Factual Record of the Lipa Intelligence Group, Hunters-ROTC - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Factual Record of the Lipa Intelligence Group, Hunters-ROTC

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The Intelligence Group, 3rd Batallion, 49th Regiment, 47th Division is an affiliate of the Hunters-ROTC guerrilla organization commanded by Eleuterio Adevoso and one of the largest outfits that operated in Southern Luzon during the Japanese occupation and subsequent liberation. This intelligence group operated from the then-town of Lipa and was commanded by one Jose Alex Katigbak. In this page is a transcription1 of a short history of the intelligence group as submitted to the United States Army as an attachment to the group’s application for official recognition.
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F A C T U A L    R E C O R D
O F
LIPA INTELLIGENCE GROUP

Late in 1942

It became evident that Lipa would be a military center of the enemy in Luzon. Steps were taken by the enemy towards the construction of an airfield in Lipa. By all appearances, the airfield would be a large one. We saw an opportunity for service to our country and cause. We decided to collect information that might be valuable to our forces for their return to the Philippines. How we would send them to headquarters did not bother us then. We thought, somehow, there would be a way.

My brother’s house in the town was our headquarters. Three of us met here every day to tell one another what we heard and what we saw.

In 1943, the airfield began to take definiteness as to size and location. We talked with laborers who worked for the Japanese. What they told us, we pieced together and reconstructed the airfield in our imagination.

Fortunately, one of us, Arsenio Altamirano, a fourth year engineering school student, was offered a job in the airfield construction work. The Japs had heard of his training in building or construction work. The whole thing became interesting.

Doroteo Mendoza, an employee of the Japanese in mechanical work, had heard of our plan and he gladly joined us. Through him, we learned of Jap bodegas in and around the town. He told us what they contained and how much they contained.

We marked the places the Japanese occupied in our town and barrios. Arturo Carandang and Amado Olmos did this job. They knew the number of Japanese living in every quarter or camp in our territory. They also knew what the unit of each group was.

Jose Alex Katigbak did the job of discouraging Filipinos in this area from giving aid in any form to the Japs. He continually reminded them that to help the enemy is treachery to the country. Some believed us and stopped. But others, lured by money, went on with their traitorous business and ignored us altogether. But these men were marked.

We had a radio receiving set taken to our house in Lipa and all the way from Tiaong, Tayabas. We the aid of this set, we got news of

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what was going on beyond the Philippines. What we heard gave us an idea of how to evaluate the news we could gather locally. The news broadcasts from San Francisco, we wrote in longhand and sent copies of our “paper” to dependable persons in and around Lipa to keep their morale up. Or we just passed them on to others by word of mouth.

When the Hunters organized in Lipa, we attached our group to their chapter in our town. This was early in the second quarter of 1944. To the Hunters, we passed on our information for we believed they could sent them to headquarters.

Our forces were steadily approaching the Philippines, so we intensified our work. Our organization became active and more systematic in its activities. Each of the original group was given a rank and given an assignment, but our efforts and mind were still concentrated on one thing — intelligence work. We increased the number of our men and officers because bigger results were expected from us.

Now, we had road spotters, airplane observers, spies on the plans of the Jap Kempei Tai and the Makapili.

To the headquarters of the Hunters or ROTC guerrillas located high on the slopes of Pico de Loro, a mountain between Batangas and Cavite, we sent all the valuable information we had about the Japs in Lipa, Mataasnacahoy, Malvar, Tanauan, Sto. Tomas, and other neighboring towns, scaled maps of the landing field in Lipa and of the emergency landing fields in the barrio of Santo Toribio, Lipa, and in Malvar; scaled maps of Lipa indicating its streets and all buildings and areas occupied by the enemy; scaled maps of areas where the enemy was making preparations for meeting the American forces. We also sent to headquarters weekly reports of the daily activities of the enemy in the airfield, in the air and on land in general. We noted down especially the movement of munitions and guns, supplies, and men.

After the enemy had landed in Leyte in 1945, J Alex Katigbak and his assistant were ordered to proceed to headquarters to receive instructions on intelligence work. Major Andres Castillo and Major Manford gave us some helpful advice.

After the battle in Leyte was almost over, we doubled the number of road spotters on the Calamba-Lipa-Batangas road. Reports were

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sent to headquarters from three to four times a week.

Results of all American air raids on the enemy airfield were reported within 24 hours after each raid was made. All our reports followed strictly the instructions we received from headquarters from time to time.

Upon advice from Major Jay D. Vanderpool authorizing me to order evacuation of all military areas and all areas around bomb targets.

Several days after the landing in Lingayen, I received thirteen aerial photographs of our sector from Leyte with instructions that I identify all bomb targets in the picture. This was promptly complied with and the pictures returned within the next 24 hours.

The Japs began to massacre civilians so we had to leave the town and joined the guerrilla camp on Volcano Island in Taal Lake.

After the invasion of Batangas and the retaking of Lipa by the Americans, several of our group returned to town and helped the CIC unit of the U.S. Army apprehend and identify all those pro-Japanese elements in our country.

Notes and references:
1 “Intell Unit, 3rd Bn, 49th Regt, 47th Div, Hunters-ROTC,” file number 307-42, online at the United States National Archives.

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