Transcribed Notes Between GHQ Batangas Force Members - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Transcribed Notes Between GHQ Batangas Force Members

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 page1 are various transcribed notes — both handwritten and typewritten — exchanged by presumably members of the Batangas GHQ Force guerrillas, using code names likely as protection against capture by the Japanese Military Police.

[p. 1]

Guerrilla Files jpeg
10-22-43

Dear V-8

Received your note, sorry to tell you at present all boys [not sure, somewhat illegible] are out of town. I haven’t had the chance yet to take all the names as you wished.

Please try to wait a little while, and reports will follow next. We are doing our best to clear our way, complete reports will be the next object.

So long, best pal, I’ll ring [unsure, somewhat illegible] for you next time and tell you more. We will always live on hope for the welfare of all.

Congratulations,

V-4

[p. 2]

P.S.:

Please send me every one of the things I asked you before if you have the chance.

Same

[p. 3]

Oct. 16/43

I have the opportunity to send you this letter. We arrived Batangas Oct. 15 at 7:00 P.M. with a fugitive from Muntinglupa (Casa Dorabo) [unsure, somewhat illegible]. He was caught by us in [illegible] Talisay and was shot at the upper back by my revolver. Two ammunition were discharged.

According to B. Katigbak, the P.C. will raid there in Rosario before dawn. So hoping your responsibility and your success.

We will leave Batangas for Talisay this afternoon.

Sg Baby Face

P.S.

Please enlist Isabelo [illegible name follows] in your Roster.

[p. 4]

He’s my sparring partner in Talisay who was very eager to [join] this organization.

Request you not to tell anybody about this. Post of J. Landicho. Tell them that you don’t know about him.

To recognize the members of the organization, we will put [a] white button on the upper hole between the breast. During the raid, we will put the front side of our caps at the rear.

Hoping [for] your order to your members.

Baby Face

[p. 5]

Taal, Batangas
Oct. 13, 1943

Dear V-8,

I had been sending your 2 letters in response to you until now, no news heard from you. I read news that one (1) PC was kidnapped by the squad there. Is he still alive, if he is still alive, I beg you to release him. If he is already dead, well, I can’t do anything.

[p. 6]

I thing I should like to request you before you take any action towards any PC, to inform me first. I did not even know that he is also wanted. You might have the list of those PC whom you want to eliminate, please tell me first before you take any action. What is the use of my pagka V-1 if you will not hear me. With regards to PC, I want you to

[p. 7]

consult me first, if I say ok, then you can go ahead. I don’t give a damn to civilians but to PC — please, I will be sorry if without my consent.

This is all & hoping to hear from you.

V-1

[p. 8]

[This note was typewritten.]

10-9-43

Dear V-8:

1. I got sick after our meeting. Can you beat that? I again have my malaria. I expect to be o.k. soon.

2. D-1 wrote me a note informing me that Tom Meyers would like to have a hideout in this town. He is eager to be here. If you consent, arrangement could be made by you writing to Pedro Ali-aly in order that we could use his truck in taking that Tom to this place. I think D-1 has an idea where to place him. I shall hear more from him. At any rate, this is just being referred to you for your information.

3. V-2 came to me and would like to ask you if this is true that Cpl Hernandez was really apprehended and if so he requests that you please release him after you have properly schooled him. He told me he can vouch for him. Hoping that you will consider his request. As a result of his apprehension, a patrol of 15 constaboys were sent to the vicinity where Hernandez was apprehended. He would like you to know this to avoid any misunderstanding between us and the Constabulary.

4. D-1 expects to be here after independence and fix things up and properly turn over properties to any who assumes command of his unit. He extends his best regards to you and your missus.

Well, so long and my prayers.

V-3

[p. 9]

[This note was typewritten.]

10-8-43

Dear V-8:

1. Pls be informed that 4 trucks of Japs went to vicinity of Ibaan-San Jose to verify loss of Cpl. Hernandez. This information thru V-2 recd [received] by me this 11:00 a.m. V-2 requests that Hernandez be released as he vouches for him, however, proper care should be taken so that he does not sign after he gets out. Check.

2. Verino came to me and asked for my opinion about your note to return his 45. I told him to write a note from him explaining his situation.

Thanks and prayers,

V-3

[p. 10]

Oct. 8, 1943

My dear V-8,

I am here in Taal. I may stay here until the granting of Independence [by the Japanese government, which was in reality a bogus “independence.”]

Your letter was delivered to Manalo. There had been trouble between Cab and Manalo. You write Cab and ask him of his decision towards Manalo. My decision is to eliminate Manalo after the granting of independence. How?

V-1

[p. 11]

Sept 7, 1943

My dear V-8,

I received your letter thru Nitoy last night only, having just arrived from Taal. I was assigned Detachment Comdr in Taal for about a week now.

You are asking of my decision regarding the PC, my answer to you is, “Don’t declare yet.” Let me try my very best to control the PC, if I could not do it, then we will declare. You know me already before.

Regarding Robles, he was transferred, having been selected to be tall, big and single for Malacañan. When he comes, I shall tell him to see you.

Do you know Benigno Katigbak? According to him, he is your contact man in San Juan, is he? He is now here in the barracks — I gave him already instructions. You can write him thru Nitoy.

My dear V-8, let me tell you I may be leaving for Australia with Gamille. Villamor is waiting for us at one point in [the] Visayas. I am going to see you before I leave.

Regards to you my dear.

V-1

[p. 12]

[This note was typewritten.]

Dear George,

I got yours yesterday, and comfortably thereto, I have been doing my best to muster the 3 arms that you are borrowing, but awfully sorry, I haven’t succeeded yet. I am sending to you in the meantime on Cal. .45, owned by V. Landicho, which I thought all the time was in the hands of the Mayor from the time I had practically returned it to Landicho. The one you are most interested in, Cal. 45 Auto- is owned by my Compare, E. Perea, of Bucal, but according to him, the Mayor borrowed it from him. I haven’t talked with the Mayor yet as I am ashamed to do it. My personal arm is still in the hands of Ending, and he has not yet appeared in town since he received the arm. One of my arms, Cal. 38, is with Policeman Manalo who has a great need for the same, while 2 Cals. 45 were loaned by Eric to his brother, Tivo, without even my knowledge. There is practically no more arm to send you, save this one. However, I’ll still do my best to meet your request as soon as favorable circumstances turn up in the future.

Regards to you and “wifey.”

[Sgd.] M. Viril

[p. 13]

[This note was typewritten.]

Sept. 5, 1942

Dear Sir,

Your letter to Lt. Karaan through Angel was accepted and I, too, have read its contents. Because it is your order, we can’t evade it. But how about our weekly report? Through whom shall I send our report to you?

Suppose you lend us one or two arms of any caliber? We want only to complete our arms for our ten (10) active men. We have some here, but 4 are of [a] poor kind (Smith). I acknowledge to the spirit of your kindness that you will lead us for you have plenty there.

This is all and good luck.

Lt. M. Sevilla

[p. 14]

October 7, 1943

The Commanding Officer of the Batangas Division

Sir,

Through your communication of October 6, delivered by one of our men, please be informed that the organization of a base is feasible in two different and distinct places in the locality.

I request that you come and see it for yourself if convenient. Further, most of the men would only be too glad to know you personally.

As reads Major Manuel Cariño, no information is available. Will inform you as soon as contact has been made.

In case you cannot come, please set a day when I may be able to see you.

Regards and health.

Respectfully,

Butot [unsure, somewhat illegible]

[p. 15]

[This note was typewritten.]

10-7-43

Dear V-8:

1. Read your letter the other day yet. I just delivered your note only last nite to V-1 ‘cause he just arrived from Taal, where he has been assigned for about two weeks already. His answers are enclosed in a separate fold.

2. In reorganizing the 1st regt, I was able to contact Talino and, as a result, I have the 3rd Bn list only as enclosed, although not complete. 2nd Bn is on the way. No contact as yet with 1st Bn, however had advised them to turn in their list. Talino is in Nasugbu temporarily and I expect him to be in town next week, so we can still have him as C.O. for 1st Regt. As for V-3A, I would prefer him as our Adj-Gen because I have given him some hints on how to be one. I think we need one. At any rate, I could not always be in town. So that anything for me, he can just as well make decisions.

3. V-3A told me that Tura is on the spot. How true is this? I know he is a good egg but, of course, he may be in his bad self. And pls advise people who are supposed to do the spotting not to spread any such list as it [is] detrimental to the organization. Advise to do things within their knowing only and no third persons. I think we can be more successful this way. For your information, Tura is very useful to us here. He does the runner’s job for us to make this FAIT running here. Can you spare him, if ever he is really on [the] spot?

4. According to confidential reports I received here, Pres. Laurel promises no War Declaration and no conscription, but we shall have our army, however, he requests our support so that when he goes against Jap pressure, he can do it strong. What do you think of that?

5. Governor promises you a good job in case you turn in. He is preparing one for you. I told him that is not bad. How do you like that? I told him that you would [like] to see how this new setup will be run and, if good, you are part of it without being in any job. How do you like that answer?

6. FLASH: Hitler is reported to [be] asking for a conditional truce with Soviet troops at Kiev sector only. Allied [Forces] denies that request. The fighting at the Eastern Front is where it was on 1929. Fight in Italy only at the north. India-Burma front will

[p. 16]

be scene of grand scale operations for Allies soon with simultaneous operations at Southwest Pacific. [The] Japanese mainland is being frequently bombed. Japan is engaged in another face-saving tactic: She has offered autonomy to Java and Malay. She could only afford to occupy North Borneo. The Allies have the south. There are very few garrisons of Japs in [the] South Pacific now.

7. That is all for the time being and prayers for Victory. Regards to all and the missus.

V-3

P.S. – Talino is being cautious at present ‘cause he is constantly held in suspicious belief twice investigated at H.S. Rejuvenation class graduated already and I think the graduates were instructed to report weekly to garrison of their activities, looks like they are all employed therein, well good luck for them. Carefully watch them. However, we should not expect much from them, they seem to have too much threats over their heads.

V-2 reports all under control and expects your letter on their boss to have a good effect.

[p. 17]

[This note was typewritten.]

10 - 2 - 43

Dear V-8:

1. Read your letter of the 30th and did not deliver letter to mayor as I have already sent you his explanation. I only delivered D-1 letter.

2. I was in Manila the other day and I met Owing on my return trip and he told me he is reporting to Malacañang for duty as a member of his residential guards. That whole thing was a surprise to us, as when they left, not anything was said about their being transferred there. I had to see V-2 and verify the facts and found things true as explained. Well, that is still o.k. as we are sure to have a man who could inform us of inside jobs.

3. Request that if I am out of town, your notes can be referred to Nanigot as as V-7A and he will accomplish what you may require of me as per our understanding.

4. D-1 is in Manila and expects him to be back this weekend.

5. I already have list of D-6 for his 2nd and 3rd Bns I have already sent long time ago list of 1st Bn from Balayan. I request you send me a copy that 1st Bn, so that corresponding orders may be issued. I will send this list as soon as I could make a copy for me. D-5 has not sent any list, however, he informed me that he will send it soon.

6. FLASH: A Moro vinta traveler who speaks good English while here in town told me that Tawi-tawi group is being used presently as base for Am subs, and that 100 more or less British soldiers are there. These people escaped from Singapore. The Tydings Independence Bill has been passed by Congress on Sept. 28. This grants us immediate independence. Vice-Admiral Mountbatten was appointed Allied Cmdr for SE Asia. He is still a Britisher. Laurel is already in Japan with Vargas and Aquino. Our independence will be declared on [the] 15th.

Regards and prayers, V-3


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

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