2nd Regt Nasugbu FAIT's Request for Reconsideration and the US Army’s Reply - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

2nd Regt Nasugbu FAIT's Request for Reconsideration and the US Army’s Reply

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The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a large guerrilla organization that operated in Luzon during the Japanese occupation. It was founded by the retired US Army Colonel Hugh Straughn. It had many affiliated units in many towns of Batangas, including two regiments in the western Batangas town of Nasugbu. The 2nd Regiment is the second of these. In this page1, 2nd Regiment Nasugbu FAIT’s Commanding Officer Marcelino T. Enriquez wrote to the United States Army to request for reconsideration after the unit’s initial application for official recognition was unfavorably considered. The United States Army’s response is also included.
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NASUGBU FIL-AMERICAN TROOPS
2ND REG’T HQ, NASUGBU, BATANGAS

March 23, 1947

Subject
TO
: RECONSIDERATION, REQUEST FOR
: Commanding Officer, PHILRYCOM
  APO 707, U. S. A.

On March 5, 1947, I and my staff officers received the letter of GAB PHILRYCOM informing us that our claim for recognition has not been favorably approved.

Acting on the common and earnest decision of my loyal staff officers and EM, I hereby strongly request for a reconsideration of our unit’s case fully trusting that a more detailed exposition of the facts will prove the justice of our demands. A blunt refusal of recognition to this particular group of guerrillas, who blindly fought for and with American soldiers against a vicious enemy in Nasugbu, Batangas, who contributed their share in precious blood, lives and limbs, will bring disheartening grief and frustrations, because as Filipinos who believed in America, known for her dignity, high sense of fair play and justice, these men will see that their valiant services has brought only disgrace for its own reward.

As our historical data presents: way back in January 1942, before the surrender of Bataan and Corregidor, this particular guerrilla unit operated against the Japanese invading forces. Pertinent proofs to this vital fact are the signed testimonies of famous USAFFE officers as Major Jose P. Rueda and Col. Jose Razon, who were sent by Gen. MacArthur to Looc, Nasugbu, Batangas to fight the enemy. We helped these USAFFE officers in G-2 and G-4 activities for guerrillas could easily mix with the enemy without being apprehended. In addition are signed affidavits of leading guerrilla commanders as Col. Manuel T. Dikit, CO Straughn’s Fil-Americans, and Col. Salvador Rillo, CO Rillo-Neri Unit. The 11th Airborne Division, U.S.A. landed in our area of operation, Nasugbu, Batangas on January 31, 1945. Before the landing operations, SWPA Hq sent Maj. Jay D. Vanderpool to Kutad Cove and Panagsagan barrios of Nasugbu, Batangas. This American officer operated with the cooperation and coordination of guerrilla units and he was working under the protection of the Hunters ROTC under Terry Magtangol Adevoso. The Nasugbu FAIT 2nd Regiment was one of the units receiving SWPA communications thru Maj. Jay D. Vanderpool and this fact could be proven by the signed certificate of Col. Terry Magtangol, CO Hunters ROTC. Several times, I was there in Maj. Vanderpool’s Hq (Panagsagan site) and was present when he gave the final SABOTAGE and ATTACK order. Col. Terry Magtangol Adevoso could attest to this fact. After the landing operation of the 11th Airborne Division in Nasugbu, Batangas, we were immediately attached as a fighting unit serving in combat and patrol duties, in helping the hauling of the tremendous supplies and in the hot mopping [up] of the enemy.

Sir, I have the original papers to prove my statements and am willing to have Col. Terry Magtangol Adevoso and Col. Quintin Gellidon to give their personal views on our sacrifices with them.

In requesting for an immediate reconsideration of our unit’s case, we therefore pray and hope that the following will be done in order to bring out justice to these loyal boys who had and will always believe and fight for the ideals of America.

1. That we will be given a reinvestigation and contact which ought to be detailed and thorough.

2. That during the chairmanship of Col. Herbert Shaftoe of the Guerrilla Affairs Branch, AFWESPAC, I and all my staff officers were contacted and interviewed personally by him and his assistants in his office. After a rigid investigation, he decided to “squeeze” our regiment to a battalion strength and gave us an AFWESPAC Bn. T/O.


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Despite the drastic elimination of a number of our men, we obeyed army orders and accomplished that Bn. T/O by filling it with the required 850 officers and EM. Sir, that is the reason why you will note in our file of pertinent papers there, we have two rosters, a regimental and an AFWESPAC Bn. roster. We acceded and faithfully agreed with Col. H. Shaftoe, Chief of the GAB, AFWESPAC to that drastic reduction of our regiment with the ultimate understanding that we would be recognized and processed. To our amazement, this understanding has not been carried out. Again, we were contacted last Feb. 6, 1947. The new decision of non-favorable approval of our claim was the height of misunderstanding and injustice and we earnestly request that our case be reviewed in light of past agreements and unassailable testimonies of ranking USAFFE officers and leading guerrilla CO’s who were with us in engaging the enemy during the Japanese regime.

3. That there was an apparent inefficiency and negligence on the part of the investigating officer assigned to our unit, and this inefficiency led to our non-approval of recognition. This inefficiency is pernicious and destructive because these Filipino guerrillas of the Fil-American Group 2nd Regiment suffered the feelings, of mistrust, doubt and suspicion towards American friends. As their CO, these elemental and human outbursts of apathy and misunderstanding were justified, but I know that the assigned contacting officer, Capt. Fernando, caused all this unfortunate incident. I have discovered that the investigation of important guerrilla CO’s of different units was not done and checking was confined to less important guerrilla officers who could not be authoritative over our case. Majority of the USAFFE officers as Maj. Jose P. Rueda, CIS, MPC, and Col. Jose Razon were not contacted. In some isolated instances, some guerrilla chieftains, not CO’s, were asked about our status and for reasons of invoking the sovereignty of their respective units gave half-truths and misleading information. The above analysis gives the evident conclusion that the assigned contacting officer was not doing his duty well and, therefore, his findings are as damaging as to throw out to the streets even the most bona fide and deserving guerrillas whose very sector of operation, Nasugbu, Batangas, was the center and beehive of inter-guerrilla and SWPA activities and the historical site of the landings of the 11th Airborne Division, U.S.A. on 31 January 1945. Who could speak more with unquestionable authority and [an] unbiased mind that Col. Terry Magtangol Adevoso, CO Hunters ROTC, Col. Quentin Gellidon, who in March, 1945 was with Maj. Barton, Guerrilla Coordinator, U.S.A., Col. Monfort, Col. Rillo, CO, Rillo-Neri Unit. These guerrilla commanders operated in [the] South Western Batangas Sector and they are the people to be contacted. They were not contacted and checked out about my unit and which unpardonable negligence was causative of ill-decisions.

For all of these, I request reinvestigation to right something wrong and give justice where it is due.

Sir, in order that due justice be given to these loyal followers of this respective unit who are unlettered to technicalities but fought heart and soul in the countryside against a common enemy, the enemy who brought havoc, fear and destruction to them – as their commanding officer, I appeal and strongly request for their reconsideration so that the feelings of amity, love and understanding that has existed among us Filipinos and Americans may not be impaired.

Very respectfully,

[Sgd.] MARCELINO T. ENRIQUEZ
COL. CO INFANTRY
FAIT 2ND REG’T


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HEADQUARTERS
PHILIPPINES-RYUKYUS COMMAND
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL

GSCPU 091 PI APO 707
8 MAY 1947

Mr. Marcelino T. Enriquez
Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops
Nasugbu, Batangas
Philippines

Dear Mr. Enriquez:

This will acknowledge receipt of your letter, dated 23 March 1947, in which you request reconsideration of the unfavorable decision rendered by this headquarters on 27 February 1947 with regard to the recognition of the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops.

It is the desire of this headquarters to avoid all appearance of arbitrary decisions in the case of claimant guerrilla units. Your request for reconsideration is, therefore, accepted. It must be emphasized, however, that it would be extremely helpful if you were to forward as quickly as possible such additional pertinent documentary evidence as has not been submitted previously and which, you feel, reflects favorably upon your claim. These additional data should be original documents, or photostatic copies of original documents, certified by United States Army officers of field grade on duty with the Guerrilla Affairs Division, G-3 Section, of this headquarters.

Your request for reconsideration will be placed on file in this headquarters to await appropriate action at the earliest practicable time. However, a considerable delay is to be expected before a final decision can be rendered on your organization since many claimant guerrilla units must necessarily follow them.

Sincerely,

THOMAS J BROWN
CWO, USA
Asst Adj Gen


Col Gerald F Lillard:

Basic, ltr from Marcelino T. Enriquez, to CG, PHILRYCOM, dtd 23 March 47, “Recognition and Reconsideration request for,” requesting reconsideration of the 2nd Regt, Nasugbu Fil-American Troops.


1st Lt George E. Kemper

Concur: Lt Col S J Palos
Chief, Unit Branch

Notes and references:
1 “2nd Regiment, Nasugbu FAIT,” File No. 110-51, online at PVAO.

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