The Marking’s Fil-American Troops (MFAT) was an amalgamation of Marcos Agustin’s Marking’s Guerrillas and the Fil-American Irregular Troops (FAIT), the latter having fallen into disarray after the capture of its founder and commander Col. Hugh Straughn. The FAIT had many units operating in southern Luzon, including Batangas. Among these was a unit operating in Rosario. In this pare1
are the request for recognition of the Rosario Unit as well as a history of the organization.
UNITED STATES PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FORCES
3RD ARMY CORPS
30 July 1945
: Recognition, Request for
: Commanding General, AFWESPAC
(Thru Guerrilla Affairs Section)
1. Request that the Fil-American Irregular Troops in Batangas (Rosario Unit) be recognized for the following reasons:
(a) The members listed in the attached roster are bona fide members of the FAIT under Col. Hugh Straughn;
(b) These members had shown their loyalty to the U.S.A. and Philippine Governments during the Japanese occupation;
(c) The organization had rendered services as shown in the attached history;
(d) Some members of this organization had been killed and tortured by the Japs in the performance of their duties.
2. It is, therefore, prayed that this organization be recognized for the sake of justice and equity.
[Sgd.] JUSTINIANO C. ESTRELLA
Col. Inf. -0-47115
HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION
(FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS
UNDER COL. HUGH STRAUGHN, No. 02515, U.S.A., COMDG)
THIRD ARMY CORPS
Before the fall of Bataan and Corregidor, and immediately after the defeat of our USAFFE forces, men stationed at the towns of Atimonan, Candelaria and Tiaong, Tayabas, Col. Hugh Straughn, No. 02515, USA, organized the FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS, South Central Luzon Forces with its general headquarters and outfit at the Sierra Madre Mountains. The aims and purposes for which the organization was organized were as follows:
1. To assemble all USAFFE stragglers who fought and suffered defeat in the province of Tayabas against the Japanese soldiers.
2. To get in contact with the members of the USAFFE who were left behind and unable to report to Bataan and Corregidor.
3. To gather and assemble all arms and ammunition in the hands of all USAFFE men and civilians, who for some reason or another did not join the FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS, to continue the work of the Philippine Army.
4. To build the morale of the civilians and continue resistance against the Japanese by destroying all Japanese propaganda either physically or thru public discourse.
5. To apprehend Japanese spies.
6. To spread all U. S. Army propaganda in the areas covered by our zone of operation.
In June 1942, I, DIEGO AN, alias Diego A. Guadez, and D. Angeles, were contacted by Col. Wenceslao Olitan, alias Col. O. Cruz, and Col. Justiniano Estrella, alias A. David, authorized representatives of Col. Hugh Straughn, No. 02515, commanding the Fil-American Irregular Troops, South Central Luzon Forces, to join and spread the doctrines of his guerrilla organization. I was brought to barrio Malaya, Municipality of Pililla, Rizal, thence to the General Headquarters and outfit of Col. Hugh Straughn, at the Sierra Madre Mountains. I was designated Organizer and Inspector General for the Province of Batangas. The following, marked Exhs. “1,” “2” and “3” are true copies of my appointments, the originals of which are signed by Col. Hugh Straughn and are now in my possession:
“FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS”
UNDER COL. HUGH STRAUGHN No. 02515 U.S.A. Commanding
December 1, 1942
1st LIEUTENANT DIEGO A. GUADEZ is hereby promoted to the rank of CAPTAIN. He is designated as Associate Organizer of Irregular Troops in the province of Batangas.
He will be recognized accordingly.
(SGD.) HUGH STRAUGHN, Col.
(SGD.) O. CRUZ, Col.
(A TRUE COPY)
HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION, Page 2.
“FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS”
UNDER COL. HUGH STRAUGHN No. 02515 U.S.A. COMMANDING
February 1, 1943
CAPTAIN DIEGO A. GUADEZ is hereby promoted to the rank of LT. COL. Effective February 1, 1943. He is designated as Organizer and INSPECTOR GENERAL of the Irregular Troops in the Province of Batangas.
He will be recognized accordingly.
(SGD.) HUGH STRAUGHN, COL.
A TRUE COPY
“FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS”
UNDER COL. HUGH STRAUGHN No. 02515 U. S. A. COMMANDING
July 1, 1943
LT. COL. D. A. GUADEZ
Province of Batangas
In view of the hardship transmitting communication from the Headquarters to the Province of Batangas, either by mail, or by messenger, due to the present circumstances, and the delay of action and appointments, paper pertaining to the organization of the Irregular Troops in the Province of Batangas in which you are in charge, the undersigned, therefore, hereby authorizes you to sign all appointments from private to the rank of Captain by – HUGH STRAUGHN, COL., Division Commander. –By: D. A. GUADEZ, Inspector General, Province of Batangas, or your alias name D. Angeles.
The duplicate copies of said appointments will be turned over to the Headquarters for file.
(SGD.) HUGH STRAUGHN, COL.
Appointments and promotions in such cases will be marked “Provisional” and subject to approval by the Division Commander.
(SGD.) HUGH STRAUGHN, COL.
In January 1943, I went to Batangas and offered the task of organizing the Fil-American Irregular Troops to Mr. Pedro Adapon, but unfortunately, the offer was rejected. Then, I sought the advice of Father Ramon Abaya and Mr. Antonio Luansing, two prominent and respected citizens of Rosario, Batangas. They gave me valuable information regarding the situation in Rosario, Batangas, as well as their information leading to the discovery of one abled leader Jorge D. Espina. Aside from giving his moral support alone, Mr. Antonio Luansing further promised that he would give sufficient financial aid to be spent in pushing thru the organization. I offered the task of organizing to Jorge D. Espina, a native of Tinga, Batangas, Batangas, Ex-USAFFE, 3rd Lieutenant; and one of those who fought and encountered defeat at town of Atimonan, Tayabas against the Japanese soldiers. Jorge D. Espina accepted the task and was made associate organizer to the Fil-American Irregular
HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION, Page 3.
Troops (Guerrilla) for the Province of Batangas. He was then commissioned Lt. Colonel and was made Division Commander by Col. Hugh Straughn.
Jorge D. Espina and I began to visit some towns in the Province of Batangas and conferred with prominent and respected citizens of every town on the same subject of organizing the Fil-American Irregular Troops (Guerrilla) in his town, explaining to him the objectives and purposes of the organization. We had assigned the following persons to act as associate organizers in their respective towns:
Atty. Marciano Evangelista
Mr. Sixto Guerra
Mr. Loreto Abaya
Mr. Julian Luna
Mr. Fortunato Banog
Mr. Maximo Sison
Mr. Nicetas Carandang
Mr. Tiburcio Carandang
Mr. Ricardo Roallos
Mr. Jose Jocutan
Mr. Antonio de los Trinos
Atty. Montano Viril
Mr. Luis Luna
Mr. Fidel del Pilar
Mr. Troadio Medalla
Mr. Ricardo Cabonel
Mr. Antonio Robles
Mr. Jose Noriega
Atty. Esteban Mayo
Mr. Onofre Quizon
Mr. Julian Mercado
Mr. Melchor Dimayuga
San Jose, Batdangas
Sto. Tomas, Batangas
Although membership was considerably big, only five rifle companies were organized in Rosario, Batangas. An Engineering Company was also organized. This company had only skeleton forces and was charged with the duties of preparing maps, suitable camp sites, etc. A Battalion Surgeon was also appointed to take charge of the health condition of the members and to give assistance in emergency cases. These inactive members were utilized by the organization as informers and home guards.
Now and then, Japanese soldiers raided towns and remote vicinities in search of guerrilla member and/or relatives of guerrillas. In a big scale raid in which guerrillas and prominent men were captured, the municipalities of Rosario, San Juan, Lipa, Tanauan and Batangas were used as prison camps. The Japanese military authorities were in hot pursuit of Col. Espina and would not release even the civilian prisoners without Espina being captured. On March 28, 1944, Col. Jorge D. Espina and Major Marciano Evangelista went to Manila to confer with Representative Jose B. Laurel, Jr., purposely to work for the release of the prisoners abovementioned. After their conference and while Col. Espina and Major Evangelista were going downstairs of the Malacañan Palace, a truck full of Japanese soldier arrived and, right then and there, seized them and took them to the truck. That marked the end of the activities of Col. Espina with his difficult task still unfinished. The loss of this able leader gave rise to different opinions among members. Some members affiliated to the PQOG (President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas), some to the ROTC-HUNTERS, some to the BATANGAS GUERRILLAS (Luansing Co.), some to the BLUE EAGLE and some went into inactive service.
After the capture of Col. Espina by the Japanese, Major Julian Luna of Rosario, Batangas was assigned Commanding Officer of the Battalion in Rosario, Batangas. In January 1945, Major Julian Luna was captured by the PQOG, and has not shown up since then. After his capture, Major Jose P. Recto assumed command of Battalion. He and his men who remained loyal and faithful to the organization were, however, advised to lay low with instruction to assemble and help the liberating forces as soon as they arrived.
HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION, Page 4.
The burning of the house of Donata Espina, the living quarters of Col. Jorge D. Espina, and the houses of the members of this organization in the province of Batangas made it difficult or impossible to produce all pertinent records of the Fil-American Irregular Troops, Batangas Unit. The heavy punishments imposed to anyone caught in possession of guerrilla papers forced some of the guerrilla members to burn or destroy their credentials and reports and orders received thru Lt. Col. D. Angeles, Inspector General for the Province of Batangas, from and to the General Headquarters and outfit of Col. Hugh Straughn, No. 02515, U.S.A.
ACTIVITIES OF THIS UNIT PRIOR AND DURING THE PERIOD OF LIBERATION BY THE AMERICAN TROOPS
Our organization was largely engaged in intelligence work. Col. Jorge D. Espina, thru his transmitter operated by Messrs. Cannint and Blaus sent and received reports and messages to and from outside forces during the years when the Japanese Army was still in the Philippines. We sent intelligence reports and maps thru the Adjutant General, Col. A. David to Col. Hugh Straughn.
Although this unit was engaged in intelligence work, we had also our rifle companies to fight the Japanese when we were raided.
On April 13, 1943, Col. Jorge D. Espina, with several men, raided the Japanese sentry post stationed at the gate going to the main town of Batangas, Batangas. During the attack, he killed four Japanese soldiers, wounded one Filipino policeman who tried to help the Japanese soldiers, and wounded also one Japanese soldier who ran away to call for reinforcement.
We did the mopping and patrolling operations from time to time to locate Japanese installations and to report same to the General Headquarters of Col. Hugh Straughn.
We helped in the evacuation of the civilians from the designated war zones to the designated evacuation centers from the arrival of the liberating forces, up to the liberation of the different town in the province of Batangas.
Some members of this unit joined Major Day and Col. Mann in the mopping and patrolling activities in the towns of San Jose, Lipa, Ibaan and Batangas, Batangas from April 9 to 15, 1945.
We helped in ambushing one Japanese truck at San Roque, Rosario, Batangas on March 12, 1945, and killed one Japanese officer and one enlisted man and destroyed and set into fire one truck loaded with gasoline.
On November 3, 1944, one squad headed by 2nd Lieutenant Celedonio Bolaños, patrolled the barrio of Maalas-as, Rosario, Batangas to verify a report that two Japanese soldiers were allegedly shadowing members of [the] guerrillas. The patrol killed the two Japanese soldiers and seized two Japanese rifles.
We cut all enemy lines of communication and installations. In San Jose, Batangas, a squad led by 1st Lieutenant Pedro Mercado cut the telephone wires, burned the gasoline depot destroyed the warehouse and killed two Japanese soldiers and wounded at least six more.
Joined Capt. Carreon, General Swing’s Own Guard, in patrolling and mopping up operations in the barrios of Baybayin, Tiquiwan and Mavalor, Rosario, Batangas, in search of the reported Japanese stragglers. In that operation, two Japanese soldiers were killed and two rifles were taken and one Japanese flag. The rifles and flag are in the possession of Capt. Carreon.
HISTORY OF THE ORGANIZATION, Page 5.
Maintained peace and order and wiped out thieveries and lawlessness in the locality.
LIST OF CASUALTIES
From the very beginning of this organization, it was met with many setbacks and several casualties among the members. In March 1943, while 2nd Lts. Ricardo Roallos, Antonio de los Trinos, Jose Jocutan and several enlisted men were on their way from barrio Cahigan Rosario, Batangas to confer with Col. Espina in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas, they encountered members of the Philippine Constabulary at barrio Bagong-Pook. As they were outnumbered and less armed, they were captured after a short engagement. Fortunately, they were not accused of being guerrillas. Complaint for Resistance against Persons in Authority was filed against them. They were tried and convicted and are now serving sentence in Iwahig Penal Colony. Hereunder is the list of casualties of this organization and the circumstances by which they met their deaths:
|1. Col. Jorge D. Espina
||Captured by the Japanese at Malacañan Palace, Manila, on or about March 28, 1944.. Nothing was heard of him since then.
|2. Capt. Nicetas Carandang
||Captured by the Japanese on March 18, 1944. He was confined for sometime in the Japanese garrison in Tanauan, Batangas. Later, he was taken to the mountains of Tulos, Rosario, Batangas, where he was killed.
|3. 1st Lt. Patricio Maligaya
||Captured by the Japanese on March 18, 1944 at barrio Itlugan, Rosario, Batangas. He was taken to the garrison at Tanauan, Batangas and nothing was heard of him since then.
|4. 1st Lt. Briccio Macatañgay
||While sick and in bed, he was captured by the Japanese on March 18, 1944 at barrio Itlugan, Rosario, Batangas. He was taken to the Japanese garrison at Tanauan, Batangas and nothing was heard of him since then.
|5. Pvt. Paulino Pagkaliwangan
||Captured at barrio Munting-tubig, Rosario, Batangas by the Japanese in September 1944. He was taken to Lipa, Batangas and has not shown up since.
|6. Pvt. Juan Valencia
||Captured by the Japanese at barrio Munting-tubig, Rosario, Batangas in September 1944. He was taken to Lipa, Batangas and has not shown up since then.
|7. Pvt. Fermin Reyes
||Captured by the Japanese in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas in February 1945, while on intelligence work. He was brought to Malaking Ilog River where he was killed.
HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION, Page 6.
| 8. Pvt. Anastacio Ulit
||Captured by the Japanese in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas in February 1945. He was taken to Malaking Ilog River where he was killed.
| 9. Pvt. Meliton Panopio
||Captured by the Japanese at barrio Namuco, Rosario, Batangas. He was a courier. While walking one night from Taysan to Rosario, he was apprehended by [a] Japanese patrol. Nothing was heard of him since then.
|10. Staff-Sgt. Francisco Olayres
||Captured by the Japanese in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas, in October, 1944. He was taken to Maalas-as where he was killed.
|11. Sgt. Hermogenes Cruzada
||Captured by the Japanese in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas. He was taken to Maalas-as, Rosario, Batangas where he was killed. That was in October, 1944.
|12. Lt. Melecio Sison
||Wounded during a raid by the PQOG in the Poblacion of Rosario, Batangas on January 16, 1945. He received [a] gun wound on his right leg which could have rendered him incapacitated. [Next line struck out in the original document.] He is now confined at the 30th General Hospital, Quezon Institute.
|13. Pvt. Juan Inandan
||Captured by the Japanese on November 27, 1944, while on intelligence work in Manila. Nothing was heard of him since then.
|14. Pvt. Epifanio Awat
||Captured by the Japanese on November 27, 1944, while on intelligence work in Manila.
|15. Major Julian Luna
||Captured by the PQOG in January, 1945 and he has not shown up since.
|16. Capt. Lupo Urea
||Captured by the PQOG in January, 1945 together with Maj. Luna, and has not returned since then.
|17. Sgt. Zacarias Dio
||Captured by the PQOG in January, 1945, together with Maj. Luna, and has not returned since then.
The foregoing is a brief history and activities of the FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS in Rosario, Batangas which was organized by the undersigned in that province in my capacity as Associate Organizer and Inspector General for the Province of Batangas, under COL. HUGH STRAUGHN, No. 02515, USA, Division Commander.
[Sgd.] DIEGO AN
LT. COL. GUERRILLA INF.
COMDG. FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR
TROOPS, ROSARIO UNIT
(I am also known in the Guerrillas as DIEGO A. GUADEZ and D. ANGELES.)
[Sgd.] DIEGO AN
Lt. COL. GUERRILLA INF.
COMDG. FIL-AMERICAN IRREGULAR TROOPS, ROSARIO UNIT.
HISTORY OF ORGANIZATION, Page 7.
JOSE P. RECTO
Notes and references:
Guerrilla Inf. Rosario Unit
“Rosario Unit, III AC (David’s Command),” File No. 209-48, online at the United States National Archives.