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December 30, 2017

Letter of R.L. Perez to Jorge Espina, October 1943

The Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) was a large guerrilla organization that operated in Luzon during the Japanese occupation during World War II up to the liberation of the Philippines. The organization was founded by the retired American Army officer Hugh Straughn and had units in many localities in Luzon, including Batangas. The GHQ Batangas Force, purportedly founded by one Jorge Espina, who was subsequently killed by the Japanese, was one of the units who sought recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces. In this document1, one R. L. Perez of the Philippine Constabulary wrote to Lt. Col. Jorge Espina promising to look into anomalies committed by members of the Philippine Constabulary.

Oct. 5, 1943.

My dear Col. Espina:

I am in receipt of your letter dated today and I am very grateful to your kindness in informing me about the may be cause of misunderstanding between people under us. In truth, I am somewhat surprised by your information about my policemen, as I do not know of any misbehavior that they are committing which may be called leading to what you say. They are the ones who are exerting efforts to get your men. As I understand, they are going out here and there in compliance with the order from the garrison but they know what they are doing (merely acting as what we call scarecrow in the rice fields) to convince these people above us that their orders are complied with, although in any case, no result is being given them, but simply they do not stop going after.

You know these people are giving our police people too many orders, which if not complied, at least letting them see that the police are moving, they are very jealous, and to avoid so, and at the same time to save the good name of our force from them our men are simply walking and acting as if they are very excellent soldiers, complying with the order of the army, when in truth we never yet reported and can perhaps never report of any result as to the wishes of those people, and if any, it will always be VICE VERSA REPORT, otherwise, sila ay aking masasabon.

However, I do not like to be very positive in telling you about the favorable behavior of our policemen to us and to you people there, for it is but human to err and to lie. They may be lying to me or I might be misunderstanding them, but one thing I can tell you George [Jorge], I shall give them instructions to make them better men living to my expectations and to the satisfaction of both factions.

I, therefore, again ask and do not expect that you continue your most valued help to our community in keeping our people alive in a more peaceful place if possible.

Wishing you safety and long life, I am,

Sincerely,

[Sgd.] R. L. PEREZ

LT. Col. J. Espina
Batangas



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Notes and references:

1 “GHQ, Batangas Force, FAIT,” File No. 110-3, downloaded from PVAO.


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