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December 29, 2017

Miscellaneous Documents in the US Army File 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 is an assortment of documents in the file of the Rillo-Neri Unit which are included here for their historical value, although some were issued not specifically to the Rillo-Neri Unit.

[p. 1]

UNITED STATES PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FORCES
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
Nasugbu, Batangas

9 February 1945
SUBJECT
TO
: Directive
: Guerrilla Commanders

1. This is to inform you [of] the change of Command of the U.S. Army Commander of all guerrilla groups and the Director of the mopping up operations in this area, LT.-COL. JAMES H. FARREN, No. 1855-L.

2. For proper guidance and safety of the inhabitants in this area, Col. Farren has instructed me to convey to you the following:

(a) All towns, barrios and sitios are hereby enjoined to observe strict curfew hours from 7:00 P.M. to 6:00 A.M. Unauthorized civilians and guerrillas are prohibited to roam the streets after 7:00 P.M.

(b) Civilians are not allowed to admit soldiers of the Liberation Forces in their homes after 7:00 P.M.

3. Please acknowledge receipt.

BY ORDER OF COL. FARREN:

[Sgd.] G. MONFORT
Lt. Col., GSC
Acting Guerrilla Commander

[p. 2]

GENERAL GUERRILLA HEADQUARTERS
CENTRAL LUZON
REAR AREA

25 February 1945

The following is the SOP received from the Headquarters 1855 – L, APO 468, for units in [the] Nasugbu area in [the] advent of attack by enemy either land, amphibious, or airborne.

1. to 9. Censored

10. All armed guerrillas within Nasugbu at time of attack will report to Guerrilla Hqs and await disposition order from this Hqs.

11. Local Constabulary will remain in their assigned posts.

12. All civilians will remain in their homes.

13. COMMUNICATIONS; During an attack, telephone communications will be for tactical use only. Radios will be turned on and remain on whenever firing is heard until ordered by this Hqs to close net.

By order of Lt. Col. Farren;

[Sgd.] GUILLERMO MONFORT
Lt. Col. GSC, Guer.
C.O., Rear Area

Distribution:

1 – 1st Bn. 49th Regt. (ROTC)
1 – AUSA GHQ
1 – AUSA Rainbow Regt.
1 – AUSA Golden Regt.
1 – Gagalak
1 – Licopa
1 – Luansing
1 – Joe-Perez
1 – Rillo-Neri
1 – Fil-Ams
1 – Mayor, Nasugbu
1 – Filo

[p. 3]

UNITED STATES PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FORCES
GENERAL HEADQUARTERS
CENTRAL LUZON

28 February 1945

D I R E C T I V E

To All Guerrilla Units

a – Unit commanders will instruct their men not to fire their arms except in strict line of duty. Unauthorized test firing by Guerrilla personnel as well as the indiscriminate expenditure of ammunition for purpose of celebrations will be stopped immediately.

b – Any guerrilla caught breaking the above regulation will have his arm confiscated and will be turned over to this Headquarters through channels for action.

BY COMMAND OF MAJOR VANDERPOOL,

[Sgd.] GUILLERMO MONFORT
Lt. Col. GSC, Guer.
C. O. Rear Area

Official:-

[Sgd.] ALFREDO M. LEJANO
1st Lt. P. A.
Inspector General, Rear Area

Distribution:-

1 – 49th Regt ROTC
1 – AUSA (Rainbow Regt)
1 – AUSA (Golden Regt)
1 – Fil-Americans (Blocky)
1 – Jose Perez
1 – Luansing
1 – Licopa
1 – Gagalac
1 – Rillo-Neri
1 – PQOG-Umali
1 – C.G. Rear Area
1 – Lt. Rogers
1 – File

[p. 4]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
Under Col. Hugh S. Straughn

----------

SPECIAL ASSIGNMENTS

INTELLIGENCE OPERATIVES
BATANGAS SECTOR

1st Lt. Leonardo Almanzor, assigned to cover the movements of enemy troops in Tuy and Nasugbu.

2nd Lt. Sofronio Garcia, assigned to cover moments of enemy troops in Gimalas Garrison and the Japanese Military Police in Gumamela, Balayan, Batangas.

2nd Lt. Aurelio Beron, assigned to cover movements of enemy troops in Bauan and Batangas.

2nd Lt. Magdaleno Ilagan, assigned to cover the movements of Japanese troops in Taal and Lemery.

1st Sgt. Tripon Loquillano, assigned to assist 1st Lt. Leonardo Almanzor in covering Japanese troop movements in Tuy and Nasugbu, and acted as special courier. Died in action, barrio Malusao, Tuy, Batangas on February 8, 1945.

Note: These special intelligence operatives were not attached to any company but reported directly to the Unit Commander. They were assigned as counter-intelligence operatives and their activities were strictly confidential. Their connection with the Unit was not supposed to be known even to members of the organization except the Unit Commander.

[Sgd.] SALVADOR B. RILLO
Colonel, Infantry
Commanding

SBR/lma

[p. 5]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
BALAYAN, BATANGAS

15 March 45

TO: Guerrilla Headquarters
SUBJECT: Report of encounter and enemy casualty.

(1) Seven Japanese soldiers armed with rifles found roaming around the Unit’s C.P. in Dao, Balayan at 11 o’clock a.m. of March 14, 1945 were attacked by 4 of our soldiers.

(2) Enemy casualty: 1 killed.

(3) The remaining six escaped heading eastward.

S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander

[p. 6]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
BALAYAN, BATANGAS

15 March 45

TO: Guerrilla Headquarters
SUBJECT: Supply of Gasoline

(1) Requisition is hereby made for a gasoline ration of seventy (70) liters daily and one gallon of lubricating oil weekly for the car used by this unit.

(2) Due to [the] presence of various groups of Japanese roaming around Balayan, Tuy and Calaca, use of car for intelligence activities is urgently needed.

S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander

[p. 7]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
BALAYAN, BATANGAS

14 March 45

TO
SUBJECT
: General Guerrilla Headquarters
: Submission of reports called for
   in Memorandum of March 5, 1945

1. The reports called for in the Memorandum dated 5 March 1945 are transmitted herewith in the order outlined therein.

2. The complete roster of this unit called for in 4(b) of said memorandum has already been forwarded to the General Headquarters about the second week of February this year.

[Sgd.] S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander

Encls:

[p. 8]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
BALAYAN, BATANGAS

15 March 1945

TO
SUBJECT
: General Guerrilla Headquarters
: Recommendation for citations and
   awards of 2nd Lt. Manuel Besas
   and Pvts. Bernardino Francisco
   and Esperidion de los Reyes

1. Just after lunch at 12:30 noon of the 12th of February, 1945, 12 men of this Unit were surprised by about sixty Japanese soldiers fully equipped with rifles, hand grenades and two submachine guns in the house of Battalion Commander Pedro J. Zuñiga in the barrio of Pook, Balayan. Our men jumped down from the window and exchanged fire with the enemy. Three men, 2nd Lt. Manuel Besas and Privates Bernardino Francisco and Esperidio de los Reyes covered the retreat of our men. In spite of the heavy barrage from the submachine guns, rifles and hand grenades of the Japanese, the three held their ground until the enemy retreated and our men were able to rescue one female civilian captured by the Japanese soldiers.

For exceptional valor and courage shown in the face of superior enemy force, Lt. Manuel Besas and Pvts. Bernardino Francisco and Espiridion de los Reyes are hereby recommended for citations and awards.

[Sgd.] S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander

[p. 9]

RILLO-NERI UNIT
FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
BALAYAN, BATANGAS

14 March 1945

TO
SUBJECT
: General Guerrilla Headquarters
: Recommendation for citation and
   award of 2nd Lt. Vicente
   Cauntay

1. On February 2, 1945, three Japanese soldiers armed with rifles passed by the barrio of Dao, Balayan, Batangas. 2nd Lieutenant Vicente Cauntay, armed with a bolo and a pistol, Cal. 32, pursued the Japanese as far as the cornfield. When the barrio people heard the shots, they came out with bolos and surrounded the cornfield where the Japanese were. 2nd Lt. Cauntay, determined to get three Japanese soldiers, did not leave the cornfield in spite of the fact that he was already wounded in the thigh. In a short time later, a reinforcement of four soldiers with rifles came. Exchange of fires was made. In the encounter, the three Japanese soldiers were killed, one a captain, and the other two privates. When Japanese soldiers were seen shooting at civilians and were it not for Lt. Cauntay, the barrio of Dao might have been razed to the ground by fire.

For exceptional valor and courage in the face of superior enemy force, 2nd Lt. Vicente Cauntay is, therefore, hereby recommended for citations and award.

It may be mentioned in passing that Lt. Cauntay is a sergeant in the USAFFE and has not up to the present writing surrendered to the Japanese Army.

[Sgd.] S. B. RILLO
Unit Commander



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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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