The Ambulong Unit was a guerrilla organization operating out of the town of Tanauan and was affiliated with the President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas (PQOG), a large organization that operated in southern Luzon during the Japanese occupation and the liberation. It was purportedly commanded by one Amador Suarez. This unit failed to obtain official recognition from the United States Army but, as was the case with other units of the PQOG, had some of its members recognized because their names were included in the composite roster submitted to the US Army by the overall command of the PQOG. In this page is a transcription1
of a history of the Ambulong Unit as submitted to the US Army as part of its application for recognition.
HISTORY AND ACTIVITIES OF THE “AMBULONG UNIT”
PRESIDENT QUEZON’S OWN GUERRILLAS
OCTOBER 1942 –
In October 1942, still suffering from malaria contracted in Bataan and Capas, MAJOR JULIO R. NARVAEZ, then a USAFFE Captain just released from [the] Capas Concentration Camp, after consultation with GENERAL VICENTE LIM, his Division Commander in Bataan, organized a resistance group known as “AMBULONG UNIT” with the assistance of CAPTAIN AMADOR SUAREZ (Guerrilla) as his Executive Officer. Armed civilians volunteered to join the resistance movement.
DECEMBER 1942 –
[An] Underground campaign for membership was made by Major Narvaez and Captain Suarez. Collection of firearms was intensified, prohibiting the surrender of firearms by the civilians to the Japanese who were then active in the confiscation of firearms.
JANUARY TO MARCH 1943 –
The organization gained adherents and a complete battalion of three companies was fully organized although not fully armed. The unit had fifty Enfield rifles and three pistols cal. .45. The rest were armed with bolos and several paltiks.
Material support had been secured from prominent people of the town. Among them were ex-Governor Modesto Castillo, Don Delfin Fajardo, and Dna Josefa Pamplona.
Contacts were made with adjacent guerrilla units such as the Santo Tomas Unit, PQOG under Lieut Colonel TALATALA, Lieut Colonel LAUREL in the Pulo Island, and Lieut Colonel MEDRANA of the Marking’s Guerrillas. Contact with General LIM, who was then in the Cancer Institute, Philippine General Hospital, was maintained thru Major Narvaez.
APRIL TO MAY 1943 –
Training in guerrilla tactics, use of firearms, and intelligence work was given to the unit by Major Narvaez who was formerly an instructor in the General Service School, PA, Baguio, and one of the tactical officers of General LIM in Bataan. He was assisted by Captain Suarez.
JUNE TO JULY 1943 –
Intelligence and counter-propaganda work was intensified.
Captain Marcelo Olfato operated a secret radio shortwave in Tanauan, Batangas and relayed to the members of the unit the news of the successful Allied operations, thus keeping the morale of our men very high. He was later arrested by the Japs for this activity. Couriers were sent out to adjacent units. Sabotage work was started. Lines of communication between Tagaytay City and Talisay were cut, consequently cutting communications with Jap garrisons in eastern Batangas.
AUGUST 1943 –
Sometime in the middle of this month, the organization was known to the Japanese thru as spy from Laguna. He was known as Virrey. Our CP in Ambulong was raided. The Executive Officer was arrested [along with] all male inhabitants in the locality. They were concentrated in a small chapel where they were tortured. Captain Suarez was placed in flaming fire for the purpose of extracting from him the secret of the organization and the whereabouts of Major Narvaez. Scars could be found all over his body. Further zonification of neighboring localities was made. The father of Major Narvaez and all his brothers were arrested and kept in the garrison for one month.
SEPTEMBER TO OCTOBER 1943 –
The Commanding Officer continued the resistance movement. After a month, Captain Suarez was released. Because of the brutalities of the Japs, sympathizers of the organization increased. In the latter part of September 1943, Major Narvaez was arrested by the Japs in Manila while on his way to contact General Lim. He was later released thru the intervention of Assemblyman Jose B. Laurel, Jr. After release, he continued the resistance movement.
In the month of October, Major Narvaez was summoned by General Lim to Manila for the purpose of carrying out a mission within the general’s intelligence net. He designated Captain Suarez to be the Commanding Officer and he remained as Adviser and Intelligence Officer.
NOVEMBER TO DECEMBER 1943 –
During this period, organization and training were intensified. Unfit members were relieved by more qualified boys, upon instruction from Major Narvaez.
JANUARY TO SEPTEMBER 1944-
Activitues were limited to intelligence work and training for actual combat.
OCTOBER 1944 –
Sometime in this period, the unit was made a part of the PQOG under General VICENTE UMALI, and Captain Suarez was promoted to Major by the General, overall Commander of the “PRESIDENT QUEZON’S OWN GUERRILLAS.”
DECEMBER 1944 –
The unit was mobilized for active combat. The platoon under the command of Capt Fernando Suarez attacked the Jap detachment between Ambulong and Tranka. Several Japs were killed that the houses in the locality were burned by the Jap reinforcements. One Jap submachine gun cal. .30 and two rifles were captured. Civilians ran to the mountains.
JANUARY TO MARCH 1945 –
When the parachute troops of the 11th Airborne dropped on Tagaytay, Major Narvaez reported to the Guerrilla Headquarters under Major Schommers. He submitted overlay maps regarding enemy disposition, strength, and armaments in the areas of Talisay and Tanauan. He was appointed Intelligence Officer and attached to the Guerrilla Headquarters. He then sent alert orders to Major Suarez. (See attached supporting papers re appointment.)
MARCH TO MAY 1945 –
On March 7, when the 187th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne reached the area of Talisay-Tanauan, some elements of the Ambulong Unit under the command of Major Suarez were used as intelligence patrols and ambush units.
Two platoons of this unit participated with the 11th Airborne in the capture of Hill 660, the strongest enemy position in the area. It was captured after a week’s operations. The platoon under Captain Maiques was assigned with the Ambush Unit. On or about 14 March 1945, this unit ambushed two enemy trucks between Tanauan and Malvar. Both trucks were destroyed, ten Japs killed, captured one war flag, five rifles and several clothing and equipment. These things were all turned over to the Headquarters of the 187th Parachute Inf. Two of our men were wounded and one killed in this encounter.
When the 8th Cavalry took over the sector of the 187th Parachute inf, Major Narvaez was appointed by Lieut Colonel Connors, USA, as Intelligence Officer and Adviser on Guerrilla Activities and In-Charge of guerrilla replacements. (See attached supporting papers.) Sometime on 25 March, another encounter with the Japs between barrios Janopol and Balele
was made. More than fifty Japs were killed. We sustained four casualties, two Americans and two guerrillas were killed.
One platoon was attached to the 8th Cavalry, 1st. Cav Division. Said platoon was under Capt Maiques and operated with the US troops up to the latter part of May. Other units were stationed between Bañadero and Talisay to guard the rear of the 187th Parachute Infantry because the Japs were able to penetrate in the rear areas.
After the liberation of Tanauan and Malvar, Major Narvaez requested Lieut Colonel Connors that this unit maintain peace and order in the town of Tanauan, and a civil government was established.
[Sgd.] AMADOR SUAREZ
Notes and references:
“Ambulong Unit, 57th
Div, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-20, online at the United States National Archives.