History and Activities of the Alcazar Battalion (Talisay) - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore History and Activities of the Alcazar Battalion (Talisay) - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

History and Activities of the Alcazar Battalion (Talisay)


The Alcazar Battalion was a guerrilla unit purportedly founded by one Emilio Alcazar in the town of Talisay, Batangas in March of 1942. It was supposedly initially affiliated with Marcos Agustin’s guerrilla outfit but, because of difficulties in communicating with the mother unit, it later became attached instead to the Hunters-ROTC. Communication with this other large organization, however, was also poor so that essentially, the Alcazar Battalion operated independently. In this page is a transcription1 of the supposed history and activities of the Alcazar Battalion as submitted to the United States Army.

Guerrilla Files

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Batangas Guerrilla Area
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History of the Organization

The 4th Battalion, 49th Regiment, Hunters or ROTC Guerrillas was formerly a Regimental Unit organized by me, Capt. Emilio A. Alcazar, Inf. U.S.A., Reserve, which had direct contact with Marking’s Guerrillas in the Sierra Madre Mountains, through the late Lt. Col. Dionisio T. Medrana, a Liaison Officer of the Marking’s Guerrilla Unit. This regiment was organized by me sometime in March 1942. The said organization had complete members and functioning smoothly in the northern part of the province of Batangas. Meetings were held secretly by officers twice a week in different remote places to avoid being spied by the enemy. Military drills and instructions were given twice a week to give the members some ideas and knowledge of the military rules and regulations.

The organization having been incorporated with the Marking’s, Col. Medrana and a companion, whose name is Alejandro Austria, a Major, often visited our Headquarters, delivering orders and information from the Marking’s Hqrs. During the last visit of Col. Medrana in the latter part of August 1942, he had in his party another man whose name was Narciso Viray, who showed his credentials as a captain and an inspector of the Marking’s Guerrillas. At first, I entertained some doubt as to the identity of Viray ans his connections, for it was the first time that I saw that man, but Col. Medrana assured me that the man was a genuine guerrilla. At the time this party arrived at our headquarters, I was issuing credentials to several officers and N.C.O.’s of my Regiment. About three hours after Col. Medrana and his party left our headquarters, more than 200 Japanese suddenly arrived and surrounded the whole town. They particularly guarded my house and when I peeped through a window, I saw a truck and a sedan car parked in front of my house. The sedan had three passengers and one of them was Narciso Viray. It was then that I realized that Viray was a spy. Without hesitation, I hurriedly picked up papers pertaining to my organization and burned them to prevent them from getting any evidence about our guerrilla organization in case they would search my house and myself. What I did with my records was that I think the best that could be done for, under the circumstances, there was no possibility for me to escape.

Fortunately, I had already burned all the papers when the three passengers of the car came up to my house looking for me. When they saw me, without hesitation Narciso Viray pointed me to the Japanese officers, saying that I was Lt. Col. Alcazar, the organizer of guerrillas in my locality. I was questioned by the officers but I didn’t answer any question. They searched me and my house, but despite the fact that they got no evidence, they arrested me and brought me to Barrio Ambulong, Tanauan, Batangas. There, I was severely punished for five days to secure from me a confession, but I was determined to die rather than divulge the identity of any member of my organization.

While in Ambulong, I was not given any food for five days. Later, they transferred me to Talisay, Batangas, my hometown and held me prisoner for twenty-four days, being tortured almost every day and given very little food. I was not given treatment for the wounds which were barbarously inflicted.

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upon me. I was often left unconscious. I had no more hope of being able to survive, but they probably got tired and later released me by letting me sign a sworn statement to the effect that in the future, I would not make any attempt to do anything against the Japanese. I was overjoyed after being released regardless of the statement I had signed for my temporary release because I realized that as long as I was alive, I still could do something for the emancipation of my country despite all discouraging threats by the Japanese.

I was transferred to my home in a hammock. While thus very sick, I temporarily lost contact with all members of my organization because I warned them not to visit me in my house so that the Japanese would not suspect that I still exercised control over the members of the ill-fated organization.

Activities under the Hunters
or ROTC Guerrillas

For a time, the organization was inactive, performing only intelligence work. As all the members of the organization cautiously carried out my instructions to be more careful not to let [the] Japanese and spies to detect anything about our secret activities, the rigors of Japanese operations within our sector gradually lessened. At this juncture, propaganda groups of the so-called HUNTERS or ROTC Guerrillas gained sufficient fame in the northern towns of Batangas, comprising Lipa, Malvar, Tanawan, Sto. Tomas and Talisay.

In the middle part of 1944, a resident of Talisay, whose name was Mario Solis, joined the ROTC Guerrillas. This man came to my headquarters one day and invited me to accompany him to Barrio Manalao, western border of Taal Lake, where the headquarters of the 49th Regiment, Hunters or ROTC Guerrillas, was being established. As he was known to me to be a confidential man, I gathered my staff composed of S-1, S-2, S-3 and the Liaison Officer, and proceeded to Manalao. We met Lt. Col. Jacinto del Pilar (alias), whose real name is Juanito Ferrer, and after matters concerning our organization and its operation were carefully discussed, we agreed that my organization would be incorporated to the 49th Regiment. Before we left the headquarters, I was instructed to submit my roster so as to be forwarded to the General Headquarters at Nasugbu, Batangas.

We returned to our headquarters and, in the following morning, I sent my roster, together with my credentials as instructed, and personally delivered by two staff officers. After two weeks, a messenger from the Regimental Hqs. handed me a message together with my credentials. [The] Contents of the message were no more than assurances that my roster was already delivered to the General Hqs. Since then, I placed my unit under the supreme authority of the 49th Regiment, ROTC.

As time passed, the intelligence personnel, together with the Battalion Commander, basically performed its functions, such as collection of information about the enemy, locations of friendly troops where messages of information could be sent quicker. During the early part of February 1945, there was a rumor that the Americans would land in Batangas, and because of this rumor, the Japanese increased their reinforcements in the whole province, especially in the northern region

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comprising Lipa, Malvar, Tanauan, Sto. Tomas and Talisay. The Regimental Hqs. of the 49th Reg. was very near Talisay and there was danger of Japanese raids so that it was transferred to Lemery, Batangas. Communication between this Battalion and the Regimental Headquarters was practically cut off. Under the circumstances, this organization had to act independently, immediate decision and action being necessary, especially because the Eleventh Airborne Division had landed at Tagaytay City.

Immediately upon arrival of the Eleventh Airborne Division at Tagaytay, I sent a message addressed to the CO American Force at Tagaytay which was delivered by a delegation headed by Captain Octavio Nicolas, S-1, 1st Lt. Isidro Cortez, S-4, 1st Lt. Pio Mercado, Liaison Officer, and several enlisted men. When the party returned home, they brought with them the following items: 1 trench mortar, 81 mm. with 18 rds. of ammunition; 1 carbine, cal. 30, with magazine and 100 rds. of ammunition; 1 box fragmentation hand grenades; 7 sticks of smoke grenade; a map of Tanauan sheet # 34531111; and some subsistence. As the Americans already occupied the western section of the Tagaytay Ridge, the Japanese on the other end busily strengthened their fortifications at the base of Mount Gonzales. From there, they established several relaying points linking Tagaytay, Talisay and Tanauan. They established combat and supply bases at sitio Calii, almost halfway between Tagaytay Ridge and Talisay. By personal reconnaissance, I located this point, plotted it on the overlay map of Tanauan sheet # 34531111. This information was delivered to CO American Force at Tagaytay and, after two hours, the place was effectively shelled which resulted in the heavy destruction of both personnel and supplies of the enemy.

Other activities of the members of this organization are as follows: On February 16, 1945, at Barrio Balolo [Balite?], Silang, Cavite, Capt. Pablo Ortilla and fellowmen attacked a certain number of Japanese and captured one who at the time was making personnel reconnaissance according to evidences found in his person. The Japanese was turned over the Hqs. of the Eleventh Airborne at Tagaytay that same date. It is believed this Japanese revealed some valuable information regarding their forces.

On 24 February 1945, in the jungle between Barrio Balolo and Sitio of Casila, Silang, Cavite, Captain Pablo Ortilla and three men under him, while on patrol duty, attacked and killed two Japanese reconnoitering patrol in their vicinity. Capt. Ortilla’s men buried the remains where they were killed.

On March 23, 1945, while I was making personal reconnaissance at Barrio Caloocan, 5 km. west of Talisay, I unexpectedly met one squad of American soldiers under the leadership of Dr. Threlkeld. Their mission was also reconnaissance At this barrio, we found [a] Japanese position and by surprise attack, we inflicted several casualties. I personally killed two. (See attached exhibit for facts.)

As already mentioned, this organization was a part of the 49th Regiment, ROTC Guerrillas, because of previous arrangements [I] had with that Regiment, so that I confidently believe that the connection of this Battalion with the superior unit was considered official. With this belief, I, as representative of this organization went to Camp Murphy some-

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time in the past to see as to whether the roster of the 49th Regiment with which my unit was considered a part, was already there. I found the roster in the Troop Movements Office, but unfortunately, the roster of the 4th Battalion was not included in this roster. As a well-disciplined officer, I am not making any complaints, but it would be an injustice not only to myself but to all members of my organization as a whole if it is not accorded the same recognition as the others. Citing Section 2, 109 Articles of War, last sentence: “Officers and men of all ranks and grades are given a certain independence in the execution of the task to which they are assigned and are expected to show initiative in meeting the different situations as they arise. Every individual from the highest commander to the lowest private must always remember that inaction and neglect of opportunities will warrant more severe censure than an error in the choice of the means.” Therefore, it is my solemn obligation as a leader to lead my men not only in danger and sacrifice, but at the same time, it is my sacred duty to look after their welfare so that moral courage, respect and confidence can be expected throughout the whole command.

I am, therefore, taking this step to request that our organization be given due recognition, if possible, as an independent unit, inasmuch as in fact, we had acted independently and dealt with the American Forces of Liberation directly in fighting the enemy. If given recognition, I propose to designate my unit as “Alcazar’s Own Battalion.”
Notes and references:
1 “The Alcazar Battalion,” online at the United States National Archives.
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