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December 30, 2017

Captain Landicho's History and Activities of the Sto. Tomas Unit PQOG

The Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit was an outfit formed and operated out of northern Batangas, with its headquarters located on a hill in Mount Makiling near the town of Santo Tomas. The outfit was commanded by one former Captain in the USAFFE named Lorenzo Talatala and would later become affiliated with the President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG), one of the large guerrilla organizations operating in Luzon. In this document1, one Captain Iluminado Landicho of the Santo Tomas Unit wrote his own version of his unit’s history and activities.

[p. 1]

HISTORY AND ACTIVITIES

It was about the year 1942 when the Japanese iron rule in the islands became more and more abusive. These Japs’ despotic rule forced Colonel Vicente Umali of Tiaong, Tayabas to organize his guerrilla forces known as “President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas.”

Although young in age, upon hearing [of] this organization, and in spite of the opposition of my crying mother, I escaped and came in contact with said Vicente Umali for the purpose of joining his forces, the sole vision, ideal and objective of which was to champion democracy at all cause. During my conference with him, I was then given the rank of Captain and received instructions to organize my men in the Barrio of Sta. Clara, Municipality of Sto. Tomas, province of Batangas.

Of course, it was then a hard task to become a guerrilla because, at that time, we depended for our subsistence thru the generous and unselfish aid of patriotic civilians. However, thru patience and perseverance, we were able to survive. At that time, having very little ammunition, we resorted to counter-propaganda and espionage against the Japanese.

About the year 1944, our organization was joined by another gallant and courageous ex-USAFFE known as Lorenzo Talatala who hailed from Barrio Ulango, Tanauan, Batangas. This man, after a brief conference with Col. Vicente Umali, was given the rank of Lt. Col. for the province of Batangas. He then cooperated with Governor Maximo Malvar and Mayor Maximino Maloles in organizing PQOG, Sto. Tomas Unit in the Province of Batangas. Our CP was then situated in Mt. Makiling. Later, I was placed under the command of Lt. Col. Lorenzo Talatala and Lt. Col. Maximino Maloles. Then came the American forces whom we joined on March 1, 1945. This organization was known as the 11th Airborne, which was relieved by the 1st Cavalry Division on March 22, 1945. At the same time, Sto. Tomas was not yet liberated, we requested that the PQOG Unit be left and cooperated with the 1st Cavalry Division until such liberation. Request was

[p. 2]

granted.

After the liberation of Sto. Tomas on March 25, 1945, the main body of [the] PQOG Sto. Tomas Unit was ordered by General Swing to meet the 11th Airborne at Lipa, Batangas for [a] recognition parade. Col. King of the 1st Cavalry Division requested 11 of my men and I to be left so as to guide them in the operation against the Japs in [the] Sta. Clara front. It was in this front that one of my soldiers by the name of Loreto Landicho was killed in action. Another victim was my other soldier, Conrado Jaurigue, who was severely wounded when a bullet passed thru his leg. Until now, these victim soldiers have not received the benefits due [to] them.

Regarding our omission from the recognized roster, our commander alleged that it was [an] inadvertent clerical error. The former request, which was sent to AFPAC, was not acted upon. It is hereby attached for your guidance and information.

[Sgd.] ILUMINADO LANDICHO
Captain, INF.
PQOG, Sto. Tomas Unit
Sto. Tomas, Batangas


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Notes and references:

1 “Sto Tomas Grla Unit, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-29, online at the United States National Archives.


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