Lt. Allbright's Reconsideration Report on the Rillo-Neri Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Lt. Allbright's Reconsideration Report on 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 document1, one 1st Lt. Marion Allbright, given the task of reinvestigating the Rillo-Neri Unit for reconsideration purposes, filed his report.
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REPORT ON RECONSIDERATION OF THE RILLO-NERI UNIT

1. INTRODUCTION:

Recapitulation

The Rillo-Neri Unit was initially investigated and reported on by Lt Brabson, an investigating officer from this office, on or about 24 June 1946 (See Unit File).

On 19 November 1946, a letter was sent to Mr. Rillo from this headquarters, informing him that the Rillo-Neri Unit had not been favorably considered for recognition (See Unit File).

As a result of a reinvestigation of the Rillo-Neri Unit during February 1947, by Lt Bromley, Breaz, and de Rivera, a letter from this headquarters dated 6 March 1947, notified Mr. Rillo that his unit had again failed to be favorably considered for recognition (See Unit File).

In a reply to a letter from Horacio L. Ilagan, dated 24 May 1947, requesting the status of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, a letter was sent to Mr. Ilagan informing him that the initial request for additional recognition of the above named unit was received after the deadline date for applications for recognition (See Unit File).

In a letter dated 21 Jun 47, Mr. H. L. Ilagan, commanding officer of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team, requested separate reconsideration for his unit from the Rillo-Neri Unit (See Unit File).

As a result of Mr. Ilagans letter of 21 Jun 47, the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team of the Rillo-Neri Unit was granted recognition by letter, Headquarters PHILRYCOM, dated 12 Jul 47 (See Tab B).

Since the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, by its own admission, was formed from the Rillo-Neri Unit and failed to apply for recognition as a separate unit before the deadline date, it must be reconsidered as a part of the Rillo-Neri Unit.

The Rillo-Neri Unit was investigated twice for possible recognition. The last investigation, by Lts Bromley, Breaz, and de Rivera, being a final action investigation, the only part of that unit studied for reconsideration at this time will be known as the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team.

On 11 July 47, 1st Lt Marion C. Allbright made a thorough and complete study of the unit file and all additional evidence submitted concerning the Rillo-Neri Unit and the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team.

2. ALLEGED HISTORY: See Unit file

3. FINDINGS:

After a complete and thorough study of all records, correspondence and additional evidence submitted, a field investigation was deemed necessary.

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The commanding officer of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team stated that he had no further additional evidence to offer in his behalf.

The confusion surrounding this reinvestigation may be best epitomized by the alleged history of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team as given by Mr. Ilagan (See Tab C).

Among the additional evidences submitted are the following documents:

(1) History of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team and its accomplishments (See Tab C). Most of this information had been submitted previously. This history explains how the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team was formed.

(2) The authority for Capt H. Ilagan to take command of and form the combat company from among the members of the Rillo-Neri Unit (See Tab D).

(3) Letter dated 25 Feb 45, to Capt Schommer from S. R. Rillo, CO of the Rillo-Neri Unit, with attached roster of 144 men who, says Mr. Rillo, will be attached to [the] 11th AB Div (See Tab E). There is no evidence among the additional evidence submitted nor the unit file to indicate that the unit in the strength of 144 members was attached to the 11th AB Div.

(4) However, among the documents submitted as additional evidence is an unnumbered memorandum from Headquarters, 11th AB Div, dated 12 June 45 (See Tab H). This memorandum authorized “Lipa Hq” to proceed to Camp Murphy on 4 July 45, and gives as its strength 85 members.

Upon investigation, it was learned that only 60 members of the unit were processed as a part of that unit. However, when Lt Bromley and Lt de Rivera, unit investigating officers of this office, contacted Mr. Rillo, CO of the Rillo-Neri Unit, he told them that all the members of the combat company had been recognized and the reason for the difference in the recognized and processed strengths was because the other members had been processed as members of other units (See Tab K). According to the additional evidence submitted, Mr. Rillo was the one who authorized the formation of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team (See Tab D).

The following documents were presented as additional evidence:

a. The official designation of the attached portion of the Rillo-Neri Unit is changed to “Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Company” (See Tab F).

b. Orders authorizing attachment of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team to [the] 188th Infantry dated 23 May 45 (See Tab G).

c. The form to be followed in making the roster of troops attached to [the] 11th AB Div (See Tab I).

d. A roster of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, composed of 85 members (See Tab J), made up in the form as requested in communication listed above.

The commanding officer of the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team, Mr. Ilagan

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requests the following (See Tab A).

(1) Request: Recognition date of 1 April 45 be revised to 31 January 45.

Comment: The formation of the said unit was still in progress as of 4 February 45, as is shown in additional evidence submitted by Mr. Ilagan (See Tab D).

(2) Request: The strength be increased to 6 officers and 144 EM.

Comment: As has been shown previously in this report, the unit was authorized to proceed to Camp Murphy in [the] strength of 85 members (See Tab H). Upon investigation, it was found that only 60 members were processed under the name of Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team. There is no evidence to show that 144 members of the Lipa Guerrilla Headquarters Combat Team were ever attached to or used by the 11th Airborne Division. The difference between the 85 authorized for processing and the 133 men, plus 6 officers, claimed is not accounted for by the additional evidence [which] was attached to a letter signed by Mr. Rillo, in which he stated that these men “would be attached” for duty. That was a presumption on his part and there is no evidence to support the claim that they were attached to the 11th AB Div (See Tab E). In a message to Ilagan, dated 4 February 45, Rillo said that only 136 members were needed and at that time, there were only 97 men, including officers, listed (See Tab A). This is clearly a gross misrepresentation of facts, designed to secure additional recognition fraudulently.

(3) Request: If the unit staff could not be recognized, at least recognize the medical officer.

Comment: There is no evidence concerning the alleged services of the person concerned and it is impossible to understand how these allegedly deserving members were not included in the authorized attached strength. The unit staff consists of one Lt Col, three Majors, one Captain and three Lieutenants. That would make a total of 11 officers for an additional strength of 85 members. Three officers have already been recognized and processed.

The evidence presented shows that the Lipa Guerrilla Hq Combat Team was formed at attached to the 11th AB Div in a strength of 85 members. No explanation has been offered for the failure of the unit to have all members processed as a part of the said unit except the statement made by Mr. Rillo to Lt Bromley and Lt de Rivera (See Tab K).

4. POLITICAL ASPECDTS:

This unit appears to have no political affiliations or aspirations.

5. RECOMMENDATIONS:

1. That the original decision of this headquarters, dated 6 March 47, not favorably reconsidering the Rillo-Neri Unit, FAIT, for recognition, be sustained.

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2. That all individual claimants, in either a casualty or a non-casualty status, be not favorably considered for recognition.

3. That this report constitute the final action by this headquarters on the request for recognition of the Rillo-Neri Unit, FAIT, and all subordinate units thereof.

[Sgd.] MARION C ALLBRIGHT
1st Lt, FA


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

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