Lt. Peter Betts' Investigative Report on the Pandita Area 6th MD Guerrilla Unit, May 1946 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Lt. Peter Betts' Investigative Report on the Pandita Area 6th MD Guerrilla Unit, May 1946 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Lt. Peter Betts' Investigative Report on the Pandita Area 6th MD Guerrilla Unit, May 1946


The Pandita Unit was a guerrilla organization organized in the town of Bauan, Batangas. It was supposedly affiliated with the 6th Military District under Col. Macario Peralta which was based in the island of Panay in the Visayas. Also affiliated with this district is the Lobo Unit, the documents of which are also posted in this web site. In this particular document1 is a transcription of an investigative report filed by one Lt. Peter Betts of the United States Army on the Pandita Area Guerrillas. This report would be used as the basis of the recognition or non-recognition of the guerrilla unit by the United States Army.

Guerrilla Files jpeg

[p. 1]

21 May 1946


In accordance with verbal instructions from Chief of Section Guerrilla Affairs, G-3, AFWESPAC, Lieutenant Peter R. Betts and Tirso Cura proceeded to Bauan, Batangas to contact [the] “Pandita Area DI 6th Military District,” 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.


In November 1943, Mr. Denny P. Flores was ordered by Col. Macario Peralta Jr. to form an intelligence unit in Bauan, Batangas. Previous to forming this unit, Denny Flores had worked individually as an agent for the 6th Military District. Flores organized a battalion in Bauan, but a separate battalion under Capt. Tomas Ilagan operating in Lobo, Batangas joined Denny Flores. Flores had another battalion under his command made up of Visayans, but they returned to Panay in Sept. 1944 and are not included in Flores’ roster. Flores’ regiment was called the “Pandita Area DI, 6th Military District,” composed of 1,300 men and possessing 300 weapons, many of these home-made. From Dec. 1943 until March 1944, this unit trained in camps located in the barrios of Bauan, the men being taught how to gather information and also how to fight. After this training was finished, the unit began operations. Tomas Ilagan’s battalion was stationed in Lobo, Batangas; the remainder of the unit was located in Bauan. Once a week, a platoon of men would go to some towns for two or three days gathering information. Men were sent to Lipa, Nasugbu, Cuenca, Batangas City, and Manila. After turning in the reports, the men went home till they were called for another assignment. Reports were turned in to Flores by his unit commanders and as he relayed them to Col. Jurado on Mindoro, who in turn relayed the same to Col. Peralta on Panay. This unit did no actual fighting with the Japanese.


The following persons were contacted by this team during the investigation:
  1. Denny P. Flores: CO, Pandita Area DI 6th Military District
  2. Tomas Ilagan: CO, 2nd Bn
  3. Vicente Conti: Regtl S-1
  4. Maynardo Farol: Regtl S-2
  5. Fausto P. Cotoy: Intelligence Section
  6. Domingo Cuevas: Intelligence Section
  7. Felicolo Sanchez: Company Commander, 2nd Bn “C” Co
  8. Noe A. Javier: Ex O, 1st Bn
  9. Dominador Amurao: Intelligence Unit
  10. Miguel Banta: CO, Medical Unit
  11. Celerino Aguila: S-2, 2nd Bn
  12. Ciriaco Solis: CO, “A” Co, 2nd Bn
  13. Pascuala Tolentino: First Aider, Medical Unit
  14. Tomas Bunao: Ex O, “B” Co, 2nd Bn
  15. Benjamin Ilagan: Intelligence Unit
  16. Nemesio de Mesa: Platoon Leader, “B” Co, 2nd Bn
  17. Vicente Ilagan: S-4, 2nd Bn
  18. Alberto Leynes: Ex-Mayor of Bauan

  19. [p. 2]

  20. Lt. Col. P. Serran: Peralta’s S-2 in Panay
  21. Lt. Col. F. Aranas: Peralta’s Adjutant
  22. Col. Manuel Dikit: Fil-Am Commander
  23. Col. Terry Adevoso: ROTC Commander

This unit was purely an intelligence organization. The above men have stated that no combat was held with the Japanese until the Americans arrived. These men worked only part-time. After finishing an assignment which covered two to three days, they returned to their homes. No records of morning reports were kept. A few messages were received from Lt. Col. Serran, but they only said to keep up the good work. Flores has no papers to substantiate his claim that he sent reports to Serran, except for one. Serran, when questioned about Flores’ unit, said he may have received reports but was not certain. All he could say in connection with this unit was that it existed. Lt. Col. Aranas could give no more information than Serran. Col. Terry Adevoso was asked about this unit and he did not know much and referred us to Capt. Medalla. Medalla said he knew of its existence, but that’s all. Col. Quentin Gellidon says the same. Flores submitted three rosters on the first battalion and none of these rosters are the same. Another battalion under Flores made up mainly of Visayans left this unit in Sept. 1944 to join Peralta in Panay. No reason was given for their leaving except that they wished to return to their own island. On one of Flores’ rosters, he has an intelligence unit of 46 officers and no enlisted men; a great excess of TO strength. A company was recognized for their attachment to the 382nd AAA AW BN, US ARMY. Other units of the “Pandita Area DI 6th Military District claim to have been with the 11th Airborne, but according to Tomas Ilagan, CO of [the] 2nd Bn, their main work was as labor battalion and guides. This unit did not help materially in the defeat of the enemy.


This unit appears to have no political aspirations.


After careful examination of the supporting papers and statements from men within the unit and outside sources, it is recommended that this unit be not favorably considered for recognition.

2nd Lt., Inf.
Contact Team 4

Notes and references:
1 “Pandita Area, Free Luzon Intelligence Echelon, 6th MD, [Folder 4],” online at the United States National Archives.
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