Lt. George Bond's Report on the Orana Guerrilla Unit - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Lt. George Bond's Report on the Orana Guerrilla Unit

[TRANSCRIPTION]

The Orana Guerrrilla Unit was an independent guerrilla organization that was spawned and operated in the area of Barrio Durungao, San Luis, Batangas. It was commanded by one Jeremias Orana In this page is a transcription1 of the official investigative report filed on this outfit by one Lt. George R. Bond of the United States Army.
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CONFIDENTIAL

HEADQUARTERS
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3, Guerrilla Affairs Branch

APO 707
June 46

REPORT ON THE ORANA GUERRILLA UNIT

In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs Section, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant George R. Bond proceeded to Durungao, San Luis, Batangas to contact the “Orana Guerrilla Unit,” in order to determine whether or not this organization should be recognized by the United States Army. The following report is a summary of the investigation and basis for the recommendation.

HISTORY

On 30 December 1942, Jeremias Orana formed an independent guerrilla unit known as the “Orana Guerrilla Unit,” in the barrio of Durungao, San Luis, Batangas. The unit grew in size until the end of 1944, its membership had increased to 938 officers and men. The primary activities of this unit were the gathering of intelligence reports, protection of the civilian populace, and the boosting of morale. Upon the arrival of the 158 R.C.T., this unit acted as guides and assisted in the mopping up of the Japanese in Durungao, San Luis, Batangas. The unit has had two of its members recognized in the Triumvirate Guerrillas. The unit has never disbanded.

FINDINGS

The following named persons are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the bases of the findings:

1. Vicente A. Atienza – Major, executive officer of the subject unit.
2. Vicente Cabello – 1st Lt., S-2 of the subject unit.
3. Maximino A. Cornejo – Capt., Commander of the Hq Co of subject unit.
4. Felipe S. Cabello – Capt., commanding “B” Company of subject unit.
5. Catalino G. Aseron – Capt., commanding “C” Company of subject unit.
6. Guillermo Real – Capt., commanding Company “D” of the subject unit.
7. Alberto Gajol – Capt., medical officer of the subject unit.
8. Agripino Catapang – 2nd Lt. in subject unit.
9. Jesus Cabello – 2nd Lt. in the subject unit.
10. Martin Marasigan – Sgt. in the subject unit.
11. Jose Maulion – Pvt in the subject unit.
12. Marcelo Castro – 2nd Lt. in the subject unit.
13. Tereso Evangelista – Pvt in Subject Unit.

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14. Agipido Comia – Sgt. in the subject unit.
15. Mercadio Andal – Cpl in the subject unit.
16. Ireneo Valencia – Pvt in the subject unit.
17. Demetrio De Villa – S/Sgt in the subject unit.
18. Casimero Cebolino – Sgt. in the subject unit.
19. Elias Bonsol – Sgt. in the subject unit.
20. Julio Marasigan – 2nd Lt. in the subject unit.
21. Pedro B. Diokno – Civilian (formerly the Commanding Officer of the Triumvirate Guerrillas).
22. Roman Badillo – Civilian (formerly member of the Triumvirate Guerrillas).
23. Robert Huelgas – Civilian.
24. Luis Licopa – civilian (formerly commanding officer of the Licopa Unit).
25. Ignacio Ilagan – Civilian (formerly member of the Blue Eagle, Commanding Officer of the Canluran Regt).
26. Dr. Gregorio N. Noche – civilian (formerly regimental surgeon of the Vulcan Inf. Regt.).

Upon investigation of the Orana Guerrilla Unit, it was found that according to the various guerrilla units in Taal, Lemery, and San Luis, Batangas, they did not know of the existence of the subject unit. The same comments were made by Col. Marking, Adevoso, and Gellidon.

It was stated by the Commanding Officer of the Triumvirate Guerrillas that the subject unit did not exist until 1946. He stated that those campaigning for Tolentino, who was running for congressman in the first district of Batangas, made up the roster of the subject unit and told that people that they would place them on a roster and get them recognized if in turn they would vote for Tolentino.

It was also stated by the abovementioned commander that three casualties claimed by the subject unit were in his unit. He also stated that most of the members of the subject unit were merchants and farmers during the entire Japanese occupation. He stated that several of the men listed in the roster of the subject unit’s roster were his men. The facts were confirmed by a civilian who was not a member of any local guerrilla unit.

Upon investigation of the claims of the subject unit, it was found that all the equipment that they claimed to have captured from the Japanese were either captured by the American forces or left behind by the fleeing Japanese.

It was stated that the only military function that the unit had before the Americans landed was the gathering of intelligence reports, which were not forwarded but held until the arrival of the Americans. The unit has no written papers to support their claims. One officer stated that he went to Mindoro six times for the purpose of getting reports as to the coming of the Americans.

It was stated by the Executive Officer of the subject unit that the primary function of the unit was the protection of the civilian populace and the boosting of morale.

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The unit claims to have been attached to the 158 R.C.T., but there is not written evidence to support this claim. They claim to have guided the Americans to Durungao and acted as guides; also in combat with the Americans to mop up all Japanese stragglers in the area. From the facts stated, it appears that the unit did not fight with the Americans forces but did some on their own initiative.

The unit appears not to have been an effective military force before the Americans landed as the unit had only seven rifles and, after close inspection of said weapons, it appears that these were not combat serviceable.

It was stated that the unit had a medical detachment, although the unit had only one member wounded. It was stated by the medical officer of the unit that the women in the unit were only used as midwives for civilians and the families of guerrillas alike. It was stated by him that he treated guerrillas and civilians alike. The unit has five women for litter bearers, and the average age of the nurses and first-aiders was about sixteen.

Lack of confidence in their own organization was shown when the Executive Officer and the S-2 of the subject unit tried to bribe the investigating officer with a certain percentage of the pay they would receive if they were recognized.

POLITICAL ASPECT

According to reports that might be based [biased?], the unit was formed to bring about a political victory for Tolentino, who was running for Congressman in the first district of Batangas.

RECOMMENDATIONS

After careful consideration of the statements made by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that the Orana Guerrilla Unit be not favorably considered for recognition.

[Sgd.] GEORGE R. BOND
2nd Lt., Inf.,
0-1339838
Contact Team “l”

Notes and references:
1 “Orana Guerrilla Unit,” online at the United States National Archives.

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