Dominador Encarnado's Letter to Lt. Aubuchon, US Army Guerrilla Affairs Branch - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Dominador Encarnado's Letter to Lt. Aubuchon, US Army Guerrilla Affairs Branch - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Dominador Encarnado's Letter to Lt. Aubuchon, US Army Guerrilla Affairs Branch


The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT was a large guerrilla organization founded by the retired United States Army Colonel Hugh Straughn and had many affiliate units in Southern Luzon, including Batangas. The 6th Infantry Regiment, McKinley Division, which operated in the town of Lemery, was one of these. In this page is a transcription1 of communications sent by Dominador Encarnado of the 6th Infantry Regiment, McKinley Division to the U.S. Army’s Guerrilla Affairs Branch requesting for reconsideration of his unit after its application was not favorably considered.

Guerrilla Files jpeg

[p. 1]

29 July 1946
Lemery, Batangas

Guerrilla Affairs Branch
M a n i l a

Dear Lt. Aubuchon:

A week ago, I received a letter from the office of the Commanding General turning down the recognition of the 6th Inf. Fil-American Irregular Troops, McKinley Division. I am quoting the reasons advanced by the Commanding General’s Office for turning down the recognition of this unit and my answers thereto or explanations which were not sufficiently brought out during the contact of this unit. I request, therefore, that the recognition of this unit be reconsidered:

a. “The unit was not maintained satisfactorily in the field in opposition to the enemy.”
(1) This was only true in 1942 when the unit was preoccupied with its organization, recruiting of men and procurement of arms and ammunition;

(2) Even when possessed with some modern arms supplied by Maj. Phillips from Mindoro, the guerrillas were under orders to lie low, conserve their strength and to wait for the right time, i.e. when the American forces arrive;

(3) The Japs themselves seldom left the towns because of fear of ambushes by the guerrillas in remote places;

(4) The guerrillas were under orders not to kill Japs in towns, to obviate Jap reprisals upon the Filipino civilians. In the latter part of 1944, there was an upsurge in guerrilla activities throughout the Philippines because the American forces were nearing the Philippines. The Japs retaliated by killing 100 Filipino civilians for every one Jap killed, and there were even instances when they exceeded this proportion.

Even with all these orders and conditions, my unit resorted to espionage and sabotage work, skirmishes and ambushes characteristic of guerrillas. A case in point was that of Demetrio Villanueva, a corporal of this unit, who killed two Jap guards at the Lemery-Taal Bridge on the night of 5 June 1943, with bayonet thrusts of the Jap rifle which he wrested from one of the guards on the said bridge. Villanueva paid with his life by voluntarily surrendering – and saved the town from being burned and the civies from possible slaughter. Such heroism is hard to find in the annals of guerrilla warfare.

b. “Activities of the unit did not contribute materially to the eventual defeat of the enemy.”
(1) In the resume of the unit’s activities were:

a. Sabotaged cotton plantations, machine shops, shipyard, destroyed bridges, cut telephone wires, spied on Jap troop, plane and ship movements;
b. Killed Japs in skirmishes and ambushes:

1. Two Japs killed at Lemery Bridge, 5 June ’43.
2. Sixteen Japs killed in jungle of Mt. Halcon by my men posing as guides - August, 1943.
3. Six Japs killed during encounter along bridge of Km 25 Naujan Road, September 1943.
4. Twenty Japs killed in encounter in 1944 near Baco.
5. Two Japs killed in Nazareto shipyard on 12 January 1945.

[p. 2]

c. Unit participated with the 158th and 11th Airborne U.S. Army, in the following places:

Wawa, Nasugbu, Mt. Batulao, Payapa, Calaca, Mabini, Cuenca, Alitagtag, Mt. Makulot, and Mt. Durungao, Batangas.

To deny that this unit has materially contributed to the eventual defeat of the enemy is to say that the Fil-American forces which offered delaying tactics in Bataan and Corregidor to stave off [the] Jap invasion of Australia has not materially contributed to the eventual defeat of the enemy because they surrendered as early as 1942.

c. “Performance of the unit did not indicate adequate control by its leaders, because the desertion of personnel to join other units.”
(1) The transfer of some of the personnel to another unit occurred in March 1946 when the Blue Eagle was processed. They were no longer under strict military discipline because they were already disbanded, occupying civilian occupations. Unknown to themselves and to me, they were incorporated into the roster of the Blue Eagle... and who would blame them if they succumbed to the temptation? To get something that rightfully belonged to them by promise and by deed? Why, then, penalize those who remain loyal to the 6th Inf. Fil-American unit? Are not those who desert worthy of military discipline and punishment? Not that I want them to be punished militarily or otherwise, for they got what was due them, even if they had to get it thru other units. As things now stand, those who remain loyal are being penalized, left “holding the bag,” while the “opportunists” are allowed as such.

d. “Unit did not show satisfactory continuity of activities and organization.”

(1) The organization was never at any time during the occupation discontinued. When one of the unit’s organizers transferred to the Kanluran Combat Unit, it was in 1943 and he left the leadership to me. To avoid any charge of nepotism from the men, he had to transfer to another unit, because we did not want the men to say that he and I, being brothers-in-law, wanted to occupy the two highest positions of the same unit.

(2) The activity of this unit was continuous up to the time of the liberation. Some of the officers were captured during the occupation because of their guerrilla activities, but the organization continued as it was during the occupation, as none were considered expendables.

e. “Members of the unit did not devote their entire effort to military activities in the field to the exclusion of normal civilian occupation and family obligations.”
(1) Members of the unit who were in towns from time to time were expressly sent there for espionage and sabotage work. The best saboteurs and spies are those who work inside the enemy lines.

(2) Family obligations during the occupation were limited to seeing the families for espionage and sabotage work, for wives and sisters and mothers were passive guerrillas themselves.

(3) Espionage and intelligence work in the towns also served to preclude Jap suspicion on the absence of so many menfolk from the towns.

[p. 3]

f. “Record of service was not substantiated by sufficient acceptable evidence.”
(1) Those men of my unit who joined the Blue Eagle in March 1946, stated in their processing papers that they were formerly of the 6th Inf. Fil-American unit. I suppose these papers have become official documents. At the same time, this proves of my unit’s organization and activities, if nothing else;

(2) Record of service during the occupation was verbal for obvious reasons: mere possession of record of guerrilla activities and organization would mean death if caught by the enemy;

(3) When my men joined the 158th Division, U.S. Army, on 6 March 1945, they were not given any papers by the American officer concerned, for the officer thought that all guerrillas who joined the American forces belonged to the same guerrilla unit; he did not conceive of two or more guerrilla units operating in the same locality;

Personally, I did not bother about attachment papers for the time demanded action. I believed and still do that genuine guerrillas would be automatically recognized. Do not somebody say so over the radio heard from time to time during the occupation? Certainly, it did not come from Tokyo.

In view of the foregoing, I respectfully request that this unit be reconsidered for recognition for the sake of justice and equity, for the sake of those men who really sacrificed and fought to win a war for justice and equality. To let them down, to fail them now after they had given everything for their faith, loyalty and belief in democracy, is an injustice which they thought had vanquished in the last war.

Very respectfully yours,


Notes and references:
1 “6th Infantry Regt, McKinley Division, FAIT,” File No. 275-13, online at the United States National Archives.
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