Letter to Serapio Tolentino on Non-Recognition of Tanauan Unit, February 1947 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Letter to Serapio Tolentino on Non-Recognition of Tanauan Unit, February 1947 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Letter to Serapio Tolentino on Non-Recognition of Tanauan Unit, February 1947

The Tanauan Unit was a guerrilla organization affiliated with the MFA or Marking’s Fil-Americans. The latter was a larger organization operating in Luzon commanded by one Marcos Agustin, hence the nickname “Marking.” This organization absorbed elements of Hugh Straughn’s Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT) after the American commander was captured and executed by the Japanese Army. Hence, the name “Marking’s Fil-Americans.” In this document1, one Captain R. E. Cantrell of the Adjutant General’s Office of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command wrote to Tolentino to inform the latter of the non-favorable consideration of his request for recognition of the Tanauan Unit of the MFAT.

Guerrilla Files

[p. 1]

APO 707

GSCPU 091 PI / 218 13 FEB 1947

Mr. Serapio E. Tolentino
Tanauan, Batangas

Dear Mr. Tolentino:

The Commanding General has directed that you be informed that the Tanauan Unit, purporting to be a guerrilla organization under your nominal control, is not favorably considered for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army.

A set of general requirements for guerrilla recognition, established by General MacArthur during the liberation of the Philippines, has been used as a guide in considering the record of this unit. After careful investigation and full consideration of all substantiating records and testimony of witnesses having pertinent knowledge, recognition of this guerrilla unit is not deemed to be warranted because of reasons mentioned below:

a. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.

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

c. Adequate records were not maintained (names, ranks, dates of enlistment or joining, dates or promotions, and necessary related information).

d. Performance of this unit did not indicate adequate control by its leaders, because of the separation of the members.

e. 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.

f. Many members apparently lived at home supporting their families by means of farming and other civilian pursuits, and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only.

[p. 2]

It is considered that the prvious recognition of approximately twelve officers and enlisted men of the active combat unit from [the] Tanauan Unit which were recognized by the Commanding General, Eighth Army, for their aid during the liberation of the Philippines, constitutes adequate and just acknowledgement of military service.

It is requested that you comply with the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, by the President of the Philippines, dated 26 September 1945, copy attached.


Col Gerald F. Lillard:

1. “Tanauan Unit,” consisting of 148 men, has not been favorably considered. Twelve members have previously been recognized.

2. This unit does not fulfill the requirements of the five basic points for recognition. See attached Team Leader’s Report.

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

4. All worthy members have been recognized and no casualty rosters have been submitted.

[Sgd.] Lt. R. T. McDonald

1. Concur: Major C. H. Wentzell, Chief, Unit Inv Sec

2. Concur: Lt. Col. S. J. Palos, Chief, Unit Branch

Notes and references:
1 “Tanauan Unit, MFA,” File No. 109-63, online at the United States National Archives.
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