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December 30, 2017

Report on the Reconsideration of the Zobel Guerrilla Unit

The Zobel Guerrilla Unit was a guerrilla organization that supposedly operated from the western Batangas town of Calatagan. It was supposedly commanded by one Guerrilla Lt. Colonel Jacobo Zobel. The reader is advised that this unit failed to obtain official recognition from the United States Army and that many of its claimed achievements as well as manpower were found to have had overlaps with Emilio Macabuag’s Unit, another guerrilla organization that operated in and out of Calatagan. In this document1, one Lt. Marion Allbright, assigned to investigate the Zobel unit after a request for reconsideration, filed his report.

[p. 1]

Report on the Reconsideration of Zobel’s Unit

1. INTRODUCTION:

On 22 September 1947, 1st Lt M C Allbright made a thorough and complete study of the unit file of the Zobel’s Guerrilla Unit. The subject unit consists of 565 members under the command of Lt Col Jacobo Zobel.

Recapitulation:

(a) On 28 August 1946, Lt M L Brabson made an investigationof the subject unit and reported on his findings (See Tab 1). As a result of Brabson’s report, the unit was not favorably considered for recognition.

(b) A letter from this headquarters, dated 3 September 1946, notified Lt Col Zobel of the action taken on subject unit (See Tab 4).

(c) In a letter dated 3 February 1947, to this headquarters, Lt Col Zobel requested reconsideration of subject unit (See Tab 3).

(d) In a letter to Lt Col Zobel, dated 20 February 1947, from this headquarters, reconsiderationw was granted to “A” Company, 1st Bn, Lipa Guerrilla Regiment. It is believed that, since the M/R on the comeback copy of this letter refers to the Zobel Unit, the name included in the body of the letter (“A” Co, 1st Bn. Lipa Guerrilla Regiment) was a mistake (See Tab 2).

2. HISTORY (Alleged):

See attached unit file.

3. FINDINGS:

The commanding officer has been contacted and states that he has no additional evidence to offer.

In his letter requesting reconsideration, Lt Col Zobel made no specific claims. He said that this unit had been rejected for “obvious reasons.”

He then requested that his unit be reconsidered because he knows that his men deserve “benefits and privileges for they had rendered meritorious services during the occupation.”

[p. 2]

There is nothing in the unit file to indicate that this unit deserves any recognition and there is no reason to believe the previous report on the subject unit was not correct in the findings and recommendations. The claim for services rendered is not supported by any documentary evidence.

Lt Col Zobel stated that he controlled ten thousand (10,000) hectares of land and that some of the members of his unit lived on this land. He also stated that “we have owned these people for almost two hundred and fifty (250) years.” During the course of the conference, Lt Col Zobel mentioned that his unit had been instrumental in the distributionof supplies, dissemination of information, and had aided in the distribution of arms arriving from Mindoro. He contended that they were too busy to think of asking for attachment papers when working with the Liberation Forces. He did not say that he was going to write for certificates from those American Officers that his unit had worked with and would send them in as soon as he obtained them. He mentioned the names of Gen Whitney, Gen Swing, Gen McNeider, Maj Bleiden, and Maj Vanderpool.

It is interesting to note that the claims of the subject unit and that of a neighboring unit, the Major Phillips Unit, are startlingly similar. In fact, both units claim to have accomplished the same things. Another point about the two units that merits a raised eyebrow is the duplication of names on the rosters of the two units. Col Zobel lived in Manila until the Americans started bombing the city and then went to Calatagan in late 1944. Obviously, this made it impossible for him to have properly administered his unit.

Another point which strikes the undersigned particularly, is the fact that Col Gellidon failed to recall any activities of the subject unit. When Col Gellidon fails to recommend a guerrilla unit favorably, it is a red-letter day, for Gellidon has a penchant for endorsing guerrilla units for recognition regardless of their true worth.

Commander Rowe also failed to recall any of the claimed activities of the Zobel’s Guerrilla Unit.

Lt Col Zobel stated that he had furnished a place for “General Roxas” (President M A Roxas) to live and had taken care of President Roxas and his family during a period of the occupation period. It is known that Zobel has been an Aide de Camp to President Roxas and it is possible that some political pressure will be used in an attempt to gain recognitionor his unit.

[p. 2]

4. POLITICAL ASPECTS:

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations. Lt Col Zobel was Senior Aide de Camp to President Roxas but has been relieved from that duty and is now engaged in his own business.

5. RECOMMENDATIONS:

(a) That the original decision of this headquarters, dated 3 September 1946, not favorably considering for recognition the Zobel’s Guerrilla Unit, be sustained.

(b) That the casualty roster submitted be not favorably considered for recognition.

(c) That no individual claimamnts be favorably considered for recognition.

(d) That this report constitute the final action by this headquarters on the request for recognition of the Zobel’s Guerrilla Unit.

[Sgd.] MARION C ALLBRIGHT
1st Lt., FA


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Notes and references:

1 “Zobel’s Guerrilla Unit,” File No. 137, online at the United States National Archives.


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