Response of Espina to Capt. Yusida of the JIA Rosario Garrison, September 1943 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Response of Espina to Capt. Yusida of the JIA Rosario Garrison, September 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 guerrilla Lt. Col. Jorge Espina of the Batangas Guerrillas responded to an earlier letter from one Capt. Yusida of the Rosario, Batangas garrison of the Japanese Imperial Army.
Guerrilla Files jpeg
BATANGAS DIVISION

Sept. 26, 1943

Capt. Yusida
Comdg, Rosario Garrison

Have read your note, dated Sept. 20th, inducing me to surrender to you. Well, thank you for your offer of a good job, but to Hell with your propaganda of Independence. Don’t coax me into believing that you are granting the Philippines her Independence, because you were really intending to. You are granting us Independence for the simple reason that you want to save your international prestige. You and every Japanese know that you are fighting on the losing side of this war and this Independence is just a FACE SAVING GESTURE, a bait to make us believe that your government really intends well, to make us turn against our Genuine Benefactors — the Americans.

Captain, put this into your head — we really understand what you mean with your proposed New Philippines, a Philippines created not for the good of an independent Filipino people, but for the good of the damned Japanese Military Govt — to exploit us, to make us slaves and instruments of your culture, which we can’t admit to the end. We know when we ought to be grateful, and do you think anybody will be grateful the way you are doing things here — punishing us the “animal way,” without thought as to whether the one being punished is guilty or not? Do you think we will be grateful to the Japanese Army, when majority of your agents and instruments are doing nothing but abuse the public and the Japs not doing anything to stop them from doing those things? Do you think the Japanese people can admit and laugh if these and other abuses are done to them by any invaders?

Besides, know ye Captain and all of ye — we are not bandits nor robbers, nor racketeers. WE ARE THE WATCHDOGS OF PUBLIC WELFARE. We can’t stand and let anybody abuse. Proofs of this are evident everywhere. There are no banditries or robberies around. This is an army but for the present, we are contented to stop anybody from doing things as they please. Of course, plenty will TAKE THE CONSEQUENCES, but these must always be the case. There are no good accomplished without any sacrifice and you must remember that all BatangueƱos can sacrifice. You are arresting those who are not guilty, but you can’t get us that way. In fact, plenty are now realizing that you are not doing it right.

WE CAN’T SURRENDER NOW OR EVER to the Imperial Japanese Army. Yes, I’m an USAFFE officer, and have seen active service in this war. But remember, we haven’t yet begun doing things against your army directly, since the birth of this Organization. We make war only against abusers of Public Welfare. You can concentrate and tie all Filipinos but you can’t stop the growing sentiment and hatred that is being inflamed against your government by what you are doing around. You try to frighten us Filipinos but on the contrary, it makes us more determined to do things against your policies.

Closing and hope we live through this war to meet each other someday on better terms. You’re the first Japanese Officer who tried to do what you have done. Regards from

Your friend,

(SGD) JORGE D. ESPINA, LT. COL.
Commanding



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

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