Vicente Umali's Affirmation of the Sto. Tomas Unit's Claims for Revision of Dates, May 1947

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, Vicente Umali, overall commander of the PQOG, confirmed to the Guerrilla Affairs Branch of the Philippines-Ryukyus Command the claims made by Talatala in requesting the setting back of recognition dates.
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
HEADQUARTERS
PRESIDENT QUEZON’S OWN GUERRILLAS
M A N I L A

12 May 1947

SUBJECT

TO

ATTN

: Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit

: Commanding General, PHILRYCOM, APO 707

: Guerrilla Affairs Branch, G-3 Section

1. Confirming my verbal representations made with Major Murray, G-3 Section, that Command, subject above, request that the Santo Tomas Guerrilla Unit (PQOG) under my over-all command be treated as a Special Unit, for purposes of setting back the date of recognition. This Unit was originally recognized by AFPAC as of 1 March 1945.

2. While actual contacts had previously been made with me by Capt Lorenzo N Talatala, Commanding Officer of the said unit, as early as the latter part of 1942, yet the fusion of this unit to my over-all command was officially consummated only in November 1944, when I appointed him to the rank of Major and subsequently promoting him to Lt Colonel.

3. Previous to November 1944, Col Talatala and his men were operating independently, although they were furnishing intelligence reports to me and my operatives from time to time and cooperating with us in every way.

4. His previous activities were those of intelligence work, so much so when is unit was fused to the PQOG, his first assignment was that of Regimental S-2 (copy of appointment attached) and all the Officers and men under his command in their jobs of intelligence work until liberation.

5. Request further, that as a Special Unit, it be exempt from following authorized Army T/O, taking into account that it was not organized for regular combat duty, but for intelligence work requiring a high proficiency of training and education among his officers. Moreover, the qualifications of the Officers under this Special Unit, being mostly college graduates and of some social standing, justify their holding of ranks above those authorized under Army T/O; hence my verbal representations to that Headquarters supplemented by this letter of request.

[Sgd.] VICENTE S UMALI
Colonel, Inf., PA
Commanding Officer, PQOG


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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