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December 29, 2017

Mendoza's Appeal to the President for Assistance on Recognition, December 1946

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 letter sent by Mendoza to the Philippine President, Manuel Roxas, appealing for assistance in getting official recognition from the United States Army for members of his unit.

PRESIDENT QUEZON’S OWN GUERRILLAS
1st Bn. 38th Inf. Reg. 35th Div.

11 December 1946

HIS EXCELLENCY
THE PRESIDENT OF THE PHILIPPINES
Malacañan Palace, Manila

EXCELLENCY:

In your 18-point program, number ten (10), [it] says: “Support of claims for official recognition of those who served against the enemy,” and in compliance with this program, you sent a memorandum to the US President last September and made him acquainted with the plight of the Filipino veterans and the anomalies existing in the recognition of guerrillas.

In pointing out the anomalies, you disclosed to the US President that “there are many guerrilla units which served valiantly in the last war which are still unrecognized, and that there are allegations that some guerrillas who have been recognized, did not deserve it.” I know, Excellency, that you understand most our problem and situation.

Our organization, of which I am the Bn Commander, represent one division of 5,000 men more or less of the PQOG in Batangas known as the Lipa Unit of 1st Bn. 38th Inf. Reg. 35th Division under Brig. Gen. Esteban Mayo. Of these men, only 160 were granted recognition and this with two or three rank demotions. This means 3,840 men [are still] unrecognized. How can we create peace of mind in these people? How can we establish peace among them when they feel that while pseudo and fake guerrillas were recognized and walk our streets with pride, those who did fight and die were left behind brooding over their sad fate?

Excellency, the papers give news of ex-guerrillas being caught with the outlaws. May I say that we cannot blame them all? Some of them were driven there by their belief that after all, they had been forgotten.

I am, therefore, making this last appeal through your good office to please help us in getting the recognition of our unit. I was included in the recognized roster, I prepare to live and die with my men for we fought the enemy side by side, and we will die side by side, too.

Hoping to receive your kindest consideration, I am

Respectfully yours,

[Sgd.] LEODEGARIO MENDOZA

Present P.O. Address:
Baclaran, Parañaque, Rizal



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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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