Reconsideration Report on the 2nd Regt Nasugbu FAIT - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Reconsideration Report on the 2nd Regt Nasugbu FAIT

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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 is a transcription of a reinvestigation report filed by one 2nd Lt. Raul Diaz de Rivera of the United States Army on the 2nd Regiment Nasugbu FAIT, after the latter had its initial application for recognition denied and then filed a request for reconsideration.
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Reconsideration Report on the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-Americans


1. RECAPITULATION

On 16 February 1947, Capt C. G. Fernando and 1st Lt Leon J. Sonders, Guerrilla Affairs Division, PHILRYCOM, investigated the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-American Irregular Troops, and recommended that the unit be not favorably considered for recognition (See Tab A).

Mr. Marcelo [Marcelino] Enriquez was informed of the unfavorable decision on 27 February 1947 (See Tab B).

Mr. Enriquez requested reconsideration of his unit on 7 May 1947 (See Tab C).

The request of Mr. Enriquez was accepted per letter this headquarters, dated 8 May 1947 (See Tab D).

On 2 October 1947, a letter, dated 27 August 1947, was received from Lt. Col. Jay D. Vanderpool, forwarding facts and certifying to the record of activities of the subject unit (See Tab E).

On 6 October 1947, 2nd Lt Raul Diaz de Rivera, upon orders of the Chief, Reconsideration Section, undertook the reconsideration of the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu FAIT. A field investigation was deemed unnecessary after a thorough perusal of the unit file and the submitted additional evidence.


2. FINDINGS

a. The Commanding Officer, in his letter requesting reconsideration, made the following claims:

(1) “The unit was maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy as far as it was humanly possible under the circumstances existing during the occupation…….. Our history, submitted evidence and additional documents enclosed here, support the fact of the unit’s continuous military campaigns against the enemy.”

Rebuttal:

None of the above documents submitted as additional evidence corroborate the above claim. Military correspondence submitted consisted of Vanderpool’s attack orders, letters of introduction, letter of instructions and commendations. These communications were despatched to every guerrilla unit in Batangas and Cavite Provinces, and do not concern any one unit in particular. Almost all of the guerrilla units in Batangas and Cavite Provinces possess these same communications and have presented them as evidence. A commendation allegedly given to the CO of the


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Fil-Americans by Vanderpool was submitted as additional evidence. However, this same commendation was given for the members of another FAIT unit who participated in the Los Baños operation, and does not mention any action on the part of the subject unit in the Batangas area.

Affidavits submitted attest to the activities of a few individuals and do not in any way establish any claim for recognition of the subject unit.

(2) “The unit gave vital intelligence reports to Col Vanderpool in Panagsagan Site, Nasugbu, pointing the Japanese pillboxes, hidden trenches, their arms and ammunition depots such that during the initial landing of the 11th Airborne Division on January 31, 1945, these Japanese strategic spots were blasted by U.S. bombers.”

Rebuttal:

If we were to give credence to the foregoing claims, this headquarters would have had to recognize almost every unit in Batangas Province. The Hunters HQG at Kutad, Nasugbu, was responsible for the accumulation of intelligence reports from various Hunters units in Luzon and other units in Southern Luzon, particularly Batangas and Cavite. The monthly intelligence report submitted by the Nasugbu Fil-Americans, including the 1st Regiment, was rated poor by Adevoso, CO, Hunters Guerrillas. The alleged participation of the unit in the mopping up operations in Batangas Province was not substantiated by any documents or any reliable statements of disinterested individuals.

(3) “It is true that some members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation, but the recognition we request is only for those who had rendered full-time services from their induction to the time they were discharged. The roster of this unit has been screened from a regiment to a battalion strength by Col Herbert Shaftoe, former Chief of the GAB, AFWESPAC, excluding therefore the part-time members.”

Rebuttal:

No record is found in the unit file regarding the alleged screening of the regiment to a battalion by Col Shaftoe. Statements of Cols David, Gellidon, and Adevoso, as found in the initial report of investigation, substantiate the belief of the undersigned that the unit was non-existent even on paper from 1942 through 1944. Pertinent points from the TLE of Capt Fernando and Lt Sonders support this contention:

“In the NFC file of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans, Enriquez submitted a roster of a company belonging to the Blocky Division, Western Batangas Forces, Fil-American. He signed himself at the time the Division Adjutant. All these assumed designations of Enriquez were all denied by M. David, Col T Magtangol, and Col Q. Gellidon. They all testified separately that M. Enriquez was never in command of a battalion or a regiment and there never was Division in the Nasugbu Fil-American command.


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…………… The denial of M. David, Col T. Magtangol, and Col Q. Gellidon about the existence of the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-Americans and the anomalies in the rosters of M. Enriquez’s command, indicates that the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-Americans, never had existed or, at best, was practically a non-existent organization.

b. It is interesting to note the part being played by Gellidon for the recognition of almost all FAIT units in Batangas Province. The undersigned investigated the Ibaan Regiment; GHQ, Batangas Force; and the Canlubang Unit, all FAIT units, and found that their supporting papers were identical except for a few. These same documents were typed on one typewriter and signed by Gellidon. The undersigned was informed confidentially by Lt Expedito Alix, recognized with the Nasugbu Fil-Americans, that Gellidon promised to work for their revision and additional recognition for a 15% “cut or take” of all money received.

c. Great importance is being attached to the letter of Lt. Col. J. D. Vanderpool. Pertinent points covered in the letter of Vanderpool are the following:

“This unit performed combat patrol duties for the 11th Airborne Division during the MIKE SIX operations as well as furnishing several hundred men to do longshore work at the landing beach.”

An analysis of the above statement brings out the fact that the subject unit was not official attached, but only performed “longshore work” in the Nasugbu area. Lt Col Vanderpool avoided verifying the number of men who were active in “combat patrol duties” but gave an approximation, although not specific, of the number engaged in longshore work. This labor status is also verified by the submitted affidavits of Lt Col Razon, Col Adevoso, and the written statement signed by Lt Col Joseph M Pensack, CO, CWS, 11th AIB Division, submitted by Enriquez to Capt Fernando during the initial investigation. The following are the remarks of Capt Fernando in the TLR regarding this statement of Lt Col Pensack (See Tab F):

“This certificate purports to show that the men of the Nasugbu Fil-Americans were used as labor crews in the unloading of supplies of the 11th AB troops.”

It is, therefore, concluded that the members of the unit were used as laborers, a service which does not warrant guerrilla recognition. These men were paid as laborers according to the commanding officer and stated in the TLR by Capt Fernando and Lt Sonders, to wit:

“The men, according to the unit commander, were carried as laborers in the payroll of the American using unit, however, some of the men did not get their pay while others got theirs.”


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3. POLITICAL ASPECTS

The political affiliations and aspirations of this unit are unknown.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS

The original decision of this headquarters, dated 27 February 1947, not favorably considering for recognition the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-American Troops, be sustained.

That no casualty claims be favorably considered. No casualty roster has been submitted.

That all individual non-casualty claims be withdrawn and be unfavorably considered.

That this report constitute the final action by this headquarters on the request for reconsideration of the 2nd Regiment, Nasugbu Fil-American Troops.

[Sgd.] RAUL DIAZ DE RIVERA
2nd Lt, FA

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

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