Memo to AFWESPAC Seeking Official Recognition, January 1946 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Memo to AFWESPAC Seeking Official Recognition, January 1946

The San Jose Guerrilla Unit was an underground organization that opposed the Japanese in the Province of Batangas in World War II. It was commanded by one Pedro Kalalo and was officially recognized with 60 men as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the United States Armed Forces during the liberation of the country. In this document1, Kalalo wrote to the Commanding General of the United States Armed Forces in the Western Pacific (AFWESPAC), through channels, to formally seek official recognition.

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Guerrilla Files jpeg
COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES
San Jose Guerrilla Unit
San Jose, Batangas

16 January 1946

SUBJECT

TO

: Recognition of San Jose Guerrilla Unit

: The Commanding General, AFWESPAC, APO 707
   Thru the Guerrilla Section, AFWESPAC

1. Recognition of the San Jose Guerrilla Unit, including the main body of Reserves of this unit, is respectfully requested.

2. Reasons for seeking recognition of the Reserves are embodied in the following:

When the fate of Bataan and Corregidor were sealed by that historical surrender pact in 1942, a handful of anonymous but irresolute residents of San Jose, Batangas, under my humble guidance and leadership, took a solemn oath to carry on the fight against the Japanese “till death.”

For three long years until the liberation forces recaptured the Islands, the San Jose Guerrillas kept harrassing the enemy in Batangas, gathered and distributed enemy information for use of the Allies, and disseminated morale boosters to our people.

During the seemingly interminable period of time, that group faced many odds, suffered loss of life, and suffered untold privations and misery. But not for a single instance did any of its valiant members sway from his oath of loyalty. On the contrary, their sufferings seem to have given added fortitude to their spirit and spurred them to more heroic achievements. Thus, by the years 1943 and 1944, instead of finding the group dispersed or decimated, it increased considerably in strength until its size became a veritable problem for me and the members of my staff to handle.

As the days and months rolled by, applicant after applicant came to my Headquarters to join my unit. They came from all walks of life — farmers, lawyers, teachers, doctors, government employees and even women. I could not turn these patriotic people out. I, therefore, devised a scheme by which I could take them all in, commensurate with the missions I proposed to undertake, the food provisions we had on hand, and [the] relative safety from detection by the enemy in that locality. It was then that I created a Corps, known as the Reserves, to form part and parcel of my fast expanding unit.

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Under this newly-created body, I took all the volunteers in my roster, classified them according to their age, residential place, fighting experience, family size, means of livelihood, government connections, etc., and separated them into groups under their own leaders. I used these groups one after another, depending upon the mission I wanted accomplished and the nature of the men in the group which, in my opinion, could best carry it out, with success.

The combat records of these groups, their gathering of accurate intelligence information for use of the Allies, their constant hounding of Filipino spies in the Japanese service, and their effective propaganda of short wave news picked up from US stations and other friendly sources, are only too well known to Batangas and its neighboring provinces. They constitute a legitimate pride, not only to our organization but to all underground forces as well.

When the rescue of the Islands came at long last, most of these groups contributed one way or the other towards the quick rendition of the enemy, either by incorporating themselves to American troops or operating as independent units.

In requesting for the recognition of the San Jose Guerrillas, I vehemently appeal to the US authorities for the inclusion of those Reserve groups it its recognition. They fought and bled in the battlefields, others died, believing in the sanctity of our cause and the ideals for which America fought the war. Not to recognize them would be ignoring the great efforts and sacrifices they had exerted, out of their true love for the Philippines and their devotion and loyalty to America.

[Sgd.] PEDRO B KALALO
Lt Colonel, QMS (Grla)
Commanding

[Handwritten]
Enclosed

Roster of the Unit


Notes and references:
1 “San Jose Guerrilla Unit,” File No. 300, online at the United States National Archives.

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