Report on the Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Report on the Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines

The Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines was an organization that supposedly operated in Lipa during the Japanese occupation of the country up to liberation. It was commanded by one Emilio Bravo Macasaet. In this document1, one 2nd Lieutenant Victor Smolen, the officer assigned to investigate the Bravo Guerrilla Corps after its application for official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States, filed his report on the guerrilla outfit.

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Guerrilla Files jpeg
HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL

14 June 1946 APO 707

Report on the “Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines”

In accordance with verbal instructions from the Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Victor Smolen and Captain Cesar G. Fernando proceeded to Lipa, Batangas to contact the “Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines,” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the investigation and basis for the recommendation.

HISTORY

The facts in this history were taken from the submitted written history and verbal claims made by the individuals contacted during the investigation. It is claimed that in January 1942, a guerrilla organization, “Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines,” was formed by Emilio Bravo Macasaet after his release by the Japanese. They had tried to persuade him to be the provincial governor of Batangas. The size of the unit is “1,000 or more,” being made up of men from the provinces of Batangas, Nueva Ecija, Tayabas, Mindoro, Palawan, Zamboanga and Davao.

During the fighting in Bataan, Macasaet had some of his relatives take candy, cigarettes, and “confidential messages” to General Vicente Lim. When General Lim requested Macasaet to send him some men to fight in Bataan, he sent his son, son-in-law, and two other men. When the liberation forces arrived, this unit claims to have been attached to the 11th Airborne Div., as laborers.

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FINDINGS

The following named persons were those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings.

1. Emilio Macasaet – Commanding Officer of the Subject Unit.

It was impossible to contact more of the men included in the submitted roster as they were located in seven (7) provinces. The contact team did, however, proceed to Lipa, Batangas but was unable to find the men whose names appear in the roster for that town.

In the submitted roster, the names of only the officers of the unit can be found with their ranks ranging from Colonel, of which there are eight (8), to Lieutenant. It is to be brought out that the roster includes only the namesof fifty (50) officers. It was explained that the reasonf or the submission of only the officers, of whom were ”...My relatives and very close friends...” was “After continued entreaties of my wife Mrs. Maria Abaca de Macasaet by shedding bitter tears, I was prevailed [upon] to write this application of recognition.” The assertion was made the reason for not submitting the names of the enlisted men of the unit was that all rosters and records of the unit were lost when the home of Macasaet was burned. Macasaet also admitted that he had informed his officers in the different provinces to submit their own claims and, in doing so, they were to submit their claims in the name of the “Bravo Guerrilla Unit.” No other unit by that name could be found in the files.

As for the claim that the unit was composed of men from

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seven provinces, it was admitted by the commanding officer that contact was established when traveling throughout the provinces to escape the pursuit of the Japanese, which brings out the point that the commanding officer of the unit did not, at any time, have complete control over the unit. In his claim for having harassed the Japanese and having done intelligence work, there was no substantiating evidence submitted to support his claim. As for the intelligence work supposedly done, it was asserted that the intelligence reports were transmitted verbally. The unit claims to have had 700 weapons during the occupation but further admitted that the unit did not have any conflicts with the Japanese in the area. It was claimed that some of the members of the unit were attached to an American unit during the liberation for a period of about two (2) months as laborers, a job for which, it was admitted, they were paid.

POLITICAL ASPECTS

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the verbal and documentary evidence presented, it is recommended that the “Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] VICTOR SMOLEN
2nd Lt., Inf
Contact Team #5


Notes and references:
1 “Bravo Guerrilla Corps of the Philippines,” online at the United States National Archives.

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