A Brief History of the Activities of the Lipa Unit PQOG - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

A Brief History of the Activities of the Lipa Unit PQOG

The 1st Battalion, 38th Regiment, 35th Division, I Corps guerrilla unit of the President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG), which purportedly operated out of the town of Lipa, was supposedly commanded by one Leodegario Mendoza. It failed to gain official recognition from the United States Army, although some members of the unit had already been recognized as having been part of the composite roster submitted by the overall headquarters of the PQOG. In this document is a transcription of a brief history of the activities of the Lipa Unit of the PQOG as submitted to the United States Army as a supporting document to its application for official recognition.
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BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR GUERRILLA ACTIVITIES

When Bataan and Corregidor fell into Japanese hands in April and May of 1942, as a Filipino and staunch supporter of the American cause and ideals, I was very much aggrieved. With a firmness of determination, I began to organize a group of men with anti-Japanese spirit in our barrio of Antipolo, Lipa, Batangas. When first organized, the nucleus was composed of just 20 armed men, and we named our organization as the “SAMAHANG MAGSASAKA” as a camouflage against the Japs. Our aim was to keep the fire of resistance to the enemy burning and to prevent the people from mingling and cooperating with the Japanese.

In the year 1945, the Japanese began the construction of a big airfield in Lipa, Batangas. The people, knowing that this will be used against the Americans, refused to work therein, and the Japanese could hardly get laborers for the project. Later on, when the construction was already underway, we instructed some of our men to work therein in order that a good sketch thereof could be made, and obtain information as to the positions and number of AA guns, number of artillery pieces, strength of [the] Japanese garrison, ammunition depots, supply depots, together with the name of the commanding officer. Our organization began to grow working as one in the dark. I began organizing in other places of the province even to the extent of contacting General Vera of Tayabas Province.

In the early part of 1944, a big guerrilla movement sprang to prominence in the province of Tayabas, under the leadership of General Vicente Umali, now Col. Vicente Umali, Commander-in-Chief of the PQOG, ASN-08192. Having the support of the people, every attempt on the part of the enemy to apprehend him dead or alive became a total failure. Then, the Japs became more harsh and drastic to our people, but their atrocities did not break their spirit but tended more to unite them with a stronger cord of union to exterminate the Japs. In September 1944, General Umali, through Gen Dumas and Gen. Mayo, ordered all guerrillas to concentrate, and told the civilian population not to mingle with the Japanese and stay 2 or 3 miles from roads and bridges, these being constant targets of U.S. planes. We often went in preliminary training in scouting and patrolling, and in normal combat principles. We assigned me to watch all Japanese movements and these were reported to our Division Commander.

In the latter part of March 1945, we met the liberation forces at Batangas, Batangas. There, we met Col. Mann who gave us the sector of Lobo, Ibaan, Taysan, Rosario and a part of San Juan, Batangas. We had several encounters with the Japs, among them the encounters at Mt. Haybañga, and Mt. Bignay, Lobo, Batangas; Mt. Mabilog, Ibaan, Batangas; Mt. Malinao, Taysan, Batangas; Barrio Sapak, Lipa, Batangas; Sto. Niño, Sto. Tomas, Batangas; and Barrio Lumbang at the foot of Malarayat Mountain, Lipa, Batangas. In all those encounters, we fought with the 11th A/B Division except in the mountains of Lobo. When the town of Lipa was liberated, we were attached to the 511th Parachute Maintenance Supply Company. We were used as scouts by the 11th A/B Division and then as supply guards. The letter of commendation from the Chief of Staff, 11th A/B Division under Gen. Swing, concerning the PQOG, was already submitted by Gen. Esteban Mayo to HQ AFWESPAC APO 707.

[Sgd.] LEODEGARIO MENDOZA
Major, PQOG
Bn. Commdr., 1st Bn., 38th Inf. Reg.


Notes and references:
1 “1st Bn, 38th Regt, 35th Div, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-16, online at the United States National Archives.

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