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December 30, 2017

Report on 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.

[p. 1]

TEAM LEADER’S REPORT

REPORT ON THE HIGHLANDERS UNITED GUERRILLAS

1. On 3 February 1947, Capt C G Fernando and 1st Lt L J Sonders proceeded to Mataas-na-Kahoy, Lipa2

2. ALLEGED HISTORY: (See attached Unit History.)

3. FINDINGS:

The following persons were interviewed and their statements are reflected in the findings:

Alfredo Silva
Artemio M Lobrin
Gelasio Ocampo
Calixto Luna
Santiago Luna
Elpidio Matanguihan
Mateo Aguila
Gregorio Templo
Maximo Viaje
Sesinando Lescano
Cayetano Inciong
Andres Silva
Ceferino Capochino
Nicolas Templo
Claro Silva
Lauro Lobrin
Dalmacio Tibayan
Jose Templo
Maximino Lojo
Sixto Matanguihan
Sixto Biscocho
Juan Silva
Marciano Silva
Bernardo Vergara
Soriano Lobis
Victor Inciong
Feliza Inciong
Dominga de Vizconde
Juanita Inciong
Eugenia Landicho
Leonila Landicho
Felino Templo
Pedro Inciong
Concepcion Luistro
Eden Bautista
Maria de Recinto
Commanding Officer
Executive Officer
Battalion Commander
Member
Member and Mayor of Mataas-na-Kahoy
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member
Member

[p. 2]

A. Record of service of the unit was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.

1. This unit cannot produce records, commission papers, appointments, orders, memorandums, original rosters, or communications issued or received by the unit.

2. The commanding officer stated that he had never issued orders relative to guerrilla organization or administration because he did not have any knowledge of military procedure.

B. The activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.

1. Members of this unit engaged in helping the civilians evacuate the town when allied bombing and strafing grew heavy prior to liberation. This, they claim, was their greatest contribution to the country.

2. This unit never actively engaged the enemy during the occupation because they were afraid of Jap reprisals but guarded the town against Jap informers and spies.

3. The commanding officer stated that the unit laid low during the Jap occupation because of insufficient arms.

4. Members of the unit admitted that they spread Allied broadcast news among the civilians to bolster morale.

5. Members of the unit were unable to cite any important incident of sabotage, although they claimed such activity.

6. Their claim of intelligence activity cannot be proven because other guerrilla units in Batangas claimed the same missions in and around the airfield of Lipa, Batangas.

C. Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations.

1. Members of this unit were engaged in food production and in selling and buying food stuffs for family subsistence.

2. Members of the unit lived at home and received orders monthly when called upon to patrol or do guard duty. This is indicative of spare time activity.

D. The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy.

1. The participation of the unit in the mopping-up operations of the American Forces in that town was not substantiated by documentary evidence or reliable oral statements from disinterested parties.

[p. 3]

2. Members of the unit were used by American Forces as labor battalions and were paid for their services.

E. A definite organization was not established or maintained.

1. Interrogation of the members of MG Section, Anti-Tank, Weapons, and Headquarters Platoons revealed that they were ignorant of their respective duties and missions. It is obvious that these components did not exist during the Jap occupation because of lack of arms and technical knowledge to maintain such sections and platoons. The Commanding Officer admitted that he had no knowledge of organization and tactics. This clearly indicates that a reorganization was made to conform with the US Army T/O in 1945 and not in 1942 as alleged.

2. There was lack of agreement among the members as to the activities of the unit during the occupation.

3. Several members were given high ranks in the unit merely because of financial and material aid or help. This was their sole contribution.

4. Several members did not know their respective company commanders and most of them did not know their battalions nor the battalion commanders.

F. No useful purpose will be accomplished by further investigation of this unit.

G. No members of this unit are worthy of recognition.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS: It is recommended that the “Highlanders United Guerrillas” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] CESAR G FERNANDO
Captain, Inf


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Notes and references:

1 “Highlanders United Guerrillas,” File No. 161, online at the United States National Archives.
2 Mataasnakahoy officially separated from Lipa in 1932.


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