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December 29, 2017

Documents on the Non-Recognition of the Rillo-Neri Unit

The Rillo-Neri Unit was a guerrilla organization that was allegedly formed in the town of Balayan, and again allegedly by the authority coming from Col. Hugh Straughn, founder of the Fil-American Irregular Troops. It was supposed to have conducted intelligence work, kept peace and order and helped in the evacuation of the citizens of Balayan, Lemery and Tuy. Its combat team was also said to have participated in combat during the liberation of Batangas. While this guerrilla group failed to obtain full recognition from the United States Army, 130 of its members were recognized as a combat team and another 400 gained recognition with another guerrilla outfit, the Blue Eagle Brigade. In this page1 are documents containing communications relevant to this guerrilla outfit’s non-recognition by the United States Army.

[p. 1]

HQ US AFWESPAC
OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT CHIEF OF STAFF G-3

File No. GSC 091 PI 22 August 1946

SUBJECT: Recognition, Request for
FROM: Salvador B. Rillo, Rillo Neri Unit

MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD

Lt. Col. Hugh L. Carnahan:

1. The “Rillo Neri Unit,” consisting of 3,090 members under the command of Col. Salvador B. Rillo, has not been favorably considered for recognition. Approximately 130 members of the Rillo Neri Unit have previously been recognized as a combat company. Also, approximately 400 were recognized with the Blue Eagle Brigade.
2. Commander Rowe states that the “Rillo Neri Unit” was very small and that the liberation caused a big influx in the guerrilla rosters.
3. Col. Quintin Gellidon, who was the guerrilla coordinator with the 11th AB Div, states that the Rillo Neri had just about three companies and that one of the companies, which is the combat company, was picked up and was recognized.
4. Basis for non-recognition:
a. The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy. (members lived at home)
b. Activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy. (Resistance was slight.)
c. Sphere of operation and unit strength claimed by the unit were not commensurate with the nature of the terrain, limitation of communication facilities, and the degree of anti-resistance activities of the Japanese in the area during the period concerned. (very little activity in this area)
d. Many members did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligation.
e. Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits, and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only. (Statements by members)
f. Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization. (Approximately 400 to another unit; activities were sporadic)

OVER

[p. 2]

Lt. Max L. Brabson

Concurred in by Chief of Investigation Section (Capt. D. C. Murray)

[p. 3]

HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL
APO 707

GSC 091 PI 19 NOV 1946

Mr. Salvador B. Rillo
1114 M. Natividad
Manila, Philippines

Dear Mr. Rillo:

The Commanding General has directed that you be informed that the “Rillo-Neri Unit,” purporting to be a guerrilla organization under your nominal control, is not favorably considered for recognition as an element of the Philippine Army.

A set of general requirements for guerrilla recognition, established by General MacArthur during the liberation of the Philippines, has been used as a guide in considering the record of this unit. After careful investigation and full consideration of all available substantiating records and testimony of witnesses having pertinent knowledge, recognition of this guerrilla unit, is not deemed to be warranted because of reasons mentioned below:

a. Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.

b. The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy.

c. Activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.

d. Sphere of operations and unit strength claimed by the unit were not commensurate with the nature of the terrain, limitation of communication facilities, and the degree of anti-resistance activities of the Japanese in the area during the period concerned.

e. Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activity and organization.

f. Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligation.

g. Many members apparently lived at home, supporting their families by means of farming or other civilian pursuits, and assisted the guerrilla unit on a part time basis only.

[p. 4]

Ltr from HW AFWESPAC, GSCPG 091 PI to Mr. Salvador B. Rillo - Continued

It is considered that the previous recognition of approximately 130 officers and men of a combat company from the Rillo-Neri Unit, as well as approximately 400 personnel with other units, which were recognized for their aid during the liberation of the Philippines, constitutes adequate and just acknowledgement of military service.

This headquarters, however, has made provisions for the consideration of casualties incurred by guerrillas in action against the common enemy. An individual does not have to belong to a recognized unit for such consideration. Attached for your information is a copy of the requirements for casualties.

It is requested that you comply with the provisions of Executive Order No. 68, by the President of the Philippines, dated 26 September 1945, copy attached.

Sincerely yours,

THOMAS J BROWN
CWO, USA
ASST ADJ GEN

2 Incls:

1 – Executive Order No. 68
2 – GAB, G-3 Form #6, 19 Aug 46,
     Information Concerning Guerrilla Casualties


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Notes and references:

1 “Rillo-Neri (Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team),” File No. 110-9, online at PVAO.


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