Limjoco's Memo to the Secretary of Defense on the Delay of Reports, September 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Limjoco's Memo to the Secretary of Defense on the Delay of Reports, September 1945

The Joe Perez’s Forces of the Batangas Military Army, which claimed to have been affiliated with the guerrilla organization of Bernard Anderson, was formed by one Conrado T. Limjoco, who was also the supposed commander of the half of this guerrilla organization that operated in Batangas from Calaca to Nasugbu. The organization, which operated out of the town of Lian, would collectively fail to gain official recognition by the United States Army, but as was the case in many other guerrilla outfits, some of its individual members did obtain recognition. In this page is a transcription1 of memo sent by Limjoco to the Secretary of National Defense explaining the reasons for the delay in sending reports.
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USAFFE LUZON GUERRILLA FORCES
JOE PEREZ FORCES

17 September 1945

SUBJECT
TO
: DELAY IN SENDING REPORTS
: SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

1. These reports were delayed because (1) I was detained and illegally held for an extremely long period of time by one Gaudencio V. Vera, guerrilla leader in Bondoc Peninsula, Tayabas and (2) because of that, I suffered physically from its after-effect. (c) All my records and other papers had been transferred from one hand to another. My wife used to handle them but when the situation became too dangerous, she asked one of my men to keep them for her. She never knew what became of them afterwards. Some of them were lost, which was quite inevitable.

2. After the arrest, in March 20, 1944, of Domingo L. Bello, C.O. for [the] Batangas Military Area, and of Nicasio Mascenon, Executive Officer, I was left without any means of contact with Capt. Bernard L. Anderson. No courier arrived from the mountain for a long time. I had some very urgent problems which I wanted to bring to Capt. Anderson. The Japs were after me, too, in Manila and in Batangas. It was only thru the efforts of our operative, Miss Florentina Reyes, that I was able to contact Mr. Ed Bond and Mr. Patricio, Capt. Anderson’s D-Is in Manila (they are now with the CIC Technical Laboratory). Our secret meetings were held at the Philippine General Hospital in the room of Mrs. Ver (wife of Maj. Ver, U.S.A., retired). Mrs. Jake Rosenthal was also a witness to these secret meetings. We had to forego our secret tryst as the Japanese had posted a young and good-looking mestiza to spy on us. At one time, we were driven to meet in the office of Ed Bond on the 4th floor of the City Hall but we felt like sitting on top of a dynamite. The last meeting we had was in Intramuros. A few days after, on July 8, 1944, I accidentally met Maj. P. Cabrera, [a] member of the A.I.B.

3. Thru Martin Bose, [a] member of our guerrillas from Sorsogon who had been in hiding also, Maj. Cabrera contacted me on July 8, 1944. He wanted to send a man on a mission to either Maj. Charles Smith or Lt. Robert Stahl, both A.I.B. men. I refused at first, stating that I had a definite work with Capt. Anderson, whom I had been trying to contact. Assured by Cabrera that I could establish that contact, I assented. I was to ask for propaganda materials, to ask for batteries for [a] radio transmitter, (Cabrera’s transmitter did not work on account of battery trouble) to bring with me military information about the Japanese, and to ask for funds for Cabrera’s operating expenses. He added that he might have to quit if no fund was forthcoming. To give him moral support, I said, “Don’t feel that way.” Two letters were given to me: one “To Whom It May Concern” for any wandering guerrillas in the Bondoc Peninsula; another one addressed to the C.O. (Maj. Chas Smith or Lt. Robert Stahl). He gave me a guide, one Ambrosio Ominia, from Manila to [the] Bondoc Peninsula.

On August 30, 1944, my guide and I started on that trip again. I had to make an extra trip to Lian, Batangas to see my family who were in hiding, to accompany Cicerio Aban and Miss “Benny” Aban (son and daughter of Dr. Daniel Aban also hiding from the Japs), to get money from my wife for our expenses to [the] Bondoc Peninsula, and to give instructions to my men. On the night of the 2nd, Sept., I gave instructions to some of my men and told them I’d be back soon, and that they should keep close watch along the beaches for, to my estimation, Lian and Nasugbu were likely landing places for the Americans. On Sept. 4, we were in Lucena and met Dr. Teodoro Arquiza. On Sept. 9, we arrived in Mulanay and were met by “George” Herrera,

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an A.I.B. man under Lt. R. Stahl. In the same afternoon, I presented my credentials to Manzano, also A.I.B. in charge of their substation in Patabog. On the 13th, after my entry into the interior of [the] Bondoc Peninsula was okayed by Lt. Stahl via their transmitting station, I started for San Narciso, Tayabas. There, I met the first American, George, also, the Mayor Mendanilla. On the night of the 15th, I was brought before Lt. Robert Stahl in his station in Guinjalinan. I handed in my report on enemy information about Batangas and part of Manila. It was read in the presence of Chattam and Congca, escaped Americans who were working with Lt. Stahl. Now and then, questions were asked by them about the report, especially about [the] Lipa Airfield. I added that it seemed that the western part of Batangas was a likely place for landing as there were very few Japanese garrisons there. The Japanese were not so active. Nasugbu and Balayan were terminals on the good highway leading to Manila.

On Sept. 18, 1944, I was detained by Gaudencio V. Vera before I was to leave for Mulanay on the way back. Since then, I was held by Vera as a prisoner. I suffered from mental anguish, from malnutrition and disease. Over my head always hung the threat of torture and eventual execution for any person caught by them failed to return to their respective homes or destinations. There, I witnessed the most gruesome torture ever committed by men was far as my experience was concerned. The complete report about this matter is in the hand of 801st CIC, Lucena, Tayabas.

On June 21, 1944, I was released from Vera thru the kindness of the CIC, particularly Mr. Mason. I was cared for in Lucena with the CIC, being treated grandly and fed well while I stayed, making a complete report. The completed report, when shown to me by Mr. Peterson, bore the word “SECRET” stamped on the top and bottom of every page. Mr. Peterson said that the report would be sent to Washington, D.C.

For several days after I got back to Lian, I did nothing but try to recuperate from the after-effects of the harrowing experience I passed thru. My memory was impaired for I experienced frequent bothers from memory lapses. I still have to make a report on my guerrilla work in the Bicolandia. I find I’ve got to take a rest in order to refresh my mind again. That report will be made for the purpose of acquainting the proper officials with the work I also feel quite proud of. In the early occupation days, we dared a lot more at a time when we knew a lot less of guerrilla work.

[Sgd.] CONRADO T. LIMJOCO
(Joe Perez)
Lt. Col. Guerrilla
Commanding


Notes and references:

1 “Joe Perez Forces, Anderson’s Guerrillas,” File No. 101-15, online at the United States National Archives.

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