Report on the Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit, June 1946 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Report on the Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit, June 1946

The Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit was supposedly a small guerrilla outfit operating in the then-municipality of Lipa during the Japanese Occupation of Batangas up to the liberation of the province. It was commanded by one Julian Morada. This unit failed to obtain official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. In this particular document1, one Lt. Victor Smolen filed his investigative report on this guerrilla unit as part of the process undertaken in examining all applications for official recognition.

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HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3 Guerrilla Affairs Branch

APO 707
4 June 1946

Report on the “Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit”

In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Victor Smolen and Captain Cesar G. Fernando proceeded to Lipa, Batangas to contact the “Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit,” 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.

H I S T O R Y

The facts in this history were taken from the submitted written history and the verbal claims made by the different individuals contacted during the investigation. On 3 August 1942, the “Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit” was organized by nine (9) men from the barrios around the town of Lipa, Batangas, having for its aim... “to oppose secretly the Imperial Japanese Army.” A meeting was held the following day and Julian Morada was elected “Chairman” of the meeting and Pablo Maralit, “Secretary,” and in the submitted roster the names of those two men can be found with the ranks of Captain and 1st Lt., respectively, the former being the commanding officer of the unit. Each leader was to recruit men for his individual unit and the men would know only him having no knowledge as to the other leaders of the unit or even the existence of the other units... “until time to revolt.” It was decided at this meeting that the members of the unit would not meet again and if it were deemed necessary to contact any of the men, then this would be done by going to each individual and contacting him secretly. The unit had for its objectives:

1. “To keep the Filipinos believing that there is no other stronger than the United States and that the best form of government is one having democratic principles.”
2. “To prevent them not to accept as true all Japanese propaganda.”
3. “To maintain peace and order within the reach of the unit.”
4. “To be ready to fight against the Japanese soldiers in time.”

During the Japanese occupation, the leaders of the unit contacted their men in small groups of not more than five (5) and the men and their leaders were to act as though they were not connected to a guerrilla unit and in that way be able to spread propaganda pertaining to the above-mentioned objectives and also be able to keep peace and order in the towns. Another duty of the unit was to protect the people of the towns from the... “bad action of crooked men and bandits...”

On 3 December 1944, after several members of the unit were killed by the Japanese for being guerrillas, the leaders of the unit advised their men to take their families and seek refuge in the mountains. In the middle

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of April 1945, the men and their families came down out of the mountains and returned to their homes... “satisfied that we had finished our work.”

F I N D I N G S

The following men are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings:

1. Julian Morada – CO and one of the organizers of the subject unit.
2. Tomas Morada – Platoon leader of the subject unit.
3. Tomas Ontoy – Platoon leader of the subject unit.
4. Crisanto Bathan – Member of the subject unit.
5. Pablo Maralit – Executive Officer of the subject unit.
6. Francisco Perez – Member of the subject unit.
7. Dr. Clemente Silva – Local physician.

On investigating the “Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit,” it was found that this unit was independent of the larger guerrilla units, such as PQOG, Hunters-ROTC, and other independent units, operating in this area. The history points out, and it was also admitted, that the unit was to be kept secret, and the members of the unit would not know who the other members were, thus proving that there was lack of control. Their arms consisted of one (1) rifle and one (1) shotgun, which supports the admitted fact that the unit did not have any encounters with the Japanese.

It was admitted to the investigating team by members of the unit that their main objective was the spreading of propaganda. And when asked where the propaganda was obtained, they admitted that they would gather bits of Japanese propaganda and after analyzing it in what they “thought” was the truth, they would spread it around by “word of mouth.” The members of the unit continued their full time work on their farms, spreading propaganda when other members, whom they knew, would come to visit. It was also admitted that the unit was not attached to an American unit during the liberation as the members of the unit, with their families, took refuge in the mountains.

POLITICAL ASPECT

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

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the statements made by the members of this unit and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that the “Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit” be not favorably considered for recognition.

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


Notes and references:
1 “The Mataasnalupa Guerrilla Unit,” online at the United States National Archives.

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