The President Quezon’s Own Guerrillas or PQOG was one of the large guerrilla organizations that operated in Southern Luzon during the Japanese occupation and into the liberation of Batangas. It had many affiliated outfits in Batangas, many of which filed for official recognition by the United States Army that they were elements of the Philippine Army in the service of the U.S. Armed forces during the liberation. Among these were Companies A, B, C and D of the 38th Regiment, 35th Division, I Corps of the PQOG. In this page is a transcription1 the official U.S. Army investigative report prepared by Lt. Victor Smolen on these companies’ request for official recognition.
UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES WESTERN PACIFIC
G-3, Guerrilla Affairs Branch
15 July 1946
Report on ” ‘A,’ ‘B,’ ‘C,’ and ‘D’ Company, 38th
Regiment, 35th Division, PQOG.”
In accordance with verbal instructions from the Chief of Section, Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Victor Smolen and Captain Cesar G. Fernando proceeded to Lipa, Batangas to contact “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D” Company, 38th Regiment, 35th Division, PQOG, 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 the basis for the recommendation.
The facts in this history were taken from the submitted written history and the verbal claim made by the different individuals contacted during the investigation.
It is claimed that during the month of February 1943, a guerrilla organization was formed in the town of Lipa, Batangas by Alodio Reyes and his cousin, Vivencio Reyes. This unit was organized by the remnants of the pre-war Volunteer Guard unit in order to become part a of [the] Hunters or ROTC Guerrillas of Manila. On joining the unit, Reyes and his men were promised arms, food, and clothing, for which in return, his unit, consisting of four companies, would fulfill the missions assigned to them by Hunters’ Headquarters. The inability of [the] Hunters unit to furnish the promised supplies resulted in the dissatisfaction and demoralization of the men of the Lipa Unit.
On 1 September 1944, after separating form the Hunters Unit, Reyes contacted Col. Esteban Mayo, CO of the 35th Division, PQOG. After several conferences between them. the Lipa unit, under the command of Alodio Reyes, became incorporated in the PQOG as “A, B, C and D Companies” of the 38th Regiment. The command of the regiment was given to Vicencio Reyes.
On 2 November 1944, Mayo, now Division Commander of the province of Batangas, issued an order to all his units to “lay-low” until the arrival of the American army. After this order was given, the subject units confined their activities mainly to the protection of the townspeople from the depredations of the Japanese.
Contact with the liberating forces was made in the latter part of March 1945. On 14 April 1945, the companies became attached to the 511th Airborne Division at which time they were used as guides and guards.
This unit was apparently disbanded in September 1945.
The following named persons are those interviewed by the contact team and their statements are the basis for the findings:
1. Alodio Reyes - Bn CO of the four subject companies
2. Vivencio Reyes - Regimental CO of the 38th Regiment PQOG
3. Faustino Lasat - CO of “B” Company
4. Moises Reyes - COof “C” Company
5. Emilio Laloma - CO of “D” Company
6. Leonardo A. Dimayuga - member of the subject units
7. Rustico Bravo - member of the subject units
8. Antonio A. Mantuano - member of the subject units
9. Crisanto Macarandang - member of the subject units
10. Gerardo Cabrera - member of the subject units
11. Vicente Enriequez - member of the subject untis
12. Domingo Cabello - member of ths subject units
13. Domingo Reyes - member of the subject units
14. Valerio Garcia - member of the subject units
15. Abundio Torre - member of the subject units
16. Esteban Mayo - Division Commander and also Mayor of the town of Lipa, Batangas
17. Vicente Umali - overall CO of the PQOG
18. Dr. Jose H Katigbak - local physician
19. Dr. Celemente Silva - local physician
20. Civilians from the town of Lipa, Batangas
On investigating the subject companies, composing a battalion, under the command of Alodio Reyes, it was found that when the unit was organized in 1943, its strength was approximately 120 men with only a slight increase in the size until the arrival of the Americans, at which time the unit expanded to 700. Before the arrival of the Americans, and during the liberation, the units, in comparison to their size, had very few arms. These consisted of 16 rifles and some ‘paltiks’ (home-made guns). Even though the unit had a large increase in size in 1945, and in spite of the weapons they had, the units did not function as a fighting combat unit.
The unit claims to have been attached to the 11th Airborne Division, but it was later admitted that during the period of attachment, their duties were as guards and guides. They also claim that an attachment paper was secured but that it had been given to Mayo, the whereabouts of which could not be determined.
Due to the fact that an order was issued by Esteban Mayo in 1944 telling all of his men to “lay-low,” Reyes admitted that the activities claimed by the companies took place during the liberation, for which no proof could be offered. Before this, the activities of the units were confined to protecting civilians. In order to do this, it was learned that most of the men lived at home.
Vicente Umali, overall commanding officer of the PQOG, was contacted and he stated that the strength of the 38th Regiment was “about” two companies and that the battalion under the command of Reyes could not have been the size claimed by him. He further stated that the activities of the units in Lipa before the arrival of the liberating forces were very few and that the men worthy of recognition were recognized under the two companies commanded by Mayo and that very few men, if any, were omitted from the Division roster submitted by him.
It is believed that the members of the unit worthy of recognition have previously been recognized.
This unit does not appear to have any political affiliations or aspirations.
After careful consideration of the statements made by the present members and an analysis of the documents presented, it is recommended that, with the exception of the men previously recognized, “A,” “B,” “C” and “D” Company, 38th Regiment, 35th Division, PQOG be not favorably considered for recognition.
[Sgd.] VICTOR SMOLEN
Notes and references:
2nd Lt., Inf.
Contact Team #5
“Co’s A, B, C, D, 38th
Inf Regt, 35th
Div, I Corps, PQOG,” File No. 271-14, online at the United States National Archives.