Lorenzo Talatala's Request for Reconsideration on US Army Decision on Recognition Dates - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Lorenzo Talatala's Request for Reconsideration on US Army Decision on Recognition Dates

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, Talatala wrote to the United States Army requesting reconsideration of an earlier non-favorable decision on a request to revise recognition dates for the Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit.

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Guerrilla Files jpeg
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
HEADQUARTERS
MILITARY POLICE COMMAND AFP
BBB MANILA NORTH ROAD

2 December 1947

SUBJECT


TO
: Ltr dtd 29 Aug 47, re Sto Tomas Guerrilla Unit
   (President Quezon's Own Guerrillas)

: The Commanding General, PHILRYCOM, APO 707

Request reconsideration on the decision made by that HQ, regarding the setting back of recognition date of my unit as contained in your letter dated 29 Aug 47, for the following reasons:

1. Upon the arrival of the 11th A/B Division in my sector of 1 Mar 45 (date unit was recognized), we were immediately attached to it for operation, and assigned to combat-intelligence work. In the early part of Feb 45, our unit already made contact with the 11th A/B Division at Tagaytay City. “This unit is well-disciplined,” quoting from the statement made by Lt-Col F. S. Wright Jr of the 11th A/B Division. These are conclusive proofs to show that my unit had been organized and was already in existence before we made contact with the 11th A/B Division and before we were attached to it for duty leading to our eventual recognition. Taking into account that organization and training could not have been accomplished in a short span of time, it may be presumed without possible contradiction that this unit had been in existence for some previous time. Most of my officers and men came from civilian life and took me almost a year to train and prepare them for combat-intelligence duty.

2. The loss of supporting evidences as regards previous existence of this unit should not be counted against it. On the other hand, it should be given the benefit of all doubts, taking into account the fact that due to war operations, the 11th A/B Division, the 8th Cavalry Regiment and Maj Vanderpool, Liaison Officer for all guerrillas, may have lost all the supporting papers submitted to them in the course of our previous petition for recognition; the loss of said papers not being through our own fault and neglect, but through the exigencies of war.

3. This unit was among those first recognized by HQ USAFFE as “Regular and Independent” and not as a terminal date guerrilla [unit]. Many of the EM of this unit and some of the officers including its Commander, are still in the active service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and in the

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Military Police Command. While terminal date guerrillas are being given their liberation pay and arrears in pay, this unit being “Regular and Independent” should, I believe, is similarly, if not more entitled to receive an equal benefit to give full justice to its members who had rendered faithful and loyal services to the cause.

4. Records of the General Headquarters of the PQOG and that of the 11th A/B Division will show the valuable contributions of this Unit in the liberation of the towns of Calamba, Laguna; Sto Tomas and Tanauan in Batangas, and of the over-all struggle for the liberation of the Philippines.

5. To give fair justice to the members of my unit, I humbly request that should these reasons still fail to convince that HQ of its merits, the Lt-Col Frederick S. Wright Jr., CO, 511 Prcht Inf, 11th A/B Division, to whose Unit the Sto Tomas Guerrilla Unit (PQOG) was attached during the liberation, be given a chance to comment on this matter. I further request that Maj Gen Swing, Division Commander, 11th A/B Division, be likewise requested to say something about this request. Both Maj Gen Swing and Lt-Col Wright Jr have official and personal knowledge of the unit’s activities and its contributions to the cause of Philippine liberation.

[Sgd.] LORENZO N. TALATALA
Captain, IGS
HQ, MPC (AFP)


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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