] formal letter or document from either of those officers describing our own part in the liberation of Alitagtag and Cuenca. And it is doubly unfortunate that Major Summer was killed in Lipa, and we cannot now contact Colonel Shoemaker.
However, upon resuming our headquarters in Mataasnakahoy, after the liberation of surrounding areas, we found plenty of work to do with collaboration with the 11th Airborne troops which occupied the vicinity, under the command of Major General Swing, and his officers.
Work with the American forces since then; killing of Japanese snipers. – Upon resuming our headquarters in Mataasnakahoy, we first got in touch with Lieutenant Bert who we understood to be the Head of the Labor Battalion. We cooperated with him and his men, and recruited laborers to help them make camps and sheds near the Lipa airfield.
Snipers in the meantime continued to show up in the vicinity of Mataasnakahoy. They came down from the Macolot mountain where many of them got stranded.
The commanding officer of this unit was informed by a civilian that 2 Japanese were seen in a coffee plantation back of the church south of the town. The commanding officer, in company with Capt. Pedro Inciong and 1st Lt. Cayetano Inciong, proceeded to the scene indicated without losing time. They found the Japanese, who were not willing to surrender when signaled. [A] Fight ensued, and the 2 Japanese were killed without any casualty to the three of us. Our men at the base heard the firing and they followed us to the place. A survey of the premises resulted in the discovery of 3 more Japanese
who were in ambush. Our men fired at them and killed all the 3 Japanese. This incident was immediately reported to Colonel Moreno of the 11th Airborne troops who established his office near the railroad station of Lipa, Batangas. We brought the 5 heads of the Japanese whom we killed to Colonel Moreno. He can be asked to testify to this. We were given more ammunition by Colonel Moreno.
The following night, another Japanese was killed by our unit but we buried the body instead of bringing the same to the headquarters of Colonel Moreno.
After several days, as our unit was on 24 hour duty in patrolling the vicinity of the airfield, and Mataasnakahoy, where Major General Swing had his office, we caught another Japanese, and we caught him alive. We turned him over to an American officer at the office near the office of Colonel Moreno.
After a few days, while patrolling at the outskirts of the town, 3 Japanese were seen in the sitio of Sipit, about two kilometers from the office of General Swing. We succeeded [in] killing the 3 Japanese, who would not surrender when asked to do so. We reported the matter to the office of Colonel Muller stationed in Mataasnakahoy, G-2. This incident was checked by American officers sent over, and they found the dead body of the 3 Japanese. In reward for the services we were making in cooperation and in attachment to the American troops in the place, we were given more ammunition and arms, and were instructed to be always on the alert for the numerous snipers coming down from Macolot Mountain. This mountain rises to the west, and was the target for a long time after these incidents of the cannonading by the American forces at Sabang, Lipa.
After a few more days, in the sitio of Tanghas, 2 Japanese were reported to have been seen by a civilian. We dispatched men to the place and the 2 Japanese were also killed, as they refused to surrender alive. We confiscated the firearms of the Japanese as well as their flags, and the flags were given to Sergeant
Benter of the 11th Airborne.
Instructions from Major General Swing, re needed supplies. – Major General Swing, it will be recalled, established an office in the school house at Mataasnakahoy. The commanding officer of this unit was called to his office, and after [a] conference, was referred to Colonel Muller, who in turn referred him to Lieutenant Lindsley to get needed supplies.
Special request on verification of connections with American officers, men. – As we had already given a roster to Major Summers with whose men we fought in Alitagtag and Cuenca, and as we had likewise given a roster to the office of Major General Swing in Mataasnakahoy, we did not preserve anymore, as we thought they would be of no importance in the petition, our identifications and miscellaneous papers from which our cooperation and work with the American forces as related above could be substantiated instrumentally. However, the officials hereinabove mentioned may be asked as to the genuineness of all our narrated activities and we are confident they will all confirm them, as we had been working and fighting with them, getting supplies from them, and protecting them from snipers.
Reservation of presenting claims for obligations of this unit. – As high costs of living and expenses were incurred by this unit, we made all efforts not to molest the civilians for funds. During all the time since our organization in 1942, we had endeavored to be self-supporting. As we had no funds to pay salaries, we did not make any payments. We were able to survive on the most minimum molestation possible, and we molested our own financially sound members, who willingly footed much of our bills. Especially when our headquarters and the civilians evacuated to Taal Volcano, our unit depended much on the finances of our Major Francisco de Jesus who owns the biggest portion of the island and who supplied our unit as well as needy civilians who had no food with the crops taken from his farm in that island, which bore bountiful harvest, thanks to Almighty God, during that year
1945. When obligations of guerrilla units recognized became payable by the AFWESPAC or other authorities, and the deserved recognition of our unit is granted, necessary papers would be submitted regarding the financial obligations of this unit, should the AFWESPAC decide to pass on them.
Certification by Lt. Colonel Pedro L. Pasia. – It will be remembered in the foregoing that account has been made of the battles with the Japanese in Alitagtag and Cuenca, where our men fought side by side with the men of Colonel Pasia’s unit and with the men under Colonel Shoemaker and Major Summer.
There is attached herewith the affidavit of Colonel Pedro L. Pasia, Commanding Officer of the 5th Bn., 1st Infantry Regiment, Irregular Troops (recognized 31 January, 1945) Folsom’s Fil-American Guerrillas, testifying to the fact that our unit was organized in Mataasnakahoy, Batangas, enlisting members from neighboring municipalities, way back in 1942, and that during [the] Japanese occupation and more especially during the hostilities of the liberation of the Philippines in general and of the province of Batangas in particular, our unit had fought side by side with his own men and had killed Japanese snipers coming down the way of Mataasnakahoy from the Macolot Mountain area. The affidavit is marked Exhibit “3.”
CONCLUSION. – This unit had fought hard since its organization in 1942, to put down the Japanese forces of evil. We had bolstered up the morale of the population in the areas we treaded. We had counter-checked the pernicious effects of false Japanese propaganda on exaggerated losses of our Allied Forces. We had fought battles and lost the lives of some of our companions. We had worked so hard, and this was known to the American officers and men mentioned in this report. This request for recognition – will, it is hoped, be promptly heard and considered, and the deserved recognition of our unit, and the corresponding privileges and remunerations, granted to our members.
[Sgd.] ALFREDO SILVA
Notes and references:
1 “Highlanders United Guerrillas,” File No. 161, online at the United States National Archives.