Capt. Jose Corona's Activities with the Tanauan Guerrilla Combat Team - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Capt. Jose Corona's Activities with the Tanauan Guerrilla Combat Team

The Tanauan Guerrilla Combat Team was a small resistance organization operating out of the Municipality of Tanauan during the Japanese occupation and the liberation period. It was supposedly founded by one Avelino T. Tapia in July 1942 and affiliated with the Marking’s Fil-American Troops (MFAT) but failed to gain official recognition as an element of the Philippine Army in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States. Some of its members, however, were recognized likely with other outfits or as individuals. In this page is a transcription1 of a report by one Capt. Jose Corona to Tapia detailing his activities while with the guerrilla organization.
Guerrilla Files jpeg

[p. 1]

UNITED STATES PHILIPPINE ISLANDS FORCES
SECOND DIVISION
IV ARMY CORPS
MARKING’S FIL-AMERICANS
TEOFILO ROMERO’S TROOPS

SUBJECT

TO
: Activities of Undersigned Intelligence Operative, Submittal of

: Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia, Chief Intelligence Operative

BRIEF HISTORY
and
RESUME OF ACTIVITIES
-oo0oo-

I – INTRODUCTION:

I was elected Vice-Mayor of Tanauan, Batangas in the general elections of 1940. At the outbreak of the Pacific War in December, 1941, I was the Acting Mayor, the Mayor at the time being on a sick leave of absence. Acting in this capacity, I, together with the then Chief of Police, Mr. Pedro B. Gonzales, met the advance guard of the invading Japanese forces when they entered this town in the morning of December 30, 1941. On the following day, I found that my house was occupied by a Jap officer who spoke good English. Upon introducing myself as the Acting Mayor and as the owner of the house he was occupying, the officer allowed me to enter said house and I found out that almost everything was ransacked and looted. I invited the officer to accompany me into walking around the town, and to my astonishment, I found out that every house was occupied by the Jap soldiers and every house met the same fate as mine, ransacked and looted. I protested to the officer, stating that “properties of [the] civilian population should not be treated in that manner,” to which the officer replied: “That’s the way with war.”

On January 1, 1942, the officer took and introduced me to a Jap colonel, the highest commanding Jap officer in Tanauan. After a brief routine conversation, thru an interpreter, the Colonel demanded that I surrender the guns which our force (police) were using. I explained that those guns were taken by an American captain on December 27, 1941, to which the Jap colonel howled and asked for the receipt. I retorted that no receipt could be issued under the circumstances as the American Forces were then hurriedly retreating northward. The Jap colonel was satisfied with my explanation; but the fact was that the policemen were ordered to evacuate to the barrios and take the guns with them. When we returned to my house, my companion officer promised and assured me that my two radios would be returned to me, but not the other commodities and furniture as the Jap soldiers needed them badly. The promise was fulfilled and the two radios were returned. Months later, the authorities under the Japs required that all radio receiving sets must be surrendered for reconditioning. I surrendered one of them only, keeping the other as a contraband, highly hoping that by means of it, I could keep high the morale of the civilian population and resistance elements by furnishing them with the true facts regarding the progress and developments of war in the Pacific and European Theaters.

II – MY ACTIVITIES IN 1942.

1. With this contraband radio receiving set, I obtained shortwave news from Allied stations in America, England, Russia and China, and disseminated same to friendly and underground elements, thus bolstering their morale to a great extent. In this

[p. 2]

capacity, I worked in close cooperation with Mr. Pedro Tapia, who was also then operating a shortwave radio.

2. The undersigned had a contact with Capt. Perez, also of the underground movement from Negros, and with the latter had several conferences in the former’s house regarding the organization of local guerrilla units.

3. The undersigned gave secret warning to civilians for their dealing with the Japs on food supplies, particularly vegetables which the latter were ordering in great quantities for their consumption.

4. I was also advising people of all classes to keep their loyalty to the Commonwealth Government of the Philippines and to the United States of America, and not to swallow the sugarcoated baits of the Jap propagandists.

III – MY ACTIVITIES IN 1943.

1. Warning civilians of selling scrap iron and other materials for war purposes to the Japs.

2. Continuation of operating shortwave radio receiving set for Allied news for transmittal to Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia.

3. Attachment of the undersigned as Captain, on 5 November 1943, to Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia’s Unit of Intelligence Operatives, which was organized on 15 July 1942 in Boot, Tanauan, Batangas.

4. Drawing of sketches of Jap installations in Tanauan, Malvar and Lipa for submission or transmittal to Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia and other resistance organizations.

5. Reporting movements of Japanese forces.

6. Issuance of sterner warnings to civilians who continued to deal with the Japs on food supplies and war materials.

7. Acted as adviser of one Capt. Salazar, and one Capt. Perez, both guerrilla officers from the Visayas. Helped those officers to evade the Japs and the puppet Philippine Constabulary, and escape surrender. Unfortunately, however, these two officers were later caught by the Japs and killed.

IV – ACTIVITIES IN 1944, AND IN 1945.

1. Continuation of obtaining shortwave news.

2. Civilian lawlessness and terrorist activities were tried to be suppressed or minimized in order not to endanger the lives of the civilians.

3. The activities of Filipino Jap spies were counteracted a great deal through safety measures launched by the undersigned. Some of those Jap spies were killed by underground elements before they could even do much harm and damage both to the resistance movement and innocent civilians.

4. The undersigned was rigidly investigated by the Jap Kempetai for maintaining a shortwave radio receiving set, but was luckily set free unharmed for lack of evidence. This was a close shave.

5. The undersigned was the mastermind in the success of sabotage activities when some bodegas were raided for supplies and equipment by underground elements in the houses of Mr. Gaudencio

[p. 3]

Macaisa, Angela de Castillo, and Bernardo V. Carandang; also when some Japanese stolen army and pack horses were retaken by members of the combat unit.

6. Warning the civilians to evacuate to places far from Jap military installations, in accordance with General MacArthur’s and President OsmeƱa’s order issued from Australia.

7. Guiding and protecting the civilians, in the course of evacuation, to escape the Jap massacre, after more than 800 innocent civilians were massacred in Tanauan, Batangas, on 10 February 1945.

8. Spotting Jap installations and drawing sketches of them for possible bombing, strafing, and shelling targets by U.S. planes.

9. Relayed vital information of vital Jap troop and supply movements and fuel dumps through Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia to combat units for ambuscade and sabotage. A number of sharp encounters with the Japs has been briefly enumerated and cited in reports already submitted. These encounters were in coordination with the American Forces of Liberation to which the combat units were attached, viz: the 11th Airborne Division and the 8th Cavalry. The Combat Unit took part in the liberation of Tanauan on 26 March 1945; then advanced to Lipa and finally to Sta. Clara, Sto. Tomas and in Sapak Mountain sometime in the latter part of April, 1945.

10. On 10 April, 1945, the PCAU authorities designated me Mayor of Tanauan. Although I accepted the position, I had not yet severed my connection with the forces of Lt. Col. Avelino Tapia, knowing that there were yet Japanese stragglers in the different barrios of the municipality. In fact, through my work as Intelligence Operative at that time, many Japanese soldiers were killed within the jurisdiction of this municipality, some of them by the members of the local Police Force.

The undersigned ended his active duty with the Intelligence Operative on 1 July 1945, after exactly 19 months and 25 days of service with the Unit, from 5 November 1943.

Respectfully submitted:

[Sgd.] JOSE M. CORONA
Capt. Inf.
Intelligence Officer, 4th AC.


Notes and references:
1 “Tanauan Guerrilla Combat Team,” File No. 109-89, online at the United States National Archives.

Related Posts