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December 29, 2017

Lt. Robert Morton's Report on the Triumvirate Guerrillas, January 1946

The Triumvirate Guerrillas was a purported guerrilla outfit that operated in Lemery, Taal and San Luis with its headquarters in the last town. The organization failed to gain official recognition from the United States Army and was even accused of being a fake organization. In this page1 is a transcription of an investigative report filed by one Lt. Robert Morton on the Triumvirate Guerrillas after his visit to San Luis, Batangas as part of an investigative contact team of the United States Army.

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2 January 1946

REPORT ON TRIUMVIRATE GUERRILLAS

In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Robert L. Morton proceeded to San Luis, Batangas and contacted the “Triumvirate Guerrillas” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following is a summary of the investigation and basis for the recommendation.

History

The “Triumvirate Guerrillas” was formed during the latter part of June 1942 in the barrio of San Luis, Batangas, by Pedro B. Diokno, who was then the Mayor of San Luis. The organization was originally called the “Diokno Guerrillas,” because most of the members were of the Diokno family, but later, as the size of the unit increased, it was changed to “Triumvirate Guerrillas.” Narciso Diokno was chosen as Commanding Officer because he was more experienced in military matters. Narciso Diokno was a Captain in the Philippine National Guard before the war and at the present time he is the Sergeant at Arms of the Philippine Congress.

During the period of the Japanese occupation, the unit exhibited the usual passive resistance and engaged in minor activities. They instructed the inhabitants of San Luis, Batangas to raise crops; disseminate Allied short wave news to the populace; and to maintain the morale of the people. The news was obtained in Manila and relayed to San Luis to boost the morale of the people. Other activities this unit participated in were intelligence, housing of refugee army men, and minor engagements with the enemy.

Intelligence was gathered by their operations, or as a result of contact with other units, and this intelligence was forwarded to the Advanced Headquarters, Special Unit, SWPA, in Mindoro.

It is claimed that on 5 March 1945, twenty-one (21) members of the unit contacted the 158 RCT and joined them in their engagements in the barrios of Taal, Lemery, and San Luis, Batangas. These engagements lasted for a period of only two days. The unit was disbanded in the latter part of April 1945.

Findings

It is believed that this unit never existed as an organization, and the leaders had very little control over its members. The unit consists of about 870 officers and men, and upon questioning, it was found that this unit was never assembled or operated as a unit. The members questioned said they carried on their civilian occupation and the only guerrilla work done by most of them was acting as “Home

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Guards,” guarding the coast at night and watching for enemy submarines.

It was stated that a large per cent of the men on the roster were no longer in the locality and that it would be impossible to contact them. When they were asked to assemble as many men as possible, the unit could assemble only approximately twenty-five men, of which most were related to one another.

The unit claims to have participated with the 158 R.C.T. in their activities in Taal, Lemery, and San Luis, but they were not able to show any letters of recommendation or sufficient evidence as to their activities.

Intelligence reports were sent by the unit to Lt. Comdr. George F. Rowe, USNR, but the value of such report is not known. Lt. Comdr. George F. Rowe stated that during the period of August 1944 to February 1945, he found them to be ready and willing to cooperate in any way. But other than information relative to the enemy, Lt. Comdr. Rowe did not mention any other types of cooperation.

Politics

This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or operations.

Recommendations

After careful analysis of the statements made by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that the “Triumvirate Guerrillas” be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] ROBERT L. MORTON
1st Lt., ORD
Contact Team “G”



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Notes and references:

1 “Triumivate Guerrillas,” File No. 112, online at the United States National Archives.


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