Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans Fight 4 Equity

Ordeal in War's Hell by Col Quesada
Filing of FVEC Claims thru the VA
Advocacy for FVEC
FVEC, Equity or Not Equity?
Ongoing Lobby post FVEC
Filvets Excluded from "Missouri List"
Sgt Realuyo: Bury Me @ Arlington
FVEC in the Media
H.R. 1 & S. 366
Lobby for S.366
H.R. 2638
Other Bills Enacted to Law
Pending Bills
Legislation GRAVEYARD
H.R. 6897
S. 1315 & S.A. 4572
S. 1315: the Democrats & the Republicans
The American Legion & Other Oppositionists
Senate & House Honoring Filvets
Legislative Reports
Legislative Testimonies
Supporters 4 Filvets
In Their Own Words
PhilAm Organizations & Activists
Immigration & Nationality Act
Hibi & Other Court Cases
Gregorio Rivera's Citizenship
Rescission Acts of 1946
U.S. Presidents & the Filvets
A Plea for U.S. Apology
Philippine Presidents & the Filvets
Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans Name List A-Z
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2002
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2003
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2004
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2005-2007
Ordeal in War's Hell by Col Quesada
Freedom @ Dawn by Col Quesada
Col Frank Quesada, RIP


Pursuant to Title 17 U.S.C. 107, other copyrighted work is provided for educational purposes, research, critical comment, or debate without profit or payment. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner



By Col. Frank B. Quesada USA Ret.
Antecedents Before World War II In the Philippines

War is hell - someone said, and it surely was everywhere it reaches. And no one can vividly relate the tolls, ravages and its uselessness - than the soldier who was in combat, not to leave out the non-combatants [civilians ] as martyrs of holocausts accidentally involved in the process.

The loyal soldier follows order, right or wrong:

" They died unquestionably, uncomplaining, with faith, in their hearts, and on their lips the hope that they would go on towards victory. They have gone beyond the mists that blinds us, and become part of the beautiful thing we call the spirit of the unknown soldier

" It chambered temples of silence the dust of their dauntless valor sleeps, waiting, waiting in the Chancery of Heaven the final reckoning of Judgment Day.

"Only those are fit to live who are not afraid to die." [ Douglas MacArthur ].

However, there are those who viewed war was un-necessary, according to Winston Churchill [ as in the case of World War II ] along with experienced and conversant top military career brass like: Lt. George E. Stretemayer (USAF Ret.), Lt. Gen. Edward M. Almond (USA Ret), Vice Admiral T.G. Settle (USN Ret.),Lt. Gen. Paul P.A. Del Valle (USMC Ret.) and Col .John Beaty (USA Ret.) -and many more - all of them agreed and said:

"In view of the legacy of deaths. economic debts, and precarious rushness, what Churchill said is somewhat an understatement."

Pres. F. Roosevelt’s Caprice

In the United States - shortly before World War II was declared, in 1940 he was feverishly and secretly preparing for war, but publicly denying any such purpose according to Col. John Beaty, U.S Army Military Intelligence Service Department General Staff.

Beaty has been privy to daily secret "G-2 Reports" that flowed to the White House. He had access to strategic informations - which he now exposed to the world, in the cause of for peace and equitableness.

First-Hand Information

I also vividly remember, that it was not only Col. Beaty who knew of such informations, but also my wartime best buddy, the then, Capt. Max Delano Maule, cousin of Pres.F. Roosevelt, who intimated to me how America got into World War II. History also records events which freedom-loving and peaceful citizens of the world relied on, however, which may appear rather licit.

In order to comprehend the realities of World War II, the book, "The Iron Curtain Over America," written by Col. John Beaty, records the veritable realities that involved the allies, and protectorates of the United States in a war not inherently their own, ( i.e. the Philippines and other nations).

Other books like "Japan At War" by Theodore and Haruko Cook, and Edwin Hoyt confirmed said realities.

Was World War II Preventable ?

Certainly - yes, it could have. And could have been averted, but not with the wager of Pres. F. D. Roosevelt, his collaborators and hangers-on around him the White House, some of which were tagged as ethnic "Red Communists" by military intelligence, and those who had the president’s ear and had influence over some of his decisions.

At that juncture, as matter of fact, "Adolf Hitler, was merely concerned with Germany’s domestic crisis,, thus have a sincere effort to improve relations with the United States, only to be rebuffed by Roosevelt himself.

"The United States government’s alleged reason was ‘fear of domestic political reactions."

This fact was not known to American taxpayers.[ See Iron Curtain Over America, phar. 3, pp 65].

History of Wars and Conflicts

Since the Fall of the roman Empire, [ the West ] in 476 A.D., the principal weakness of Europe was lacking in unity among nations. Charlemagne, the Crown Emperor of Rome - gave Roman-Europeans much-needed unity that extended as far as Jerusalem,. which secured protection of Christian pilgrims associated with the birth of the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

However, Europe was again divided after Charlemagne’s death. Europe was fragmented into three segments: From two of these three [ France and Germany]derived historical boundaries, then a millennia of wars were fought largely to change them.

A Concocted War

And World War I was allegedly concocted by ethnic groups that held gold and influence over governments with an objective of making more money out of wars at the expense of human lives and economies of small nations.

Even up to the present, there are groups reported waging wars and creating monetary inflation that off-balance national economies. An insidious form of subtle domination - under limited wars and induced subtle conflicts.

Arrogance of the Strong, and Weakness of the Weak

It is not necessary, however, to name who these puissant group or trenchant groups are - for they are public knowledge. War has become a two-faced profitable commercial undertaking by colonial powers, at the expense of small and weak nations. The essential ingredient of friendship, mutual security and respect has been overshadowed by the arrogance of the strong or the insolence of the weak. And the lust for gold and turf for profit through abuse.

The true and honest recognition of genuine interest of each nation gets lost amidst the greed and over-riding shoals of conflicting national interests. Big powers have been indifferent to the siren voices of the small nations which urge big powers to share their political and economic benefits flowing from exploitation of the weak.

The Pre-War German Crisis

Political and economic crisis prevailed in Europe since World War I and II [ a creation of restive ethnic gold and money hoarders and slippery schemers in the corridors of power.

Hitler under fire from his people had to declare an anti-communist policy of "Germany for the Germans."

At that juncture in the U.S., the Roosevelt Administration under the influence of avid kibitzers in the White House, close to the European ethnic money hoarders and war-mongers, blocked Germany’s efforts for peace by withdrawing the U.S.. ambassador from Berlin, thus preventing future negotiations for peace.

This recall was not published in the U.S. when Germany made her appeal, however, was ferreted out later by the U.S House Committee on Un-American Activies in Congress, [after World War II] and by that fact described as so "criminally" suppressed.

The American people were unfairly kept in the dark for so long by Roosevelt which have created so much dubiety and discredit to his administration - which up to this time is being closely scrutinized by historians world-over if only to establish God’s truth.

U.S War Against Germany

Germany’s state economy strangled [ like that of Japan ] by a boy-cott hatched up in New York [ not in Washington D.C. ] was denied conference, therefore, Germany faced no alternatives. Hitler had to result to desperate measures, [ like that in Japan ], and therefore Hitler had advertised to the world the phrase "Guns Instead of Butter."

Roosevelt personally stung by this, considered it as a personal insult, fuelled by his faithful kibitzers at the White House, was maddened by such contemptuous rejection of diplomatic solutions - turned around and made a deal with the Soviet Union against Poland that was most feared and unacceptable to Germany. It was viewed as a damnatory betrayal against Germany.

Roosevelt’s Own Secret Policy

"The war resulted from F. D. Roosevelt’s own policy is well remembered especially by those American families whose sons lie beneath white crosses at home and abroad." said Beaty.

And I may add - that this is the same grief and feeling of Filipino families whose sons were sacrificed in the blood-soaked battlefield of Bataan ,Corregidor and other fronts in World War II [ 1941 to 1946] as wretched pawns In America’s own war against Japan that involved Filipinos.

Cold Fact and Reality

As matter of fact, the U.S. Supreme Court in several Insular cases - stated that, to wit:

"The Philippines was not a foreign territory within the meaning of the Constitution. and the Commonwealth of the Philippines was under the sovereignty of the United States. The United State legally involved the Philippines in a war against Japan, likewise dictated the political and military strategy of the conflict."

Roosevelt Conscripted Filipinos

When Roosevelt issued that un-numbered Military Order of July 26, 1941, conscripting all organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and incorporated it into the United Sates Army forces in the Far East [ USAFFE], such active and honorable military service commenced such legitimate military service - as any member of the Unites States Army, especially after The Filipinos were made to take the oath of allegiance to the United States and the flag.

And they were subject to the Articles of War - with provisions subjecting them to punishment of death. Let there be no mistakes about this.

Honorable Military Service - not Free

Roosevelt did not give them a one-day ticket to a nodding picnic - for Filipinos to shed blood, and put their lives on the line for America. Filipinos were not drafted into the U.S. Army to perform "involuntary servitude" or as a despicable infra dignitatim [ knavish serf.] Even lowly black Americans were at least accorded full compensation in the armed forces, albeit the 66,000 nationals of 16 national allies who also fought for the U.S. flag who were white. [ Europeans, etc ] So - why single out Filipinos because they were servicemen of color? Why the critical perception?

History so Cruel and Unjust.

This war and history was never so cruel to them - s they were made to die each day for 60 years [ half a millennium ] with what appears as bad graces under the amorphous white man’s burden of culpable anorexia.

Their struggle for fairness and have been allowed to reach the apex of their endless endeavor for justice since 1942 - to no avail. While most of them die each day bald and naked of their benefits after performing honorable and active military service to the U.S. flag that dastardly turned it back against them after the guns of war have \became silent, and when the favorite American past-time of critical perception was again in fashion.

Gratuitously Equal But Disparate

Let there be no mistakes, nor any double talk and deceit about this. They wore the same uniform, were issued the same rifles, were led by American officers, were subject to the United States Article of War that carried death sentence for violation of its provisions. They fought just one enemy [ the Japanese Imperial Forces] but had an indomitale enemy from within ]

They were unequivocal U.S. servicemen [ of color ] - equal to any member of the U.S. Armed forces, but the enlisted men’s pay and wartime benefit were only one-half [ ˝ ] rate than that of the white American pay. Is the life of the brave Filipino soldier worth fifty cents [$0.50 for each U.S. dollar paid to the white servicemen?

Where is the famous American square deal, fairness and the scale of justice? For 60 years of skittish, spiritless and recusant posture in Congress - from the reported number of 300,000 patriotic Filipinos that laid down their lives for Uncle Sam in 1941-46, until this time of writing [ the year 2001 ] there are only approximately 60,000 of them left as miserable survivors under a despicable act of evasion, under the notorious Yankee game of barefaced attrition

Yankee Shell Game and Of Attrition

Longer procrastination and delay of recognition and payment of U.S constitutional obligation to these aging and sickly heroes of Bataan. Corregisdor and other fronts in the Pacific War [ 1941-1946] - of course incur savings of million of U.S. dollars for the U.S. Congress at their disposal for their own use in a politics of extravagance, waste, an depletion of the tax dollars intended for good government.

Inequity By Reason of Race ?

The whole world can not comprehend the American fatuous arithmetic in such particular case. All the proudly soi disant [ pretentious ] gentily and attributes of members of Congress in the 79th Congress was lost - when it unjustly and invidiously took away all wartime benefits of Filipino -American wartime-earned benefits under the GI Bill of Rights in a dastardly inserted "rider" in the First Supplementary Appropiation Rescission Act of 1946 ]

Half Millenia of Double Talk

Up until now, 60 years of acts of evasion and double-talk, these ex-U.S,. Army servicemen have been stripped of their rightful wartime benefits and privileges [ except for disability and burial benefits ] under the dastardly passed First Supplementary Appropiation Rescission Act of February 18, 1946, by the 79th Congress.

Filipino EM’s Quandary

This much, however, facts are evident. With some secret facts now revealed, and with a foul nearing completion, Filipino U.S Army ex-servicemen [ EMs ] can no longer wonder that a clean truthful soldier or even an honorable Officer, or General, being unable to give satisfactory reason for having to participate in America’s war against Japan, and then mistreated by the very government that sent to Harm’s Way and die for the American flag.

The have an innate right to know the cause of such invidious discrimination, wile their comrades in the same war enjoyed the benefits under the GI Bill of rights all along. And also why approximately 66,000 nationals of 16 allied nations that also participated in World War II have been fully compensated, while the Filipino war veterans have been made to serve the U.S. flag under "involuntary servitude."

Loyalty to the Constitution

Servicemen of the U.S. or any country loyal to the Constitution, made to fight any war - must know the true cause why they have to shed blood and die for wars and conflicts of the United States, or any nation for that matter - under a dictum by the Commander-in-Chief [ the President] with or without a declaration of war by the U.S. Congress, or any country. This is a discretion of the Constitution, and the people’s will in a democratic nation.

The whole World awaits the outcome of this infamous truculent abuse of authority, virulent malevolence inhuman cloven foot. As of this time of writing, [year 200 ], legislations in the U.S. Congress still appear as piece-meal basis, precluding those residing in the Philippines. Indeed. This has been a lesson in the shifty relationship between the U.S. the Filipino people.

[See Philippine-American Relationship in a chapter of this treatise, which describes the elements of alliance and antagonism.]

Guile and Duplicity

Back to the Pacific War -

"As the un-necessary war progressed, we adopted an increasingly horrible policy. The government‘s fawning embrace of the Communist dictator of Russia, and his brutal policy which was dubbed as "democratic" and was most un-necessary act of our whole national history. And could have been motivated by the most reprehensible political consideration [ by holding 100 percent support for the Communist [Ref: James Forrestal’s diary exposing liberals around Pres, Roosevelt.]

Japan’s War In Asia

A fast-growing country, over-bulging with a threatening population under meager and nearly exhausted resources, Japan was forced to establish a "New Order" to ensure for its stability in Asia.

Under an emergency adventure lies an ultimate purpose of a military campaign seeking new and larger space [ land ] and war resources. They have settled in Korea, China, and as far down south in Davao, Philippines while she sought refuge for her people under the rising sun when and wherever possible.

Japan’s military had dominated and overcame its civilian administration. Top officers seized opportunity of militarizing Japan, especially after military occupation of Manchuria. which proved to be a temporary solution to her unending economic crisis, applauded by the hungry populace.

Nippon’s Military Philosophy

It was the military philosophy that guided Japan, which moved to victory both in China and Manchuria. The key to the survival of the Japanese Empire, was the prevailing objective coming from Emperor Hirorito himself down to the Nipponese in the street.

Since the 30’s - Emperor Hirohito and the Zaibatsus [ industrialists ]have looked to South East Asia in the Pacific as their target of expansion. By 1941, Japanese conquests were prodigious acquiring enormous wealth and resources for the Zaibatsus and and the treasury of the Emperial household.

Japanese industrial complex already had tremendous stock of raw materials, feeding its war industries. But economic powerhouse is essential to the growing military sector.

On July 2, 1941, military advisers met with Emperor Hirohito at the Imperial Palace to tackle economic and military matters. Present were: Prime Minister Prince Fuminaro Konoye, War Minister Hideki Tojo, Nav Chief of Staff Admiral Nagano, Army Chief of Staff Gen Suzuki, Field Marshal Sugiyama, military aides Gen. muto and Shimada, Minister Toyoda and Togo, and Ambassador to the United States Admiral Kishisaburo Nomura.

It was the initial contemplation of was against the United States. Prince Konoye recommended the military ‘strike south’ to the Philippines and the Dutch East Indies - believing that it would pay immense dividends for Japan in acquisition of raw materials and manpower that cold be exploited.

On the otherhand, Emperor Hirohito expressed concern about the possible war with the United States, and by moving to South Pacific - and cautioned how it could be handled sensitively. And interference by the United States deserved more serious consideration. In the end of the meeting Emperor gave his blessing to wage war.

The Zaibatsus then hiked its production of war armaments. Tojo informed the Emperor that the Zaibatsus as well as the military establishment were reaching the peak of their efficiency -and that Japan is well on its way to fight the war.

United States Concern

In the United States, Pres. Roosevelt sensed that he was approaching a precarious period of an imminent war. At the same time China’s Genrralissimo Chiang Kai Shek have been prodding Roosevlelt to do something about the Japanese incursion in China.

Roosevelt had demanded the Japan with drawl from China to no avail. Years have passed since Japan’s encroachment in China.

Field Marshal Sugiyama had performed well in Manchuria - and provided nspriation for the Japanese armed forces to strike south. The Tojo assured the Emperor that the military was fully prepared to start to strike south, and a war against America.

In Washington, Roosevelt told Secretary of State Cordell Hull,

"I have done everything possible to head off war against Japan. I have even offered to meet Emperor Hirohito on a ship off the coast of Alaska to discuss what can be done to ensure peace in the Far East."

At the Imperial Palace in Tokyo

However, in the Imperial Palace, on September 1941, Hirohito had another opinion. He said in the conference,

"It is impossible for Japan to withdraw troops from China without losing face, at least. And if Ambassador Nomura does not succeed in reaching an accord with America by October 10, then Japan will move toward war against the United States."

[See: Hirohito War Years by Paul Manning, Dodd, mead and & Co., Nyew York, 1986 ]

A Bold New Order For Asia

This new order has for its foundation a tripartite relationship of mutual aid and cooperation between Japan, Manchuko and China in political, economic cultural fields. Its objective was to secure international justice, to protect itself and to perfect a joint defense against Communism throughout Asia. [ See Statement of Prime Minister Konoe Fujimaro, Nov. 3, 1938]

The pressure in China was constant, and the Japanese have been enlarging its garrisons extending its influence as far as north in Mukden, and inner Mongolia. This expansion resulted to a shooting incident at the Marco Polo bridge when a Chinese military unit was passing through. [ See: Japan At War, by Theodore and Haruko Cook. Taya cook, New Press, New York.]

China’s Undeclared War

The Japanese, in turn expected too much under the command of natioanalist Generalisimo Chiang Kai Shek to sue for peace - so that the Japanese government would grant peace in exchange for the right of exploitation of Mongolia - as a se cond Manchukuo. This did not happen The Japanese then advanced to Shanghai.

In turn, the Chinese Nationalist [Koumingtang ] government saw what the Japanese were planning was total colonization of China. They had to put their feet down. China had to protect its sovereignty.

Un-necessary Involvement

China at this juncture - was fair game and Japan saw the consequences of the avidity of imperial colonizers in the South East Asian region like the Philippines, Indonesia, Burma, Indo-China [ Vietnam ], Malaya [ Malaysia ], Cambodia, Laos, etc. So when World War II reached The Philippines was singled out as a prime target by the Japanese because of its strategic location, the neutralization American military bases in the archipelago, not to leave out the pronounced blind loyalty of Filipinos to the United States of America.

The Japanese viewed that "where ever the white man went, they brought the white man’s burden, and so much trouble for Asians. Caucasian colonizers had partitioned Asia as their preserved." [ See former Senator Jose W. Diokno’s desertation, Imperial Colonizers Appetite For Asia.]

Asian Regional Conflict

China declared that the Japanese were in effect engaged in an open war against them and that China would meet it with a sustained strategy of attrition. It therefore started the open war.

Meanwhile, another authority was established in China with the inauguration of a new Nationalist government of Wang Ching Wei in Nanking. Wang a close associate of Chiang Kai Shek. Both were trusted associates of the most respected leader Dr. Sun Yet Sen.

The Nationalists retreated to Hankow and later to Chungking to counter the Japanese advance. [ Ref: Oriental History, Capt. Roman N. Quesada’s library,professor of History and Mathematics ].

Fall Out with the U.S.

After the Fall of Nanking, - the American boat Panay was sunk by the Japanese. The Japanese asked the Americans to remove their gunboats from Yantze River in Central China.

U.S. Admiral Henry Yarhell, Commander of the U.S. fleet mannerly told the Japanese to "go to hell."

The Japanese then moved forward to Hankow recently abandoned by the Koumingtangs. Only the U.S. gunboat Tutuila remained while the British and other American gunboats left led by U.S Admiral William Glass ford. [ Ref: War in the Pacific by A.P Hoyt. Avon Books N.Y. and Goodbye Darkness, William Manchester. ]

After this, the Japanese pushed onward and took Hongkomg. No one ever expected what would transpire in the Mid Pacific. This Japanese plan had been secretly been planned over the years under very concealed and enigmatic manner. It could not have been put into action without the imprimatur of Emperor Hirohito.

The Japanese Pearl Harbor Raid

The main purpose of, Japan was to initially attack Pearl Harbor and the stronghold of the Pacific Fleet, likewise cripple the U.S. Navy in order to gain precious time for Japan to carry out its master plan of invading the South East Asian region, and augmenting its near-ending national resources, and also to harness the vast manpower of South East Asia. But most of all, with another nagging purpose if driving out the white imperial colonials out Asia.

Deep Self-Exaltation

This seemed to be a Nipponese obsession - a hang-up which would satisfy their fragile self-exaltation.

In the words of Japan’s top Admiral Isuroko Yamamoto, chief planner of the Pearl Harbor attack, to wit:

" The goal of Japan - is that all eight corners of the world under one roof - will now be demonstrated to the world."

Prime Strategy

Pearl Harbor attack was carefully devised to provide Japan a quick victory and hoped that the Americans could then be persuaded to come to the peace table and allow Japanese armed forces to enjoy the spoils and rewards of battles in South East Asia.

Japanese professional officers and veterans of the China campaign, however, doubted how Japan could sustain its victories in Asia if and when the United States have completed its re-armament program after Pearl Harbor raid.

And they were correct. In a protracted war - Japan actually could not sustain its campaign. However, they tried it anyway and took the great risk. They believed that after victories in China and South East Asia, the rest is history.

The Nipponese Ploy

The Japanese hoped that the U.S would prolong the peace negotiations - so Japan could invade the Philippines. Thus would be advantageous for the Japanese navy to carry on the war in Asia - even up to Australia from the viewpoint of the Japanese navy plotters.

Then the other joint-military echelons approved the occupation of the Philippines although it would involve many divisional forces. Manpower, at this juncture, was not a problem. The whole Japanese nation, teeming with fanatic men all willing and able, were indeed in top shape to wage war for the Emperor and country.

General Hideki Tojo, approved the plan - guided by the final decision of the joint-armed forces to forge ahead and strike the South first.- to be able to secure the much needed additional oil supply, rubber and other logistics to flow to the Japanese mainland and keep the war going.

Pearl Harbor Sneak Attack

Sneak attack at Pearl Harbor was the key to conquest of South East countries in the Pacific.

Plans for the sneak attack Pearl Harbor in Honolulo, Hawai was the project of Admiral Isaburo Yamamoto, a Harvard alumnus, and was top in his class at the Naval Staff College, and was stationed in the as an attache in the United States for sometime.

He commanded the as Chief of the Imperial Fleet shortly before Japan waged war south in 1941.

He was a perfectionist and laboriously attend to the minute detail of the Pearl Harbor watched with satisfaction simulated exercises of the attack conducted at in the harbors of Sukomo, Sacki, Kagoshima and Kanoya.

Practice assaults by torpedo bombers by different groups were performed as per plans. Ships they hit were that if the exact positions of U.S. Navy warships docked at Pearl Harbor.

On September 6, Yamamoto called in all his fleet commanders and assault leaders to the Naval College in for specialized war games in Tokyo. Yamamoto had a plaster model of Pearl Harbor on a center table. The whole plan was unveiled to the detail, while he lectured his fleet commanders the importance of destroying the the U.s Pacific Fleet. He figured out that if the aircraft carriers were also destroyed, it would be a long war. If they are not - then there would be a lot of sea battles in the ensuing year.

And that was what actually happened. Here were no U.S. aircrafts carriers on that morning {Dec. 7]in Pearl Harbor. That would lead to the decisive sea battles of Coral Sea and Midway. later.

Yamamoto was quite conscious of security measures before he launched his harbor raid in Hawaii. He implemented his strict preparation for complete elimination of spies and news correspondents in Japan. By September of 1941 - the Japanese Kempei Tai [ Military Police ] rounded them up. It began with the disbandment of the ring of Richard Sogre. Then the arrest of Ozaki Hosumi, head of Nippon’s Communists who were reported assisting Sorge

At the same time, the U.S. Embassy was under 24 hour surveillance. It included one, Frank Shuller, an American embassy aid who earlier had access to Japanese military bases, and religious missionaries. He made it safely back to the U.S before he was arrested. But for both Hotsumi and Sorge, they mounted the gallows and were hanged.

[ Planing the Attack on Pearl, by Paul Manning, In Hirohito in War Years, Dodd, Mead andCo. N.Y.1986 ]

Japan’s Diplomatic Preparation

Diplomatic approaches provided for Japan’s maneuver for time which lasted up to September and October.

Nomura. Japanese Ambassador to the United States met with State Secretary Hull on October 21and was told that Japan should withdraw from China, if relations between the United States and Japan were to stay. Diplomatic moves extended up to November.

Roosevelt in consultation with Churchill was told by e latter that "Without a direct Japanese attack on the U.S Territory, Roosevelt could not go to war, and England, he feared would continue alone against Hitler."

But in Tokyo, Hirohito had already given approval to Tojo and the military. At this juncture, Yamamoto was also moving his projected attack, ordering the opening salvo in complete order of battle for the strike south.

The order of implementation starts on December 8. It should be noted that it was Monday in Tokyo, but still Sunday in Hawaii die to the difference in time past the International Dateline in the mid Pacific.

Yamamoto boarded his flagship Nagato, and watch bis project put into action.

The sequence of the order was: (1) Japan declares war against on the United States and Great Britain and the Netherlands on X Day. It becomes effective on Y Day. An Imperial Rescript would be released the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor. And announcing was on the U.S., England and Holland as part of the establishment of the Japan’s New Order in Greater Eat Asia.

Tojo gave orders to the submarine squadrons and sail for Kure islands towards Anchorage, Alaska and to Kwajalein and Marshall islands in the mid-Pacific, far below the Equator. They would rendezvous with the Sixth fleet’s flagship Katori. And waited for the signal to advance. Commander Naoji Iwasa received the signal on November 11 to proceed to Hawaii.

When submarines reach the waters of Hawaii, they stood by " a net of readiness". The key was - If Japanese- American negotiations were still in a deadlock on November 11, the submarines would become operational.

In Washington D.C.

The fourth formal conference was in motion. Sec. Hull speaking for Pres .Roosevelt gave Japan an ultimatum: a multilateral non-aggression treaty calling for the withdrawal of all Japanese troops from China and French Indo-China.

In Tokyo

There was a Supreme War Council going on at the Imperial Palace - that decided on November 20 that the war would go forward. And there would be no treaty with the United States on the terms laid down by Hull.

On December 8 at 03:00 Hours, The Japanese Foreign Office in Tokyo sent a signal to Nomura and Kuruso, the Japanese envoys in Washington D.C. to severe diplomatic relations with the United States. The full message did not reach the desk of Hull until forty minutes after the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor.

Ann alert U.S. Naval Operations officer, Stark issued a warning that - an aggressive move by Japan is expected within the next few days – and the move would probably be an amphibious expedition against the Philippines, Thailand, Malaya or Borneo."

While the unforseen attack on Pearl Harbor stunned the U.S Navy and Army - It was known to Col. William Friedman chief of the US.s Army Signal Corps Intelligence Service. He was the one who broke the Japanese Purple code and his "Magic" interceptions, which discovered the attack on Pearl Harbor thay that have been sent to the white House .Obviously his warning, for some reason had been ignored.

There was no doubt the President Roosevelt wanted to provoke the Japanese into a first attack on the United States. It appeared that Roosevelt had instructed Hull to drat a final statement of the American moral position which he knew Hitohito and Hitler had grand designs to conquer the world, despite what they say officially.

As a consequence of said act of ommission - Yamamoto’s sneak attack on Pearl Harbor netted the following heavy toll on the U.S. Navy and Hawaii ground base: "eight battleships, three light cruisers, three destroyers, and four auxiliary crafts were sunk, capsized or heavy damaged. Naval aircraft casualties were likewise heavy; thirteen fighters, twenty-one scout bombers, forty-six patrol bombers, three utility planes, two air transports, two observation scout aircrafts.

The "Army lost four B-17s, twelve B-18s, two A-20s, thirty-two P-40s, twenty P-36s, four P26s, two OA-9s, eighty-eight pursuit planes, and six reconnaissance aircraft, thirty-four bombers damaged.Hickam, and Wheeler Fields, Ford Island and Kaneohe and Ewa installations heavily damaged."

The United States dead and missing totalled 2,402, and 1,178 wounded.

Over at the White House, Roosevelt was heard saying,

"Oh God, I never thought it would be so great." [ referring to the damage and casualties. ].

Yamamoto’s mammoth power of destruction was beyond his belief, his air fleet flew back to their carriers with a code signal "Tora Tora Tora" - happily received at the Imperial Palace and Yamamoto’s flagship.

News of this fantastic success on the part of the Japanese military operation turned the whole nation of Japan into a festival of jubilation. Tojo - could not get believe it - and hardly get over it - as he paused to what was next for the Japanese military.

But following the attack at Pearl Harbor, Tojo was accomplishing a string of successive victories in the subsequent operation si the Pacific that staggered the United States, Great Britain and Netherland. Few Western leaders suspected that the Japanese would follow up the attack on Hawaii with invasion of the Philippines, Hongkong, Malaya, and the Dutch East Indies, all quick in succession.

Tojo’s divisions moved on Guam and Wake Island. In the South West Pacific - General Tomoyuki Yama****a’s 21st Army moved to Malaya, and General Homma’s 14th Army boarded tranports for Formosa (Taiwan), then to Pescadores - for the Invasion of Luzon, Philippines.

[ See Hirohito, The Glory Years by Paul Manning, in Hirohito’s War Years, 1968 ]

Invasion of the Philippines

Victory at Pearl Harbor was the key to the invasion of the Philippines. The raid at Pearl Harbor was on December 8, 1941 as D-Day by the Japanese navy planned by Admiral I. Yamamoto, Simultaneously, Japanese invading forces would attack the Philippines on the same date [ note the difference in time and date past the inter-date line in the mid Pacific]. For example, if it is [ 0300 hours] or 3:00 o’clock local Manila time, A.M it is [0900 hours ] or 9:00 o’clock local time in Honolulu. Hawaii. When travelling Eastbound crossing the Inter-date Line subtract one day. Going on the opposite direction, West-bound, add one day.

In brief - Manila is one day ahead.

Attack Base in Taiwan

Before the Pacific War, Taiwan was occupied by the Japanese. From there, the Japanese air force composed of three light carriers, started from there under Admiral Tsukahara, who found his force inadequate.

Instead, he used another plan by using the new Zero air-crafts with extra gas tanks with a range of 1,000 miles to fly from Taiwan to Manila and back.

In the Philippines

At Clark Field, and in Nichols Field, there were no less than 32 Boeing B-17 heavy bombers, and some 150 assorted attack warplanes. They were neatly lined up on the ground, as if it were inspection day. They laid there as easy targets awaiting the enemy’s Zeros and bombers.

And that was how it actually happened when the Japanese raiders instantly swooped down upon them. The U.S. Air Force sadly lost practically all and suffered a major setback. MacArthur’s USAFFE air cover therefore had nothing.

MacArthur was completely taken by surprise. He had n excuses. He was not notified by of the intelligence Roosevelt held in his hands about the known enemy attack at Pearl Harbor, and in the Philippines. The Japanese "Purple Code" was already broken by U.S. decoders but was limited to higher echelons. And so with Admiral Kimmel in Hawaii who was never informed by Roosevelt. This was viewed as quite distrustful in the eyes of field officers and men, especially those who suffered most.

December 8, 1941

Filipinos nonchalantly went on their casual way as if the never knew the impending war threat. And oblivious of what was going to happen, and what was in store for them despite the several air drills and warnings of the suspected impending invasion by the Japanese. to them.

The believed hook-line and sinker the American bum propaganda that "so long as the American flag waves over the Philippines, no invader would attempt to land in Philippine soil." But they were in a very great surprise - when Japanese bombs fell right in the city. Nichols Field and Cavite Naval Base were attacked.

The nation was caught naked and unprepared for along trouble and pain. It has been a long time since the Revolutionary War in 1989 - and people never really could imagine how war could affect them. All they knew was - peacetime was an over-riding order of the time. The old saying, "come what may", in Tagalog , "Bahala Na" [ Que sera sera ] was their last resort. And that God will provide. However ,it was not the case.

Series of Enemy Air Raids

At noon of December 8, some 30 Japanese bombers escorted by Zero fighters dropped bombs at predestined targets [ Clark Field[ straffed Nichols and Cavite Navy Yard.

They took MacArthur"s USAFFE [ United States Army in the Far East ] in complete surprise. The same thunderclap that hit Pearl Harbor. American complacency cost the its Navy in the Pacific, and the Philippines as a land base defense under the much-bruited about War Plan Orange III, which later switched to War Plan Rainbow. It merely called for a dilatory defense until reinforcement 8.000 miles away arrives from the U.S. mainland.

Decimated U..S. Navy

One by one, the U.S. most boasted Asiatic Fleet was quickly dispatched by Admiral Hart quickly to Java, with only a destroyer left in Cavite. The rest of the fleet escaped and proceeded to Australia.

Japanese Zeros swept the airstrips and military bases but no U.S. fighters intercepted them Bombs were dropped and when they were finished, the Philippines and the U.S. air defenses were nothing but a burning heap of ashes. The Japanese flew back to Taiwan safely to regroup for another sortie.

They returned the next day and attacked again, however ,this time was not productive. One the third day, they found some U.S. aircrafts of about 20 B-17 bombers on the ground but had quickly managed to escape southward to Mindanao island.

Major damage inflicted in December 10, was in Cavite Navy Yard across the island of Corregidor approximately 10 miles across in Manila Bay. The Japanese scored a big hit at the munitions depot. Other casualties in Cavite were U.S submarines: Sea Lion and mine sweeper, Bittern at the harbor. The U.S. navy in the Philippines was then nothing.

Enemy Beach Landings

Little-known was the first unheralded landing at Bashi Channel in December 8, 1941. This was before the huge mass attack in the Philippines. They later moved to Camiguin Island and constructed a seaplane base.

Upon seeing that there were no appreciable resistance. The air attackers proceeded to provide air cover to the Japanese invasion at Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Aparri Beachhead

The second large landing was in Aparri, in the northern most tip of Luzon that consisted of large battalions, otherwise known as the Tanaka Detachment [ named after it commander].

In Aparri, American P-40 fighters And 6 B-17 Bombers attacked the Japanese landing force in the beach, and blew up the minesweeper that gave the USAFFE defenders some semblance of control.

Tanaka waited for Japanese air-cover which did not arrive. They then quickly moved to Cagayan River where they were able to mount an advance towards the direction of Manila.

Pandan and Vigan Beachhead

This other enemy landing waswas at Pandan, south of Vigan, composed of Gen. Nishimura’s 4,400 troops ashore, however, the USAFFE sank the minesweeper, and straffed Nishimura’s flagship. Hishimura sought refuge ashore. They broke through the defender’s line.

The Legaspi Landing at Bicol

In the Southern tip of Luzon, at Camarines Sur, in Legaspi City - near San Bernandino Straight across the island of Samar, the enemy landed with not much resistance. It was a strategic point foe the Japanese because this body of water protected by them would deny the American forces from reinforcing the defense line.

On December 14, the U.S. Airforce mounted a raid with B-17 bombers to attack the landing force at Legaspi harbor. Japanese Zeros jumped American bombers so badly - which hardly made it back to their base with a lot of casualties among the crew.

The Lingayen Gulf Landing

More invasion troops were poured by the Japanese into the Philippines which headed for Lingayen Gulf at Pangasinan beach in December 21st completely unopposed.

More lamdings followed protected by enemy air cover at San Fernando, La Union, with simultaneous strikes at Clark Field and other USAFFE defense fortifications. By this time, the Japanese had command of the air and the invasion of Luzon.

Incursion At Lamon Bay

Lamon Bay lies east of Luzon facing the Pacific coast. There was also no appreciable defense to stop the surging mass of enemy invaders. The USAFFE was made to retreat to Bataan Peninsula under instant orders.

The most which could be done by President of the Philippine government, while in exile in Corregidor Island, was to declare Manila, the Capital City - an " Open City" in an effort to preserve the city structures and the civilian population, short of full collaboration with the enemy.

Manila - Open City ?

There was no way for the USAFFE to stop the surging massive enemy forces advancing towards Manila. They all had to retreat en mass in the desolate Bataan Peninsula as per plan. Only the rear echclon was left in Manila at Intramuros [Walled City ] to direct the last plans for the retreat, after disbanding as many USAFEE defenders that would be inside Manila - like the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) and ROTC university cadets that manned the defense of the city along with the U.S. troops.

The Japanese troops that converged into the city never did honor or accepted the pleas for Open city and proceeded to occupy Manila. The found the city evacuated with the exception of a few Manilans who were caught inside the city without any means of evacuation.

Martial law was declared and the people were subjected to brutalities.

Puppet Philippine Government

The Japanese were able to locate Filipino officials [ politicians who were instructed by Pres. Quezon to stay and see what they could do ] short of full collaboration wit the enemy.

He instructed Jorge Vargas and other officials to hod the fort while the Philippine Commonwealth was in exile.

At Corregidor

Quezon was evacuated by MacArthir to Corregidor Island to protect him and the family from enemy abuse. He was literally a pawn of the U.S while was safe from the enemy. It would be a blow to the U.S prestige to leave Quezon behind in under the iron heels of the obdurate enemy who could exploit his presence.

MacArthur was not too sure what Quezon would do in order to protect the Filipino people. Queson was very vocal against the weak defenses of the USAFFE, and Washington’s wishy-washy policies. He even suggested that the Philippines declare neutrality if only to save the nation. Rosevelt and MacArthur.

Quezon, in his frustrating moments candidly told MacArthur, upon seeing the Filipino soldiers and the civilians without proper protection, because of the inability of the U.S.. to bring relief to the Philippines. he emotionally said, to wit:

Writhing in anguish, "The fate of the a distant cousin [ Europe ] to be saved by America, came first, while a daughter [ the Philippines ] is being raped in the back room ! Quezon said.

This was never published for some reason. But the record showed his deep concern about the Filipino people and their future. He was very much concerned and worried about the thousands of Filipinos in Bataan, whose safety he had assumed responsibility.

The USAFFE Mass Retreat to Bataan

The USAFFE was ordered by MacArthur to implement War Plan Orange III, which was no less than the hurried mass retreat t the desolate peninsula of Bataan Province.

It was to be the staging area of a defense to the last man against the superior enemy forces that over-ran all the USAFFE’s beach defenses, before the promised American aid from the U.S. An 8-mile convoy from the mainland U.S.A. never arrived, and was diverted to America’s cousin in Europe by Roosevelt.

Thus - the USAFFE was doomed to be the sacrificial goat, influenced by Roosevelt’s cronies.

Bataan Defense

On December 24, BGen. George Parker was assigned by MacArthur to organize the Bataan defense. And on Christmas Day. the USAFFE quickly moved to their assigned areas as follows: 21st Infantry Division, 31st Infantry Division, 41st Infantry Division, 71st Infantry Division and the 26th Cavalry, etc.

The battle of confrontation began. What followed was history that was cruel but was just.

[See the Battle of Bataan in the chapter of this treatise, Triumph in the Philippines, Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor, AFP Library ]

Enemy’s Quest for Prisoners

Very few prisoners were taken by the pursuing Japanese troops, that were mopping up the occupied areas. The last batch of USAFFE s crossed the Calumpit Bridge [ in Bulacan ] thereafter was blown off by the USAFFE engineers to deny the enemy from further chasing them.

The Bridge that divided the USAFFE

On the other side of the bridge were also many USAFFEs who were late and therefore stranded south if bridge. They had to fend for themselves - mostly melted to the hills of the Cordilleras and the sierra Madre mountains to join the resistance movements already being formed by fellow stragglers.

Many of them [ like me were ] left behind, and were to seek safety towards the hills of Bulacan and Rizal provinces. However, we were lucky enough not to be caught by the surging enemy forces towards Manila that instead went via the 1st District of Laguna [ through San Pablo, Calamba and Sta. Rosa ,Laguna and towards the southern jaw of Manila through Paranaque, Rizal. ]

Guerrilla Action

We who did not relish taking defeat, joined the guerrillas, in order to divert the enemy’s attention against our brothers, fathers and friends in Bataan in an uncertain dilatory action.

We believed that a second front could provide a diversion of the enemy’s quest to vanquish the USAFFE in Bataan and Corregidor. and we were correct.

Guerrillas would be augmented by those who escaped from the Bataan Death March after the surrender of Bataan.

A handful of American escapees tried to join the guerrillas but could not withstand the privations of mountain ssurvival, and risk of being beheaded [ by decapitation ] by the Japanese upon being caught.

Defense and Fall of Bataan, and Japanese Occupation of the Philippines

The battle of Bataan ceased in April 9, 1942. Shortly before the fall, an ominous lull reigned over the battle-fronts. Massive enemy offense breached the USAFFE defenses, enemy planes dominated the air, and revealed all strong-holds of the defenders from the air observers,, while bombers continuedly pounded hungry, sick and weary USAFFEs fighting to the last man.

However, all over the front, defenders stuck to whatever fight they could even under the downward struggle. In April 6th - the enemy was already on Mount Samat that commanded the whole view of the USAFFE defenses.

Even before the Japanese Forces struck, the American defense of the Philippines drawn under the much-bruited about "War Plan Orange III" - it was likened to a feebled seed, planted on the drawing board, and supinely nurtured in the battlefield as withering plant. This token defense was more of a semblance of dilatory "chevaux de frise" [ port cullis ] that held Filipino-American USAFFE defenders no less than expendable hocks in a simulated niggard defense when all the much-needed logistical support secretly was diverted to American cousins in Europe.

MacArthur secretly knew it was a procrastinating shroud until he receives actual logistics and re-inforcements from the U S. mainland and Hawaii - which never arrived. Only him was aware of that.

The USAFFE defenders were lulled into a make-belief esprit de corps" that held them together in a phantasmagoria of a crazy delusion.

Filipinos a Wretched Pawn

The Philippines was placed in a political dilemma during this war. In the opinion of the intelligentsia, the Pacific War was for economic and political supremacy of a sphere of influence in Asia and in the Western Pacific, which used the Philippines as their battleground.

The Philippines as a protectorate of the United States, happened to be in the area for expansion of the Japanese Greater East-Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

In accordance with War Plan Rainbow 5, the Philippines would not expect nay help until Germany would be defeated in the war in Europe. The Philippines would have to be sacrificed therefore, if it was necessary. Quezon was furious. He saw nothing in this nothing less than desertion. He did not hide his displeasure with MacArthur.

Because of the inability of relief from the U.S., Pres. Quezon even proposed that the Philippines be a neutral nation and be kept out of war between two imperial colonials.

Roosevelt with his tongue in cheek, radioed Quezon in the Philippines to wit:

"Although I cannot at this time time state the day, that the help will arrive the Philippines, , I can assure you that every vessel available is bearing to the South West Pacific the strength that will eventually crush the enemy andn liberate your nativeland."

Pres. Quezon’s Deep Concern

Pres. Manuel L. Quezon, with deep concern of his people, upon seeing the negative situation and Washington D.C’s design had protested strongly to Pres. Roosevelt about the protecting Europe first at the expense of the Philippines.

Loyalty of Filipinos to the United States fought tp the bitter end to show their gratitude for protection and other benefits Uncle Sam had bestrowed upon them in time of peace and war, and because they resented the ruthless invasion of their homeland by the Japanese hordes of aggressor.

While in exile in Corregidor, MacArthur and the USAFFE officers, he said, to wit: " I writhe in anguished at the fate of a distant cousin (Euorpe), while a daughter, (the Philippines) is being raped in the back room."

Quezon saw through the dissimulation by the United States over the fate of the USAFFEs and the Filipino people as a hapless pawn in America’s misadventure in World war II in the Pacific. This was shared by Filipinos and world leaders that were conversant with the unpreparedness of the United States in the Philippines, not to leave out its inexorable and desultory design.

Quezon, purely upon is own responsibility telegraph Pres. Roosevelt on January 13, expressing is belief and desire that the whole force of America should direct first against Japan in East Asia. And in order to save the possible useless sacrifices of the Philippine Army as well as the American army, Quezon thought that that he would ask Roosevelt to authorize him to issue a public manifesto asking the U.S government to grant immediate , complete and absolute independence to the Philippines.

With this, Quezon believed that the Philippines would be free from the war and the Philippine Army b demobilized. This request reached Washington D.C but Roosevelt prevailed over Quezon to withdraw such proposal.

Under very clever but smooth language, Roosevelt sent this message, to wit:

"For over 40 years the American government has been carrying out t the people of the Philippines a pledge to help them successfully, how long it might take. In their aspiration to become a sel-governing and nidependent people, with the individual freedom and economic strength which they lofty aim makes a requisite."

No sooner, Quezon and his family would be exiled in the United States and smuggled out of Corregidor by the U.S Forces.

In Bataan Peninsula

" Rumors had sustained the morale of defenders for weeks, on Bataan as well as Corregidor until we gradually realized it was just one more of the mirages that made our lives bearable. That 8-mile convoy expected had actually been made of dream ships. What did we talk about by day - we dream about by night"

" In moments of respite from fighting there said to have bare their souls. Romance is stronger than disease and hunger. : according to the then Col. Carlos P. Romulo, the lastman off Bataan, before he was promoted to Brigadier MacArthur.

On April 9th - USAFFE defenders found themselves marching as captives [prisoners-of-war] of the obdurate Imperial Japanese Forces. The victorious Nippon Army were rushing everywhere, and one of them said in broken English,

"War finished, American generals surrender." said enemy sergeant Murai.

What followed was utterly chaos. The notorious march of death or now dubbed as the "Bataan Death March" followed.

Summary of the Struggle

To summarize - Bataan’s struggle, under the U.S War Plan Orange III was a dilatory action, a defense position where Bataan was literally hopeless without full support from the U.S. Mainland and Hawaii. They were wretched pawns in a war of America against Japan. Little did they not know that they were sacrificed.

The USAFFE drove themselves to exhaustion in a hasty retreat to the designated holding area which was the desolate Bataan peninsula, and the island fortress of Corregidor in the mouth of Manila Bay which lasted for over 90 gruel-ling days before surrender.

When the Imperial Japanese invading forces began their mass and major offensive - the USAFFE defenders were almost defeated. With empty stomach, sick bodies, with minds tortured by the strain of fighting,. The knowledge that hope of aid from the much vaunted United States of America - was gone, however, gone only in spirit of defense which kept them fighting. The grim feeling of jaunty hopelessness found expression of a sad battle cry - was on every lips in the filthy foxholes of Bataan.

Famous Doggerel

Nobody knew how this doggerel started nor who composed these words together, but it was in everybody’s lips in the soggy foxholes of Bataan out of their frustration awaiting for reinforcement, to wit:

‘We’re the battling bastards of Bataan, no papa, no mama, no Uncle Sam. No aunts, no uncles, no cousins, n nieces. No pills, no planes no artillery pieces; And nobody give a damn."

Bataan lay to the west, southwest of Manila, a barren peninsula 25 miles long by 20 miles wide, an arm of which flanked Manila Bay. Five and a half miles offshore, at the Bay’s mouth, was the island fortress of Corregidor, a well-fortified island, however, obsolete in the air age of latest-built airplanes and heavy artillery from across the shores of Cavite province and Bataan itself. To the west of the peninsula was the restively facing the rough South China Sea.

Determined Enemy

The only direction the Japanese offensive of land troops could access was through the vast land trap of 500 square miles of lowland swamp, jungle and rice-land, along the spine of the of the formidable and rugged range of Mariveles Mountains, dominated by two extinct volcanoes: the 4,222 foot Mount Mariveles and the 4,733 foot Mount Bataan to the south.

From the mountains coursed deeply ravine streams featured by rugged gorges with thick forest.

[ See sketch of Bataan Peninsula ].

Non-combatant Refugees

This execrate land populated by a wandering host of 26,000 demoralzed non-combatant civilians accidently caught by the war without food, shelter, or medicine between opposing forces. They would be a great burden to both the USAFFE and the invading Japanese in the course of the siege of Bataan.

Some defense forces in the peninsula could not be supplied adequately, thus had to be on half ration almost since their arrival to their defense positions. The USAFFE, in this desolate peninsula were susceptible to malaria, amoebic dysentery, hookworm prevalent everywhere, were soon afflicted with malnutrition, scurvy and beri-beri. It was reported that after forth-night - that half of the troops were always down with disease.

And to such hell - these miserable troops held out for three months against a massive invasion force reported at no less than 58,000 well-armed with the engines of modern warfare, and trained to a razor’s edge of efficiency.

[See the chapter about the details of the death march and the captivity in the Gates of Hades of Camp O’Donnell.

The Island Fortress

Across the channel in the humid lateral of Corregidor’s tunnel - the "Voice of Freedom" radio station [ clandestinely based in this island fortress at the mouth of Manila Bay ] under then, Col. Carlos P. Romulo, assisted by my former college mentor, Capt. Salvador Lopez, a member of the psy-war staff. He was te one who wrote the famous philippic sans any bitterness or invective, which was recited calmly by my classmate in English class in the University of the Philippines in 1941, by Lt. Norman Reyes. Norman and I were seatmates in the class where we were seated in the alphabetical order.

Filipinos Adept in English

It was in the university that produced able craftsmen in psy-war who were adept in the grammatical English language through the tutorship of both Filipino and American language professors [ Dean. Paz Benitez, Dean Endicot, Prof. Angel Catanjal and many others ].

It was also in the same university where we had swell pre-war training in prose and poetry - and in publishing college publications such as the U.P. Collegian" and "The Philippinesian" Among them were: Salvador P. Lopez, Leon Ma. Guerrero, Renato Constantino, Angel Baking, Teddy Balagtas, Sammy Rodriguez, Juan A. Quesada Jr, Letty Roxas (Constantino), Ceres Cuyugan (Alabado), Melanio " Spike" Casupanan, myself along many others who have spent our waking hours, turning out those publications before our conscription to the U.S. flag, by and virtue of Pres. F. Roosevelt’s un-numbered Military Order of July 26, 1941.

[ Pre-War and War Years diary of Col. F.Quesada, Quesada Library ]

Conscripteion into the U.S. Army

By November of 1941, most of us were already in U.S. Army uniform, bore side-arms, ate the same rations as any member of the United States Army in the Far East. We were under command of American and Filipino officers, who inducted troops into the U.S. Army after taking the oat of allegiance to the U.S. and the flag.

Our units were ordered to join the hasty retreat of the USAFFE to Bataan, although many were either disbanded, or were not able to cross the Calumpit Bridge in Bulacan, after USAFFE engineers blew it up to deny the enemy its use.

Stranded and Left Out

We were among those stranded south of the bridge, were told to find and join pockets of resistance forces - in an irregular and uncoventional warfare as guerrillas - to distract the Japanese forces in its offensive operation towards Bataan and Corregidor.

Thus - when the USAFFE was surrendered in Bataan by Gen. King, somebody had to tell the world of the heavy-hearted event of the Japanese snare.

Voice of Freedom in Corregidor

The Voice of Freedom based in the tunnel of Corregidor was regularly broadcasting psy-war materials in its effort to maintain the morale of the Filipino people and the embattled USAFFE, beamed to the whole world whose freedom-loving people were following events of the gallant defense of democracy and freedom in the Philippines - invaded by the Japanese Imperial forces in 1941-42.

Col. Romulo previously authorized the broadcast of the Fall of Bataan to his staff. The task of producing philippic was first assigned to Capt. Leony Guerrero, who attempted to draft the broadcast material. Each time he sat down and pounded the type-writer, he broke down, and could not put the proper words together. Time was of the essence, so Capt. Salvador P. Lopez [SP] as we fondly called him, took over. Calmly, without heaviness and compression, started to type the the philippic which no one knew that someday would turn out to be a masterpiece - recited around the world by citizens of the free world. Many years later, this piece would be part of precious history of World War II.

This famous farewell ran this way:

"Bataan Has Fallen:

"The Philippine -American troops on this war-ravaged and blood-stained peninsula have laid down their arms. With heads bloody and unbowed, they have yielded to the superior force and numbers of the enemy.

" The world will long remember the epic struggle that Filipino and American soldiers put up in these jungle fastness and along the rugged coast of Bataan.

"They have stood uncomplaining under constant and gruelling fire of the enemy for more than three months. Besieged on land and blocked by sea, cut off from sources of help in the Philippines and n America, these intrepid fighters have done all that human endurance could bear.

" For what sustained them though All these months of incessant battle was a force of an unconquerable faith - something in the heart and soul that physical hardship and adversary could not destroy ! It was thought of native land and all that it holds most dear, the thought of freedom and dignity, the pride in these most priceless of all human prerogatives.

The adversary, in the pride of his power and triumph, will credit our troops with nothing less than the courage and fortitude that his troops have shown. And the world will testify to the almost superhuman endurance with which they stood up until the last in the face of overwhelming odds.

" But the decision had to come. Men fighting under the banner of unshakeable faith are made of something more than flesh, but they are not made of impervious steel. The flesh must yield at last, endurance melts away, ands the end of the battle must come.

"Bataan has fallen. But the spirit that made it stand - a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world cannot fail."

[ See: Bataan and Corregidor,RP Dept. of Defense and Dept. of Tourism, Library of Col. F. Quesada.]

+ + +

All the world heard this last farewell of the USAFFE’s under siege in the desolate peninsula. As the beleaguered defenders trudged down the trails of Mt. Samat, and from all the battlefront lines to submit to a disgraceful surrender - freedom-loving citizens of the world unashamedly cried.

Our Fears Were Confirmed

We feared for all our comrades who have been captured by a ferocious enemy who did not care about the details of the Geneva Convention. It was until later - we found out that it was true that the hapless USAFFEs as men held the surging Japanese Imperial forces of Lt. Gen. Masaharu Homma, at bay close to 120 days and nights of savaged fighting were subjected to the most devastating and truculent treatment which would turn out as holocaust in the Far East.

Divine Portent Omen

However, starting in Good Friday of April 3, the enemy had made hell of the USAFFE’s defense in Bataan, likewise have broken through all the way to Mount Samat. It was a vindication of their long and embarrassing quest for capitulation of Bataan, and how the USAFFEs delayed the whole time-table of the Imperial Japanese conquest of South Asia.

The last stand of the USAFFE defenders in Bataan was not easy to forget. Wherever the defenders were during the siege - memories of this day rushes back in bits and scraps of each one’s experience of one’s involvement in a war that was not inherently not his own It was a war of American against Japan. Filipinos were mere wretched pawns.

Unjustly Maltreated

They would later [ after the war] be denied by the U.S. their rightful wartime honorable and active military service benefits earned in the blood-soaked frontlines of Bataan, Corregdor ands other fronts.

No sooner when he guns of war became silent, and the war was won by the allies, n 1946 - the U.S. 79th Congress., saw that the U.S. owed the Filipino members of the U.S Army no less than $3.2 Billion dollars for arriers-in-pay, allowances and rightful wartime benefits under the GI Bill of Rights Act, for their active military service to the U.S flag - the First Supplemental Appropiation Rescission Act of February 18, 1946 was hurriedly passed, denying all benefits to Filipin veterans, except for two: service-connected disabilities and burial benefits,

[See Fil-Am WW-II Veterans Struggle for Fairness And Justice for Wartime-earned Benefits under the GI Bill of Rights denied by the U.S. under the Rescission Act of 1946, Quesada’s Library as Senate Secretary of the veterans and Military Pension Committee ]..

Shrine of Valor

Today - many years later, the "Dambana Ng Kagitingan" [ the Shrine of Valor ] atop Mount Samat stands proudly which memorializes the agony and the glory of the Filipino-American USAFFE defenders against the forces of aggression. This memorial was said - epitomizes the heroic stand of the defenders in one of the most celebrated defensive battles in the history of World War II.

[ Damban Ng Kagitingan, Shrine of Valor,RP Dept. of Tourism nad Dept. of Defense. Quesada Library]

Rude Reminder

It rudely reminded the United States of America - that her, in this land of the free and the braves in the Orient, there were men, as freedom-founders who are not afraid to die, who are the ones fit to live in a free society of honorable citizens.

This shrine stands proudly that with a huge cross atop Mount Samat built by men whose blood fertilized the land where they hold so dear in the cause of freedom, justice and human rights.

Way of the Cross

The huge cross, a structure of reinforced steel and concrete which rises 555 meters above sea level. The cross itself is 92 meters high. Inside is an elevator that brings viewers atop, and inside each of the arms of the cross is viewing gallery from which on, a clear day, the outline of the city of Manila across the bay can be seen.

Also a rolling sweep of the Bataan and other province country-side can be viewed.

From Mt. Samat, to get to the foot of the cross - is a zigzagging footpath carved out of the mountain. There is also an alternate vehicle route for those whose legs and hearts could not take it.

The colonade is a marble-capped structure with an altar, esplanade, museum of war mementoes, and historical depictions. It portrays the different military insignias of units and army divisions that defended the Philippines and the American interest. It included the salient actions of the defense up to the Death March.

It is a reminder to all of us veterans that our duty is to remember.

Inscribed in the Dambana Ng Kagitingnan - is the concise description of the Battle of Bataan, to wit:

"On this ground gallant men chose to die than surrender.

"From all corners of the Philippines they came, youthful and brave, to make their last stand in Bataan against an implacable enemy which had marched through Asia. What transpired was a ferocious combat between raw, ill-equipped recruits against season, well-armed troops.

"On these tablets is recorded the epic, the truly unifying experience, that was Bataan. Let all who read this take pride in the courage of our race.

The Battle

The enemy had secured the beachheads on Lingayen Gulf and the West coast of Tayabas [ now named Quezon province ]. The 14th Japanese Imperial Army under the command of 14th Army’s Lieutenant General Masaharu Homma started the gigantic pincer attack. The fate of Luzon defense was sealed.

"Fighting valiantly, the United States Army forces in the Far East [USAFFE] led by General Douglas MacArthur was thrown back in fierce actions by the implacable advance of the enemy. Retreat to Bataan became inevitable. On this peninsula, the defending forces, following War Plan Orange III, regrouped for last stand against the invaders.

Delaying Actions

" Delaying actions were fought to permit withdrawal to the peninsula, the bloodiest of which was fought by the 11th and 21st Divisions on the Porac-Guagua defense line.

" The 26th U.S. Cavalry Regiment protected the west flank of the 21st Division. As the entire USAFFE struggled from the south and north toward the Layac junction, the only approach to Bataan, the delaying forces held its line on open and unprepared ground. From January 1 to January 5 they stood fast against massive enemy aerial and artillery bombardment, concentrated tank attacks and banzai charge. Casualties on both sides were heavy.

Initial Defense Line

" The first defensive line in Bataan was the Hermosa-Dinalupihan line where on 6 January 1942 the 71st Division, and American 31st Infantry Regiment fought the pursuing enemy.

" The aim of War Plan Orange III was to resist the enemy in Bataan peninsula to the limits of human endurance.

" On 14 January, the Japanese attacked the boundary of the 41st and 51st Divisions. The 43rd Infantry, holding the left flank of the 41st Division reinforced by the 23rd Infantry, 21st Division, sharply refused its flank. The 51st Infantry, holding the right flank of the 51st Division, withdrew creating a gap through which the enemy advanced to the Salian River, but was discovered by a patrol of the 21st division. elements of the 21st Division were rushed to the Salian River Valley and after a savage fight succeeded in throwing back the enemy.

" Farther to the west the enemy surprised and routed the 53rd Infantry, penetrating deep behind the mined battle position along the Abo-abo River Valley, the enemy advance was held up by combined elements of the 21st Division of the II Corps Reserve, the 31st and 51st Divisions on the Bani-Guitol forest area.

It was a see-saw encounter.

Regained Turf

" The American 31st Infantry and 45th Infantry, Philippine Scouts succeeded in partially restoring the abandoned 51st Division line.

" On 15 January, the Morong-Sector, defended by the 1st Regular division, reinforced, came under heavy bombardment, but the line held.

" A few days later, the enemy penetrated through a huge gap in the Silangan-Natib area and established a road block on the Mauban Ridge, thus cutting off the 1st Regular Division from the rear area. Gravely threatened elements of the 71st and 91st Divisions and the 2nd Philippine Constabulary Regiment repeatedly attacked the road block but failed to dislodge the enemy.

" Although the II Corps Sector had prevented a similar envelopment in the Salian River battle the I Corps position was now untenable. The Abucay-Morong line was abandoned on 24 January. The Orion-Bagac line was established two days later

Out-flunking Action

" Again in a desperate attempt to outflank the I Corps, the enemy landed crack units on the west coast of southern Bataan. The aim was to outflank and isolate the front-line units from the Headquarters and supplies.

"There were three ferocious engagements: in the Lapiay-Longos-kawayan points area, fought from 23 to 29 January; in Quinauan-Aglaloma points area, fought from 23 January to 13 February. Of the 200 enemy troops committed to these battles, only 34 wounded soldiers returned to their lines.

" On 27 January, enemy troops were discovered in the rear of the Orion-Bagac line, the Tuol River valley behind the 11th Regular Division. The series of engagements to eliminate the enemy salients became known as the Battle of pockets, fought from 27 January through 17 February. Of the 2,000 Japanese troops committed to this battle, only 377 enemy soldiers were reported to have escaped

Battle of Points

" After the Battle of the Points, Packets and Trail 2, which were brilliant triumphs of the USAFFE, the enemy withdrew to regroup forces and to wait for reinforcements.

" Meanwhile on 21 March - Gen. MacArthur, his family and some staff officers of the USAFFE left Corregidor on four PT-boats for Mindanao, from there they were flown to Australia. MacArthur’s departure was the end of the USAFFE. On 22 March the defending army was ren-named United States Forces in the Philippines [ USAPIF ] under the command of Lieutenant General Jonathan M. Wainwright.

Homma’s Thrust

" The Japanese High Command re-inforced Homma’s 14th Imperial Japanese Army, and toward the end of March, the enemy struck without let-up, pushing the USAFFE towards Mt. Samat.

" The entire Orion-Bagac line was subjected to vicious artillery and aerial bombardment. About a hundred and fifty artillery pieces of various calibers concentrated in front of Mount Samat. The enemy opened fire at 10:00 hours on Good Friday, 3 April. Aerial bombing was equally intense. The 21st and 41st Divisions came under incredibly savage bombardment, turning Mount Samat area into an inferno.

" The forest was set on fire, men were buried alive in their foxholes and every inch of ground was covered with fire. The dust, flames and smoke darkened the mountains. The USAFFE artillery, which had backed the defenders, was im-mobilized.

Enemy Penetration

" At 15:00 hours the enemy infantry spearheaded by tanks which rolled over the bodies of the dead and living Filipino defenders, broke through the main line of resistance of the 41st Infantry at Trail 29. Along Trail 6, enemy Infantry - also spearheaded by tanks, crashed through the main line of defense of the 21st Infantry. By nightfall, the enemy had penetrated about 1,500 yards behind the main line of resistance of the 41st Infantry, 1,000 yards behind the 23rd Infantry.

A Vicious Encounter

" On 4 April, the enemy infantry attacked the 23rd Infantry. Crushing through the line along Trail 4, the enemy swerved east-ward and struck the flank of the 22nd Infantry. By night-time, the enemy had penetrated 1,000 yards behind the battle position of the 23rd. By 6 April - Mount Samat was surrounded. But the 21st Division, reforming its line to resemble a horse shoe, still held the slopes of the mountain. The battle of Mount Samat was called the most vicious encounter of the second battle of Bataan.

American Surrender

" On 9 April 1942 - at high noon, Major General Edward P. King, senior American officer on the battle-torn peninsula, surrendered the USAFIP Bataan forces. The USAFFE was re-designated USAFIP beforehand when Gen. Jonathan Wainwright took command from MacArthur.

MacArthur and Washington D.C authorities saw that if ever the Bataan force was capitulated, its forces would only surrender the forces in the Philippines under the banner of the USAFIP, and that USAFFE would still be free from capitulation by the enemy, under MacArthur in Australia..

The infamous "Bataan Death March" began an ordeal which annealed the Filipino spirit.

[ See the Chapter, Bataan Death March and USAFFE in Captivity .]

Ominous Divine Omen

The night before the surrender a series of earthquakes rocked Bataan which were nature’s making. In the morning heavy rains fell. Then the sun shone. It appeared as an ominous omen for the battle-weary USAFFEs.

To the religious - they saw a parallel of such omen to the Lord’s crucifixion at Calvary, when He was in his last phase of suffering at the Cross - thunder, lightning and rain held sway before He surrendered his spirit to the eternal Father.

A Message of Sacrifice

To the religious devotees - they surmised the Almighty was telling the hapless USAFFE defenders something that they would soon follow the way of the cross. And they did. The march of death followed after surrender, and where almost half of the USAFFE perished in that "Death March" and inside the gates of Hades of Camp O’Donnnell and Capas, Tarlac in Luzon.

Majority of the USAFFE - if not all were Christians. They were creation of the Almighty in his image no matter how imperfect they were - and believed in the tenets of Christiandom where salvation was a source of existence, even with some beliefs of reincarnation. Such mix along with political practices have nevertheless glued people together in a society of free men.

Lopesided Relationship

Both the Philippines and American

Constitutions invoked the presence of God, even if in practice, there is separation of Church and State. However, politico-economic function and existence was something else.

It can be gainsaid that Philippine-American relations under the so-called special relationship born out of war, U.S. colonialism and munificent of peacetime grants and conditional loans - have spawn love and hate relationship under irritations of previous American presence, economic pressures. Albeit lope-sided mutual security agreements.

Enemy ‘s Harsh Revenge

Coming back to the heroic resistance of the defenders of Bataan had successfully wrecked the timetable of conquest of then enemy offensive, but later had succumbed to an overwhelming enemy offensive. Effects of USAFFE’s gallant stand in Bataan against the initial offensive by Gen. Homma left a negtive impression on the Nipponese top military powers in Tokyo.

Gen. Homma himself, under peer intrigues, was upbraided by the Japanese High Command in Tokyo for failing to capture Bataan within a month’s offensive. Therefore, as a consequence, the Imperial Japanese Forces ruthlessly maltreated the USAFFE defenders as part of the face-saving retaliation by proud sons of the Bushido - who was shamed by superb showing of the Bataan defenders against Homma’s forces.

Reality of History

History is cruel because it is just, if the truth must be told.

Years later, these following words were etched on the marble marker in Mt. Samat, in Bataan an I quote:

" Let friend and foe recognize the martial spirit that defeat could not break. To the memory of these brave warriors, whose blood soaked every rock of this land so this Nation might endure this humble shrine is consecrated.

" Our mission is to remember."

+ + + + +

Pockets of Resistance

After the Fall of Bataan, Corregidor still stood until May 9th under the banner of the United States Army force in the Philippines [USAFIP]. Stragglers [ female nurses, etc., ] from Bataan were able to cross the channel to Corregidor to safety until its final hour of capitulation.

[ The Death March is another story, which can be see in another chapter of this treatise. ]

The Resistance Movement

When the war broke out, cadets from the Philippine Military Academy [PMA ] the West Point of the Philippines, and cadets of the Reserve Officers Training forces of universities in the country were ordered disbanded and dispersed, in order to preserve them from the tolls and ravages of war, and possibly be the next generation to keep the fires of freedom and democracy.

These young and restive men simply did relish to take defeat. They organized pockets of resistance movements - by way of guerrillas and held "second fronts" to distract the enemy forces from its concentrated quest to decimate the USAFFE in Bataan and other fronts.

Some of them attempted to cross Manila Bay in dugout canoes [ bancas ] to join their brothers and fathers in Bataan, however, were foiled by friendly fires of the USAFFE defenders from the shores of Bataan, mistaking them for the enemy.

The Hunters’ Guerrilla

Guerrillas were "loose knit" groups with their own leaders who owed allegiance to the U.S. flag - an to no one but to Gen. MacArthur who repesented America.

One of these formidable guerrillas was the Hunters-ROTC Guerrilla trained and led by my contemporaries, two intrepid "yearlings" [second year cadets] from the academy [PMA], Miguel " Mike" Ver [Phlipine Military Academy Class 43] and Eleuterio "Terry" Adevoso [ PMA Class ’44 ] along with a dozen original boyhood friends., who defied the enemy from occupying the country. They started at San Juan [suburb of Manila ]. To name a few death-defying assaults by guerrillas against the Japanese occupying troops - hereunder are some of them.

The Young and the Heedless

Within three months, the Hunters expanded by attracting more ROTC cadets from the universities: Mapua Institute of Technology, University of the Philippines, San Juan de Letran College, San Beda, and even from the high school’s preparatory Military Training [ PMT cadets of the Mapa High School in the Capital City of Manila.

Headquarters was transferred from San Juan, Rizal - to the hills of Antipolo, Rizal on April 6, 1942. Shortage of arms and equipment led them to plot and carry out lightning raids on several college armories of the University of the Philippines at Padre Faura street, Union College at Taft Avenue, and Mapua Institute of Technology in Avenida Rizal. All of these daring raids were executed by a handful of Hunters - under the nose of the nonchalant Japanese occupation troops in the city.

This procurement sorties netted more than enough guns, rifles and ammunition to make the Hunters a formidable striking force the enemy had to contend with.

Procurement Raids

They daringly raided the Union College armory - in the heart of Manila under the noses of nonchalant enemy guards, which netted them hundreds of rifles and boxes of ammunition, carefully hauled through enemy check-points eastward towards the hills of Antipolo, Rizal.

It was a defiant feat young Filipinos imbued with intense patriotism that quenched their thirst for emancipation from the yoke of foreign domination of arrogance and severity.

These was the first of a series of death-defying raids by the Hunters - which supplied arms for the nucleus of the Hunters that harassed the enemy from the rear, and that distracted the enemy from its drive towards Bataan. It was fly on the face of the proud invaders tnat didnot respect the declared "Open city" by Pres. M. Quezon and Gen. MacArthur in order to save the non-combatant civilians and city from ruin.

In dire need of more firearms, ammunition and supplies, another raid was staged by them in the Mapua Institute of Technology College in Avenida Rizal, in the bosom of the city. They netted hundreds of rifles and equipment. Then followed later by raid of stocks of arms and supplies in the Bureau of Constabulary training camp staged by then Hunter Captain Gonzalo Magsalin,his brother and the Taguig Hunters, not only netting hundreds of arms, but also taking along with him majority members of the puppet constables to the hills of Rizal and join as members of the guerrilla organization.

This feat, having lost its face - angered the Japanese High Command and ordered an all out search and destroy guerrillas and sympathizers through "zonification" of towns and villages suspected of harboring the dreaded "Kempei Tai " the enemy’s military police, based n the torture dungeons of historic Fort San Santiago.

Enemy Retaliation

The complacent face-saving sons of the Bushido, were caught with their pants down - therefore mounted a counter-strike against the unexpected invisible Filipino resistance movement right in the heart of the occupied territory - Metro-politan Manila. Japanese mountain troops with top combat experience tracked down the Hunters headquarters in Malabanca, Antipolo, the launched a massive manhunt, discovering the Hunter’s lair with the help Makapilis (Filipino quislings).

The First Guerrilla Battle

An encounter ensued in July 4, 1942 where the Hunter commander Miguel "Mike" Ver was killed in action. As a result, the fresh recruits under training took a beating, most of them begged off to return home, leaving only the hard core of 30 original Hunters that carried out the resistance against an obdurate "

Terry Adevoso carrying the nom de guere " Magtanggol", as the second in command took the lead.

To Avenge Mike Ver’s Death

Hard core Hunters had to avenge the death of their leader, Mike Ver, thus regrouped further inner the mountain of Sierra Madre - at Pugad Lawin ( Hawk’s Nest ) Rizal, and mounted ambush of the Japanese pursuers.

The Hunters were strategically deployed on both side of the high rise road, and waited for the enemy with much patience. They were confident that they had laid a superb trap for the enemy.

As the enemy column passed by, Terry fire the first salvo on the lead enemy vehicle. Numerous vehicles were blown up, only a handful of Japanese escapees were able to survive, leaving more than a hundred dead a d wounded behind.

More Arms and High Morale

This successful ambuscade again netted the Hunters more arms and ammunition, not to leave out usable equipment for them. The news spread out in Manila like wild fire, and in the adjacent provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Bulacan and Cavite - of this daring ambush where the enemy further lost its face. Filipino civilians inwardly cheered the Hunters, who rekindled the fires of freedom - as hundreds of new and fresh young recruits poured in, as well as former members who begged off after the Malabanca incident.

Noted enlistees for the mobile combat columns were: Remy Gozon, Sisoy Pia and Ernie Parpan. They would turn up as combat unit commanders for several mobile combat units that were to ambush the enemy later.

As a consequence, the scope of the mission of the Hunters was enlarged. Additional units were added under: Naning Guerrero, Vic Estacio, Frisco San Juan, Vic Novales, and Marcelino Tan. Each of them took command of their units.

With all these well- of operation in the provinces of Rizal, Tayabas, Laguna, Cabvita, Batangas and Manila.

Help was provided to the fledgling unit of the Hukbo ng Bayan Laban sa Hapon , with the acronym "HukBaLaHap" (a Communist unit) in San Antonio, Laguna - that had no military know-how and experience.

The Manila Intelligence Net

In the heart of Manlia, liaison and intelligence unit was established by Col. Gustavo C. Ingles ( PMA class ’45) and left the unit to B. Estrella a.k.a. "Mutya", a violin instructor at the University of the Philippines. He expanded this net in Manila and suburbs - which was the eyes and ears of the Hunters in the Capital City.

Mutya was having a hell of a time operating in the middle of hornet’s nest (the enemy in Manila), so Ingles took over the intelligence function and left the communication activity to Mutya. Organizing a guerrilla [ Manila Intel-net ] inside the enemy line was a trying task for Ingles. He chose Perfecto Soriano, a close friend, and former class mate in High school as his executive officer. As a cover, Ingles worked as janitor at the San Juan Municipal Hall.

[ See: Memoirs of Pain, by Col. Gustavo C. Ingles (Ret.), Mauban Heritage Foundation, Fourways Printing, Manila, Philippines ]

Sorties to Laguna

He would make sorties to Laguna, where I spotted him in Pagsanjan, later we delved deeper together into intelligence work to pave the way for the mobile combat unit of the then Hunter Captain Remy Gozon, in the Sierras of the Second District of Laguna.

In Manila Proper

Under the very nose of the Japanese, back in Manila - Ingles was able to set up a formidable "inside unit" in the different Manila Police Stations, where desk sergeants headed the cell-units. They were doing well until the Japanese Kempei Tai, [ Military Police ] got wind of the Hunter secret intel-operation, under Homer M. Ingles and Leonardo Darvin and Dominiciano de Jesus. (they were architects)with access to the enemy plans of the Matsumura Gumi and contractors.

The relay comunications were under Cesar Castillo and Felixberto Damian of the Hunters police detachment. This operation proved valuable for the South-West Pacific Area Command under Gen. MacArthur in Australia.

Capture of Ingles

Ingles was commuting from Rizal to Manila in June of 1943 to coordinate with the City intel-unit. At the Ideal Café in Rizal Avenue, he was accosted by an unknown lanky man, along with some other quislings.

Ingles never did expect or knew that he would be meeting this man under an entirely different circumstance. Sergio Reyes, who turned up to be an enemy informer.

Last Rendezvous with Terry

Ingles last rendezvous with Terry was in June of 1943, when Terry just escape enemy capture in Marikina, Rizal where Terry was hurt, and was limping.

Obviously, the enemy was closing in on the Hunters ranking hierarchy through the efficient network of Filipino spies. Ingles, without any way out for an escape, was taken into custody by the Japanese Kempei Tai (KT) - and wad brought to the notorious torture chambers of the Airport Studio, at Soler Street, in Binondo district of Manila.

Ingles was dragged down to the ground from the truck by irate Japanese guards, slapped and struck on the face and the torso. He stood up but again took a barrage of kicks and blows. And then given the all too familiar torture "water cure" until he drowned and resuscitated to be beaten for days and nights by the Japanese military police.

[ See Memoirs of Pain, by Col. Gustavo C. Ingles, Four Ways Printing, Manila, Philippines. ]

All Too Familiar Torture

This type of torture [ the water cure ] was no monopoly or invention of the Japanese Military Police.

When the Americans intruded into the Philippines in 1898, after Admiral Dewey hoodwinked Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo ito work with him in accepting the surrender of the Spaniards, differences between them sparked a shooting war in the outskirts of Manila, in Sta. Mesa.

Flash Back [ 1898 ]

What followed was the Philippine-American War. Filipino civilians and soldiers were tortured by American troopers under the command of Gen. Loyd Wheaton.

His men were equally brutal and savages in treating Filipinos. They introduced the infamous American "water cure" as early as 1898 in the Philippines. Perhaps the Japanese were just "copy-cats".

Letters of American soldiers to their friend back home in the U.S. revealed and portrayed actual savaged maltreatment of Filipino civilians and soldiers alike. A private in the Utah Battery wrote home of a "Goo-goo" hunt, to wit: "With an enemy like this, as a motto, and fill the blacks (Filipino ) full of lead before finding out whether they are friends or enemies.

Another American soldier reported, to wit: " Our fighting blood was up, and all we wanted was to kill ******s (Filipinos)… This shooting human beings beats rabbit hunting all to pieces."

The report continued, and I quote from the book, entitled "Sitting In Darkness" by David Haward Bain, 1984 printed by Penguin Book [ ISBN 0-14-008992-6], to wit:

"What, for instance, could a civilized being think abut the "water cure" a practice to extract information from Filipino prisoners (whether soldiers or civilians): a soldier would hold a person on the ground while several gallons of water were sluiced down the throat. The prisoner’s mid-section would be horrible distended; water would be removed by kicking or punching the stomach until all the water was expelled. The procedure was excruciating and was very effective in making Filipinos to talk."


Documentary Evidences

This comparative maltreatment of Filipinos by both colonials, has been unparralleled, as recorded in history books. Under Gen. Wheaton’s watch, towns were burned, and his men killed Filipinos in sight, They killed hapless women and children which was done to a finish. They sang, " I am probably growing hard-hearted, for I am in my glory when I can sight my gun on some dark skin and pull the trigger."

"Of course, war being what it is, the Filipinos began to reply in kind despite their reputation for having treated Spanish prisoners with civility.

The New York Times has this to report, to wit:

"I am afraid that some people at home will lie awake nights worrying about the ethics of this war, thinking that our enemy is fighting for the right of self-. Independence. The word ‘independent’ which these people roll over their tongues so glibly, is to them a word, not much more

"Burning houses? Shooting prisoners, Torturing civilians? What . people might have asked, had happened to American youth?… Perhaps one can only point to the nature of the Asian war, the collision of cultures and race, and to the rampant messianism abroad n the United States that made all American action good and all others bad."

The Beating and Water Cure Began

Back to World War in the the Philippines, in the Airport Studio, Ingles was pushed into rectangular pool of water. His hands were tied on the back on a makeshift bench, while he was given by the Japanese guards the notorious "water cure" as the interrogation started accusing him of being a guerrilla.

Prisoners were being drowned and beaten to admit false confession or half truths.

This torture routine continued for days until the victim could not take the pain and suffocation any more. Some of them drowned, later resuscitated, only to begin the torture anew. Ingles remained here for a number of days with broken limbs but have endured and resisted the enemy interrogation.

He withstood the savaged beating and water cure.

Pre-conditoning as a Plebe

Having been a punished plebe cadet at the Philippine Military Academy in Baguio, like any plebe cadet, had survived the "beast barracks" [ hazing] for a year until recognition day by their peers. So - Ingles was sort of prepared for this type of brutality. But how long he would last under the inhuman treatment, nobody knew. He survived this - and then returned to guerrilla resistance movement.

He is still alived today as I write this book, like me, as a prisoner-of-war, who survived hell and high water under the iron heels of a brutal and ruthless enemy. With broken limbs, we were able to withstand the tolls and ravages of that war that was not our own. Looking back, reminishing, we could only summarize the whole 3 and a half years of struggle for freedom worth the blood and sweat we shed for God and country.

Strategic Torture Chambers

There were, however, a string of torture chambers established by the Japanese for captured Filipinos: in Far Eastern University, in Antipolo, Rizal, and In Fort Santiago, in Manila, which was the headquarters of the Japanese Military Police [ Kempai Tai ] headed by Col. Nagahama. It did not include the torture chambers in the dragnets in towns where the Japanese isolated by means of zoning (hamletting} of townspeople in their quest for guerrillas and sympathizers. Our job was to harass the enemy from the rear. And our motto was : Thou Shall Not Get Caught.! It was nothing but a deadly game of cat and mouse with the invaders.

Historical Note

Fort Santiago during the Spanish regime was earlier the headquarters of the Spanish military, that incarcerated Jose P. Rizal, the national hero of the Philippines, before his execution at the Luneta, Manila.

It was there where the where Rizal wrote the famous "Last Farewell" there night before his execution.

However, during the Japanese occupation, Fort Santiago became the horror chamber of execution of patriotic Filipinos who oppose the Japanese regime.

Savaged Retaliation

In the Intramuros raid, the guards were cleverly outwitted - who, in retaliation - mounted a against the shoot to kill guerrillas or were executed by beheading.

But the Hunters were already safe, and far away in the mountains of Sierra Madre, east of Manila - where they distributed the booty to the waiting recruits in Antipolo and Boso-boso, Rizal.

[ For further reference and details see the books: "Terry’s Hunters by P. Mojica, Benipayo Press. Manila 1965 ; The Indomitable by v. Brigoli Armamento, Viking Press 1972 ]

Personal Account

My personally account for the exploits of this organization, was based from my notes, being one of those who joined them in 1943, likewise survived the onslaught and deprivations [ as a [ POW ] and survived up 1945 and later to write this treatise.

[See chapter about the Hunters Story, and the ‘Freedom At Dawn" which accounted for the assault-rescue of 2,147 Americans and allied prisoners-of-war before they were about to be massacred by the Japanese guards in 1945 ]

Personal Ordeal In Hell

After disbandment of our unit from Manila before New Year of 1941, the USAFFE had destroyed Calumpit Bridge in Bulacan - which was the only span that linked Manila and Bataan. My dreams of joining the defenders in Bataan, my father, my cousins: Juanito and Eugenio Quesada, and my bosom friends in the USAFFE - had become whiten mirages which kept me more deeply loyal to the U.S. flag. We, [the disbanded USAFFEs] therefore fought in different fronts hoping to deter the enemy from further occupying the country. We give the enemy no rest and respite from our harassments. It was an ordeal for almost four years.

History have credited the guerrilleros of the Philippines with high mark as evidence of Gen. MacArthurs commendations and awards to them, as well as records of the U.S Army by the Philippine army records.

According to records these gallant members of the national resistance movement have saved the United States government billions of dollars, and saved million of American lives in the liberation of the Philippines by the joint U.S.. and Allied forces under MacArthur - in his obsession to fulfill his promise to the Filipino people of coming back to liberate the them.

Obdurate Japanese Invaders

Japanese forces were inching towards Manila by January of 1942. Many of us did not relish being caught or be executed by the enemy inside Manila City which surely was to be sealed by the occupation troops to enforce martial law.

Throngs and thousands of scampering civilians and non-combatants trying to escape death and ruin had only minutes to flee for dear life, rather than suffer enemy brutal abuses or death in the hands of the savage enemy troops who wasted people and looted properties along their advance.

The "Bakwis" [ Evacuees ]

Civilian population found their way also towards the various directions, scurrying to keep away from the surging enemy troops, foraged whatever food they could lay their hands from the fields, slept on the damp ground, and wandered to unfamiliar "poblaciones" hoping to discover kind-hearted faces who would offer them food and shelter.

They would roam from one village to another, searching for acquaintances and friends to find safe-haven. All they brought with them were their worldly belongings and family heirlooms, leaving everything behind for the enemy to plunder. Nothing could best describe them, and their fears of fear itself from rumors, which they fervently tried to dissemble, but was quite apparent over the haggard faces.

Fear of Fear Itself

Foremost, was the specter of xenophobia, fear and abhorence of an unknown enemy rumored and billed as savages. And it turned out to be true in many villages where the barbaric enemy occupied - they abused hapless civilians. Women were raped, men were brutally maltreated. Spoils of war abound without restraint. And the Filipino people subjected to barbarity never known to them ever since.

Reality of Enemy Snares

On several instances reported, there was a frail Filipina girl in San Fernando, La Union province, who refused to leave her telephone switchboard and maintained communication to the last against the rushing enemy, was bayoneted by the enemy.

Then - there was the story of a strong-willed and patriotic schoolteacher, [Buenaventura Bello ] in Vigan, Ilocos Sur province, who refused to remove the American flag from the classroom wall and was shot standing beneath it by the Japanese soldier.

And a heroic boy named Cuenca - who surreptitiously volunteered to drive 31 Japanese soldiers up the mountain road in a truck. He hurled the vehicle over a cliff. offering his own life to take with him all the enemy soldiers to death. This is only ones known about the un-celebrated martyrs and heroes of Filipinos.

These are hundreds of untold heroism and sacrifices of Filipinos under the iron heel of the enemy. Many more would follow as the freedom-loving citizens of the Philippines chose to face their moment of truth in the face of the enemy. Every Filipino has a story to tell which must be encouraged to be chronicled. Our duty and moral obligation is to chronicle them for the youths of the land to emulate them and surpass if not equal such courage and valor as honored tradition of Filipino’s civic and national pride. For a country without heroes would be no less than a man sans his guiding star. Without it, he would stumble in the dark, and sit in darkness forever. The country - liken to it, will forever be vulnerable to foreign invasion and abuse. And suffer the indignity of a serf - lost in the woods of perdition and annihilation.

Bits of Christian History

Mass evacuation of non-combatants from the path of the surging barbarians had appeared a tautology and a burden of a song likened to the past.

What transpired was prophetically history repeating itself. And it did at this instance. It reminded me of the days likened to the days of Christ - when Jesus himself was a refugee [ an evacuee ] himself in His time.

Biblical Allusion

His father, Joseph and mother Mary, resided in Bethlehem with their son Jesus, only to be driven out by the threat of King Herod who avidly was in searched for a child to destroy. [ Mathew 2:13 ] Quickly Joseph, Mary and their son, Jesus sought asylum in Egypt - until an angel appeared to them in a dream that adviced them - it was dangerous for them to remain or even live in Judah. The threat of violence haunted them until they settled down in Nazareth in Galilee. There they were finally spared from Harm’s way.

Access to the Sierras

For my part, before the Japanese entered the Capital City of Manila, my best option was to quickly exit eastward toward the mountain fastness Sierra Madre mountain. From Manila through Pasig, Rizal - I started the tedious trek through the craggy Sierras of Rizal in a effort to evade the enemy’s route - reported already advancing towards the Capital City from the southern jaw of Paranaque, Rizal south of Manila, Southwest of Manila

Many fellow cadets had the same idea - who also brought their arms with a handful of ammunition with them. We thrived on bananas and coconuts along the way - until it was safer and away from the berserk enemy troops rushing onward to Manila by January 1942.

Brief Reunion with a Friend

Along the way, I learned that Col. Hugh Straughn [Ret.], my father’s contemporary, already had a handful of disbanded USAFFEs and Philippine Scouts with him who also failed to join the retreat to Bataan. They formed the Fil-Am Irregular Troops [FAIT] Guerrilla, one of the earliest resistance movements in the forested hills of Rizal and Laguna provincial boundary.

Through the tight cordon of his perimeter guards, I broke through and paid respects to him, as an old family acquaintance. My father and him were pre-war contemporaries in the mining business.

He immediately recognized me, asked for the where-abouts of my father. Capt, Roman N. Quesada [PA., Inf. ], his close friend. I informed him - my father was also called to the retreat of the USAFFE to Bataan, and I have failed to get in touch with him during many attempts to join him.

Straughn owned a coal mine in Polilio Island before the war, when he was called back from retirement by the U.S. Army. He was also stranded at the southern bank of Calumpit Bridge. And also did not relish capture by the enemy. He headed towards Jala-jala, Rizal province, where he intended to resist the enemy harassing the enemy from the rear.

Straughn asked: "Would you want to join me?

"I would only be thrilled and honored to served with you for the cause of freedom," I happily replied.

A Friendly Furlough

However, later - he gave me an option to first locate my mother, and family somewhere in eastern Laguna. It was a reasonable option. I bade him goodbye with a promise to locate him later. He kept on moving to evade enemy capture beyond my reach. Nevertheless, he received my intelligence reports through other guerrilla operatives. My last dispatch to him was with a can of asparagus which was his favorite veggie. Since then, we lost each other, until he was under custody by he enemy in the summer of 1943.

Captured and Later Executed

He was propped on a truck where he cold be viewed by the public under guard. He was caught in Rizal province and was being displayed by the enemy to the townspeople as part of the propaganda that guerrillas were already eliminated. When in fact were sprouting like mushrooms in the countryside.

We would later exchanged glances at each other, in Paete, in the summer of 1943, when he was captured by the Japanese, tied in the back, on a chair, propped on a truck, and was paraded from town-to-town by the Japanese in a display to show the Filipino people that they have successfully seized the leader of [ The Fil-American Irregular Troops or FAIT ].

Straughn appeared haggard and weary. As I came closer to the truck we exchanged glances of recognition, that escaped the ever watchful eyes of the spies and Japanese soldiers who accompanied him on the truck. He and I surmised that his fate was sealed, and that it was our last farewell. He was never heard from since. It was assume that he was also executed by the Kempei Tai. He died a glorious death under the honorable banner of freedom. He is one of my beloved heroes.

Before he was beheaded, he was coerced to make a statement to the press in Manila.. On September 1, 1943, the Manila Tribune sub-head read, " Captured Chieftain Say Fate of His Guerrilla Outfit Should Serve as an Example."

His photo was on the lefthand side of the article. It was obvious that he was forced to sign a statement by the Japanese Military Police to discourage patriotic guerrillas from further resisting the enemy.

Resistance Units

Loose-knit pockets of resistance units mushroomed everywhere.

It was my first guerrilla unit served in the FAIT’s mobile combat unit as coordinating intelligence operative in Southern Tagalog region., and as an original organizing-member of the first guerrilla unit in Paete, Laguna - in early in January 1942, along with Odon Fadul who was separated from his unit of the U.S. Army; Francisco Aseoche, a Paetenian evacuee; Felix Caguin, also a Paetenian evacuee, an active leftist-labor union organiziner from Manila; Pete Esteban, an evacuee from Manila; and myself - before the first Japanese stepped into town in January 21, 1942.

This was the first local guerrilla unit formed by these five Paetenians - that served as the nucleus of the local resistance movements. Most of the Paetenians were "homeguards", while a handfull of us were in the mobile combat sorties. The nucleous was then absorbed by the larger guerrilla units which expanded in the region.

My Safe Lair

I held a well-camouflaged lair atop Sierra Madre mountain, at Sitio Humarap, overlooking the town of Paete. a few kilometers up on the hill, where I could, observe daily developments, received periodic intelligence reports from operatives about latest developments in the poblacion, and enemy movements which in turn - was reported to headquarters through a relay of organized transports. And a handful of patriotic aboriginal natives [ Dumagats ], led by my most trusted friend Felino Pajik, an American mestizo from Paete, who was in he wanted list of the Japanese.

Felino was a trusted friend who joined my unit, evaded the enemy quest for his head at a prize, and was my operative.

Barefoot Treks to Infanta

Pajik knew the path-ways and mountain trails of Sierra Madre like the palm of his hand. We would hike on bare foot from Sta. Ana [Paete] using the unbeaten pathways away from the trails the Japanese patrols toward Infanta, Tayabas. We would reach Infanta in two days and two nights of continuous walk, munching or nibbling our meals while walking, braving the torrential rains and the ever-menacing "limatics" [blood-suckers ]that only dropped off until it was as big as my thumb.

We would meet with Captain Bimbo Mansano, the exec of Maj. Bernard L. Anderson, of the USAFE Anderson Guerrilla, in Infanta. Tayabas - to submit our intelligence reports. and in turn receive orders from Southwest Pacific Area Command [SWPA ]of Gen. Charles Willoughby through Col. Anderson.

This clandestine operation was unknown to my family and friends in Paete. Only those who were also in the wanted list of the enemy were the ones who knew our activities. I enjoyed the comfort of being known as an evacuee, but in reality carried the nom-de-guerre, "Keith Quale". It sounded Caucasian which misled the Japanese for an American. A reason I was not caught by the enemy earlier..

Clandestine Operation

We were operating a clandestine intelligence operation atop the sierras - in close touch and combined operation with other guerrilla units such as FAIT, Markings, the Hunters and the l;ocal Hukbalahap, a communist-oriented group led by Pedro Villegas a.k.a Hasim, of San Antonio, Laguna.

My early comrades in the Hunters in 1943, like Captain Remy Gozon, who led the Hunters Flying Combat Column that ambushed the Japanese in the sierras, would show up for a visit with Enrique Cadayona, and his brother in law, my cavalier Benny Roque of PMA Class ’44 for a conference.

We exchange pleasantries under the noses of prying spies who could not penetrate our net. Another active guerrilla was Daniel "Dany" Adea, PMA class ’44 - who married a local dame, Fe - and had also eluded the enemy for a while until we both were under the iron heels of the enemy.

Falling Like Dominoes

In the same token, that Col. Rafael "Paeng" Reynoso, of the FAIT Combat Force based in Lumban would sometime drop by in my lair and ask for latest breakers from Australia. Unluckily, Reynoso was later caught in the enemy dragnet in Lumban in 1943, and was executed under coercion by local residents under the bayonet point of the Japanese guards.

While another FAIT guerrilla Col.onel carrying the alias "Taktakan" was wounded in Pagsanjan, and was evacuated to Rizal province where he suffered from incurable gangrene of the leg. The enemy was gaining ground against the guerrillas in this year. We were being careless.

And not to leave out Maj. Agapito Valera, a..k.a Ato Valsa, of Pangil, Laguna who headed the FAIT in the second district of Laguna. He was the one who recruited Dr. Ariston Baet into the FAIT.

Paete - a Junction of Spies

Paete became the hub of different visiting guerrilla bands because of abundance of food, and loyal cooperation from the residents. It was a perilous period of the game of "cat and mouse" between the guerrillas and the Japanese.

As a prosperous town, trade and commerce flourished, and Japanese spies would pose as traders to learn where guerrillas operate. However, in the game of cat and mouse, they would lose because they had no base of operation. They would end up with a bullet behind the head, or buried in shallow graves in the forested mountain.

In the process, however, there were a few casualties caught earlier in between the encounters of the two protagonists. It was part of the war that had to be fought with cunning and persistence.

Ideal Escape

Paete seemed as a perfect cover for guerrillas who most often came down from the hills to patronize with residents. I myself, would come down from my mountain base to visit my folks and enjoy the barrowed moments of respite from enemy’s trap in their quest for guerrillas. I would carefully choose back-roads in the cover of darkness at night leading to town to prevent inadvertent loose-lips that could expose my presence.

During long period of lull of enemy patrols, I would risk staying in town to visit with trusted relatives, and court a local dame named Lucy. It was said love defies all slipperiness and perils. It was a dare stay in town to be with her at night under the ogle and watchfull eyes, and care of her parents. And I had a escape route if the enemy would be reported around in town. And had many trusted friends ad relatives who have protected me from Harm’s Way.

Narrowing Enemy Dragnet

It was only after the hamletting [zona] of Paete in the summer of 1943 when I was comfortable to enjoy my stay in town, in the house of my uncle, Eusebio N. Quesada, a community leader whom I assumed would provide me protection when face to face with the enemy.

He had Japanese civilian friends in Pangil, Laguna - like H. Yama****a, who was married to a Filipina, and Inoye who knew my uncle well. This, however, was no iron-clad guarantee what the Japanese would do, if I am again taken to custody and tortured. My cover -nom-de-guere was never blown out to the enemy until that fateful hamletting [zona] when I was hapless inside the enemy’s trap.

However, despite of this current situation, I still would maintain my mountain lair during Japanese presence in town with doubtful intentions. And it was there where I hid my firearms and intelligence paraphernalia.

Three Kings Festivities

Six days before the enemy ingressed into Paete in 1942, the town was cautiously celebrating the Catholic Feast day of the Three Kings, when thick rumors abound coming from Lumban, Laguna [ a few towns away ] that Japanese troops occupied Lumban, and that the next town they would reach was Paete to hoist the Japanese flag. Whether true or not - people had to be prepared for the occasion.

This provided Paetenians a cue how they would receive the enemy. People were on guard and circumspect. No one could really tell how and what they would do. Paetenians were confident, and went on with their daily chores in home industries. They toiled while they waited. And carried an lousy intrigue as to how the Japanese actually looked like.

Enemy Troops Strayed

On January 21st, at 11:00 o’clcck A.M., the first contingent of Japanese troops, eight fully-armed soldiers aboard a truck drove briskly to town towards the town "plaza" [ town square.] They seemed tired and needed respite. They were short and stocky, crude and uncouth, moved about with chips on their shoulders, ever conscious as triumphant arrogants.

This was, however, the initial intercourse with a strange alien enemy, who arrived soaking wet, without fanfare, took off their uniforms in public, appeared naked while only in their G-strings, and hung their clothes to dry in front of the town hall, immediately asked many questions through an interpreter.

Paetenian’s First Impression

These boorish manifestation have given the Paetenians a preview of what to expect from a crude and uncivil invader who did not or never respected Filipino sensitivities and good conduct. Thus, a strong prejudice existed among Paetenians.

The enemy wanted to know if there were any motor boats available so they could commandeer to haul lumber to Lumban. It was confirmed by reports that they aimed to repair the bridge blown -up by the USAFFE to deny them access.

Lasting Impression

Seeing the strange enemy behavior, Paetenians readily had their first and lasting impression how barbaric and crude they were. Paetenians had readily developed a bias against them, despite knowing certain Japanese civilian families that earlier settled down in Paete, i.e., the Kusakabe and Inoye families who were perfect lovable strangers on the surface but were suspects. They could not be trusted.

Japanese Families in Paete

Before the war, the Kusakabe family "Kabe," the father; Nisang, the mother; sons Kauro, Akira and Masasi - and a daughter, were easily assimilated by Paetenios for their charming and humble characteristics. The established a bakery shop in the middle of town at [Gitnang Bayan ] and won the respect and admiration of everyone. They knew how to get along. They even speak with the local intonation [puntong Paete ] which made them acceptable to Paetennians.

Unknown, however, to any Paetenians - "Kabe" had orders to spy for Japan. He was very subtle, un-noticed as a spy - until the family was repatriated in 1941 to Yokohama.

School Classmates

Paetenians recall in their age level, remember going to elementary grades in Paete with Kauro, Akira and and loved them.

For my part, I remember going to high school in Santa Cruz, with Kauro, who excelled in many subjects, and was a good looking son for a Nipponese. One girl in their family, whom I could remember well who grew up in Paete, however, whose name I cannot not member, married a man from Pangil, Laguna, and was left behind in the country when the family left.. She is very much alive as a mother of children born in marriage, however, residing under quiet and undisturbed life in the outskirts of Pangil, Laguna. She was absorbed as a local.

Other Japanese Paetenian

Inoye, another Nipponese also settled down in Paete, however, was aloof from people. He was, nevertherless, a friend of my uncle Eusebio N. Quesada, a professional educator. When the Japanese invaders arrived in Paete, Inoye cam out as an arrogant interpreter for the military. However, had warm spot for Paetenians.

They spoke Tagalog with the local accent, like anyone else. And attended civic functions without obvious distinction of being aliens in a foreign land.

They loved their neighbors as their neighbors loved them.

In sum, " Parang talagang taga Paete". And they never showed that they were working for the Japanese military government. Paetenians never had an inkling of how the conflict would turn out for them, and for the Japanese Paetenians they have learned to well.

Inoye was later reported as a spy for the Japanese. And he indeed was. He disappeared from Paete before the Japanese invasion and returned later after the Philippines as occupied. He chose to return in Laguna.

During enemy sorties to Paete, he would show up and e an interpreter for the enemy.

[See story written by Flora N. Filoteo and myself about the Japanese Paetenians in the issue of Matanglawin Quarterly 2001]

Initial Guerrilla Action

Based on my after-encounter reports to the combined guerrilla headquarters, the band of the Marking’s Guerrilla, one of the units in Rizal across Laguna de Bay, took the initiative to raid the Japanese engineer detachment in Lumban who held several American prisoners-of-war used as forced labor details.

The enemy maltreated these American POWs in public and made them as showcase of their triumph over white colonials. The people were helpless in seeing how the POWs were brutally punished for simple mistakes and misunderstandings over language miscommunication. American POWs were killed for nothing. It enraged guerrillas.

The Lumban Raid

Barely two months after the surrender of Bataan by Gen King, Marking and his men acted on my report to Col. Hugh Straughn of FAIT Guerrilla that the Japanese detachment in Lumban, Laguna were holding some American prisoners-of-war in the school house as forced-laborers, working as details repairing the Lumban bridge. Under harsh treatment.

Marking gathered his combat unit and planned the liberation of the American POWs in Lumban from the clutches of the abusive Japanese soldiers.

His guerrillas were armed with anything from outmoded army rifles, shot-guns, 22 caliber pistols, some local home-made "paltiks" [single shot pistols], and the famous Filipino razor-sharp "bolos" [machetes]. This band had farmers, fishermen, volunteers as members who dreamed of being freedom fighters. fight

They were niggardly trained for warfare but had more guts than acumen and subtlety. These intrepid men may not know the rudiments of military tactics but they were unafraid to lay their lives at the altar of valor. So with Markling who was an accidental guerrilla leader, coming from a job of truck driver of Antipolo bus company, and a professional boxer before he was drafted in the army.

Verification of Intelligence Report

Marking, nevertheless was not satisfied with the bits of intelligence reports of his men about the Americans POWs held by the Japanese. He went personally to Lumban under cover to see for himself how his men would assault the garrison and free the American POWs.

He contacted me through his officer in Paete - my relative, Dr. Generoso Balquiedra, [ Amang Hine] and asked for precise informations [i.e., the number of Japanese troops, how many American POWs, location of their quarters, number of guards, type of enemy armaments, and etc. ] Precise informations were relayed to him which provided him more confidence in going through with the raid.

He also asked for reliable contacts in Lumban, aside from his own men [ De Ramos ], and the Mayor. I have also referred him to a Hunter guerrilla officer, Maj. Foro "Foy" Bautista,, who in turn provided more assistance during the raid.

Personal Look and See

In Lumban, Marking saw numerous graves of POWs, and witnessed POWs knocked down to the ground, kicked by Japanese guards, and lay beaten, forced to their feet again. He saw POWs drooping, dying with desperation, dull gazing eyes from exhaustion under the scorching sun.

The Daring Raid

His heart aflame, he went back to his headquarters and mounted the assault in Lumban garrison. With two sailboats of combat fighters, left from the shores of Rizal towards Lumban River under cover of darkness, his second in command, Leon Z. Cabalhin, with 20 men crept to assault positions from the river bank to the high rise overlooking the school house where the POWs were held by the enemy. From there, they knew how they would fire upon the guards, at a given signal. And with reinforcements - the moment guards came out of the guard house.

The other group of men proceeded halfway towards the garrison and the POW house.

The town Mayor, in the assault had assured Marking that all the lights in town were out, and all dogs were tied, to not be on the way during the assault.

Through out the town, Marking has 45 fully armed men moved in cautiously and silently. As they reached the targets, they took their designated pathways around the houses, carefully evading dry branches, and loose stones. Feeling with their hands through the pitch-dark night crawling on their bellies, they prayed.

They had inched their way toward the POWs, through the barbed wires, and had to do what was according to plans. They were tense, but wide awake to do what was right to undertake a successful raid.

Marking fired the first volley against the sentry, which was also the signal for his men to spring out of the dark to shoot and bludgeon the guards. Marking shot another sentry afterwards, and quickly proceeded towards the POW’s quarters. He kicked the door and Marking yelled "Come out quickly and join us to freedom.. Hurry !"

There was commotion within among the POWs. Inside their quarters.

"Who are you? asked the POWs.

Markings answered: "Filipino guerrillas. Hurry.!"

The first American POW who came out was George Lightman, who leaped through the door, calling " I am an American, Where are you?"

But an American Captain barred the way after him.

"Over here ! Bring everybody out quickly!" Marking shouted.

The Captain at the door shoved George back the surge towards liberty: and said, "Don’t go, I order you not to !"

But George wanted out, so he said to the rest, "Come on," floundering and panting. The rest won’t come out - said George went out alone.

"Let’s go" Marking said disappointingly. Markings was cursing all the way, and said:

"After all out efforts to free these bastards, they cowardly refused to be freed." Then spat n the ground.

He related the incident to Yay after the hard work they did in Lumban.

"I had to resort by force to rescue them - but just one." said Marking to Yay.

After the successful raid, they transported George to safety across Laguna de Bay to the hills of the Sierra Madre where George was free to roan around.

George Lightman - Free

Much later, I would learn that George strayed in the house of my uncle, Dr. Eugenio Quesada in Paete, asking for assistance and guidance. He roamed the Sierras until he was also caught in the dragnet of the Japanese. He had a few months of respite before he was again in the custody of the enemy and later was reported executed. I remember George as determined man to outlive the war which he failed to accomplish.

[ Refer to the book Paete, written by Dr. E. Quesada, where he related his conversation with Lightman ].

Marking’s Lament

An after action report of Marking, it read this way: " Out of the raid, just one brave American was saved, but the raiders secured from seventeen 30-caliber rifles to sixty, and not a Japanese guard came out of the garrison to reinforce the beleaguered sentries."

:Markings primarily conducted the raid to rescue the Americans, not to procure arms. The next day, the Japanese killed ten of the youngest and strongest American POWs in Lumban - among the dying prisoners in retaliation. This was what guerrillas learned from the enemy if ever they again would conduct similar assault and rescue, without proper coordination with the POWs to be freed.

Repercussion of the Raid

For every Japanese that were killed the Japanese hounded Marking’s Guerrillas all over Rizal province in great force. Since then, it was an all out war by the Japanese against any or all guerrillas.

Yay would relate to me thereafter what Marking said. " Sick of the thought, I swore never again would attempt to rescue Americans, who had no guts to be free."

"But he who would have guts to for suicidal fighting, had no guts for a rescue that saved only one, and the enemy murdered ten return." Yay said to me.

That was the end of this luckless episode. Marking moved his men way up in the Sierra Madre vastness to evade massive enemy manhunt for him and his men.

Who was Marking ?

Marcos Lagasca Villa-Agustin, a.k.a. also known as Marking, whom I met earlier in Bulacan, after we both failed to cross Calumpit bridge in the USAFFE retreat to Bataan.

I also found out later that the Markings Guerrilla had with them, another friend of mine in the USAFFE, Yay Panlilio, a U.S citizen, wife of Eduardo Panlilio, a mining engineer in Palawan.

Yay was recruited earlier by Captain Raplh Keeler as one of the USAFFE’s intelligence agents, she wore badge number 67, following the orders of Colonel J.K. Evans under MacArthur.

Yay’s cover was as a news reporter, picking up any interesting to G-2. In the journalistic field almost everyone. I met her through Gen. Carlos P. Romulo shortly before World War II.

A Friend of a Friend

In the media community shortly before the war, every one knew each one, and Yay was a close friend of Lydia Arguilla, who also was a writer. Lydia’s brother, Bert and I were friends.

Lydia’s involvement with the guerrillas was in her ardent search for her husband, Manuel, another noted writer whom I knew in the University of the Philippines before the war. Manuel had a collection of books he wrote popularly known to the Filipino readers. His where- abouts were not known until the end of the war. :Lydia forever grieved her loss.

Marking’s Quest.

Coming back to Marking, he organized his own unit in 1942, after escaping enemy capture and took lair in Rizal province extending to Laguna later. We kept tab of each other. And Yay who also was stranded in Manila after the retreat of the USAFFE to Bataan and Corregidor, was "wanted" by the enemy upon discovery as McArthur’s agent.

She drifted towards Rizal, where she discovered Marking and his band, that provided here protection. She joined the group, and later became chief-of-staff of the Markings Guerrilla and was called "Mommy Yay" by all the men.

Incidental Reunions

Yay and I used to see each other in the inner fastness of the Sierra Madre whenever I would join another guerrillero, comrade Raul Manglapus, Yay’s chum. We would spend nights in the malaria infested Sierra Madre lair writing accounts of our exploits beneath the flickering "tinghoy lamp"" [oil lamp] which Marking would extinguish after curfew hours under his strict order.

Strangers Among Friends

This was distinct because Raul and I were members of the Hunters Guerrilla which at that juncture was in an internecene war against the Markings. However, we were never suspects.

Raul and I were recruited by Col. Terry Adevoso himself into the Hunters ROTC Guerrillas, after Marking moved his area of operation elsewhere.

In the Hunters - we would operate closely with Adevoso, the CO and Col. Gustavo Ingles, inspector general until liberation of the Philippines. However,in the process - I retained contact with "Andy" [Maj. Bernard L. Anderson, who led his own USAFFE Andersons Guerrilla in Infanta, area, in the eastern coast of the province of Tayabas [ now Quezon province ]on instruction of my father, who was also a contemporary of Anderson.

Valuable Contact

His mountain lair was strategically located n the Pacific coast of Tayabas, where U.S submarine lands brought with tme arms and ammunition, equipment and supplies, And above all, radio sets which would be distributed to all guerrilla units. too [perform a more precise intelligence work for MacArthur and Gen. C. Willoughby, the intelligence chief of Armed forces in the Pacific [AFPAC] and the Allied intelligence Bureau [AIB] in Australia.

Excellent Communication

My personal relation with him was also as close to Col. Straughn, however, "Andy" Anderson. who was able to maintain communication with me in Laguna, through the Dumagats, [aborigines] from a gaping distance of two nights and two days hike through the treacherous jungles of Sierra Madre from Paete infested with Japanese partols. My operative Pajik and my Dumagats [abboriginal natives ] had been very helpful sensing where the Japanese patrols were. Amazingly - these natives could literally smell the Japanese from afar. Their keen sense of small have saved us from the enemy mountain patrols.

U.S. Submarine Planetary Landings

Our close relationship would bear fruits when he had direct access with MacArthur in Australia. Anderson would ask me to meet with him in the shores of Labayat, Tayabas facing China Sea. A seaport where submarines could unload arms and equipment for guerrillas. We were sheltered by Ms. Luminada "Luming" Atendido, a wife of Anderson’s guide.

During the first submarine contact, we were welcomed to fresh shipment of foodstuffs, chocolates, American cigarettes [ Lucky Strike and Walter Raleigh cigarettes ], Free Philippines magazines, and for me - was a gift of a shipment of multiple vitamins, and atabrine pills for malaria, and Philippine currency [Two Pesos bills with the word victory across it ]. It paid for local supplies and civilian services.

Strategic Submarine Missions

The second shipment were radio sets, together with Filipino and Australians radio operators assigned to different areas of operations of guerrillas.

Anderson entrusted his radio code signal, then later provided the Hunters, the Markings, the A. Santos’s guerrillas with radio sets to set up the widest intelligence net in Luzon extending from Tayabas - to Laguna, Batangas, Cavite, Rizal, and Manila. I would be in involved in setting up the operation of the most extensive intelligence radio network.

With radio sets from Southwest Pacific Area [ SWPA] in the hands of each guerrilla organization, MacArthur’s Intelligence chief, Major General Charles A. Willoughby could consolidate all enemy movements, strength and even names of enemy commanders in each of their defense area of operation

Huge Radio Network in Luzon

The following radio net and code signals were: deployed: Anderson - GRT at Masanga with E. Lemi Masanga River; U9N and KIT at Papaya, Nueva Ecija; for .;s Hunters at Las Pinas, Rizal; 5U4 - A.Faretta, Markings at Perez field; JWR - A. Santos, Malolos, Bulacan; YQZ9 - Capt. G, Merrill at Castillejos, Zambales; ETW - A. Santos Angat , Bulacan; RU4 - A. Santos, San Rafael, Bulacan; IQR4 - Marking at Rizal Hqs; 3AB J. Vanderpool, Hunters at Pico de Loro, Cavite; JQ9 - J. Ferrer, Hunters at Nasugbu, Batangas; ZELR - J. Ferrer [Del Pilar] at Limit Point, Cavite; Miller, Markings at Rizal Hqs. with Stoddard; L3D - Vita and Benny Villanueva, AIB at Nagcarlan, Laguna; JIG Marking at Baras, Rizal; 7HC - E. Ramsey at Caloocan, Rizal; TOP - Umali PQOG at Malatina Hills, Batgangas; UAM, Benny Villanueva AIB; SKPO Rowe Station at Lubang Island; PSC - Rowe at Naricaban Island; Jl - Untalan at Marinduqque, 6th MD; 8KU - R. Barros at Lopez, Tayabas; 32V- Carbonel at Naga, Cam. Sur.

These are the net known to me and known to Major Justino ‘Jake’ Pimentel, PA top SignaL Corps officer, of the transmitting station at Marilao, Bulacan which would later be alongside the current Station, Voice of America [VOA].

This net work in Luzon have contributed in hastening of the liberation of Luzon - directly in touch with MacArthur’s KAZ, and in San Francisco KGO.

It was said that information is power, and it really was the secret informational service that provided the liberation forces all movements and strength of Japanese forces in Luzon.

For my part in the Counter-Intelligence Command of the 43rd Division and 11th Corps, where I was assigned. These nets have provided us with the necessary information about the enemy which we serviced to the liberation forces [ the U.S 6th Army, the U.S 8th Army, the 11th Corps, etc ] in the field.

[ See the Liberation Campaign of Luzon ]

Fatefull Mini-Reunions

Years later all three of us [ Yay, Raul and I ] would hold mini-reunions in Manila after the war to celebrate the good old days in the jungles of Rizal and Laguna. [Circa 1942-43]

.Yay would later retire as a full Colonel in the army, then return to the Unites States as American citizen.

Raul -would later be a high ranking official in the Philippine government as Secretary of Foreign Affairs, who would later be hunted by Pres. F. Marcos for refusing to submit to the whims and caprices of the Marcos conjugal dictatorship.

Raul often sought cover in my home in San Francisco, California during dictatorship of Marcos and Imelda to escape assassination squads of Marcos.

Shortly before "martial law" government of Marcos, I was Senate Committee Secretary of the Veterans and Pensions Committee in the Philippine Senate with Senator Jose W. Diokno as my boss. I would serve the government and the veterans for more than a decade.

Later, after the war, I would return to the U.S. to serve the California National Guard [CSMR] as Deputy Chief of Staff G-3, Plans, Training and Operations, and then as Chief of Staff of the State Defense Force, and Logistics Adviser to the 2nd Infantry Brigade, and retire as a full Colonel before serving the United State Federal Circuit Court for the 9th Circuit - covering the States of Washington, Idaho, Oregon, California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam, Marianas and Tahiti, where I would served for over 15 years in the Federal government.

Enemy Order in 1942

Coming back to January 26th, 1942, he Paete Municipal Mayor received an order from the Japanese headquarters fin Sta. Cruz [ the provincial capital town ] requiring all townspeople possessing any firearm to surrender them, until the end of the month.

At the end of the month, Filipino quislings [spies and collaborators] belonging to the "Sakdalistas" identified as: Vicente Pamatmat and Mariano Untivero arrived Paete to collect all firearms, in sum - all in all were: 16 shotguns and 4 revolvers. They left in a hurry, leaving a notice that they would return in five days to more un-surrendered fire-arms.

They spared the firearms of the Mayor, the Chief of Police and 3 policemen to maintain peace and order with just a few bullets.

Band of Enemy Looters

In February 2nd, a motor-boat with 6 rude and disrespectful Japanese soldiers landed at Barrio Ibaba, Paete - and retrieved the firearms of the Mayor, and the police force, then proceeded in random search of houses and molested following residents: Francisco Madrinan, Teodorica Cajipe, Juan N. Quesada, Igmidio Balandra, Jose Caancan, the stores of Isacc Baisas and Gregorio Caancan and Secundo Afuang.

In the process of the illegal searches, they looted valuables watches, rings, etc., and warned them not to resist under the pains of death.

The Catholic church was not spared, soldiers went up the convent and held up Rev. Father Nicomedes Rosal and visiting priest, Fr. Nemsio Madrinan of their valuables: rings, watches etc., under threat not to breath a word to anyone or face consequences. It was ;ater learned that these marauding bunch of "dorobos" [robbers] were from a unit across the Laguna de Bay., who ventured to plunder residents of Paete.

Volunteer Guard Unit Disbanded

On February 10th, orders were received by the Mayor to disband the town’s Volunteer Guard unit, and the Japanese organized its own special police organization. The following Paetenians were appointed under duress: Pedro Caguin, Bonifacio Medina, Mateo Aeoche, Mariano Misosa, Teodoro Baisas, Simeon Baldemor, Bonifacio Afungol and Faustino Bathan.

This force was later reduced to six owing to the bankrupt condition of the treasury. A new set were again coercedly appointed, aside from the former set: Casiano Navarro, Claro Madrigal, Eufenio Dailo.

Perilous Visits to Town

The town appeared peaceful and free from spies and collaborators for me to visit my mother and family. I took the opportunity to take a cursory visits to locate my mother and family. I was just as a stranger in Paete - for I was born and raised in Manila, unfamiliar to the folkways and lores.

However, in he short time there, I was able to learn the unique art of conversing the "sui generis" [ the local tongue ] - the trademark of a Paetenian, the noted slang with a melodramatic twang dubbed as "Puntong Paete."

This was like a local passport which could identify any Paetenian through this accent - anywhere or even in the dark. I would acquire a few friends with the same patriotic fervor, and most of, all fell in love and lost my heart to one of the most sought, adducent belle in town, named Lucy. She would be a nurse after the war, while I would be wandering around the world.

Reckless Misadventures

I had often took long leaves of absences from the movement to court my fair maiden in town. Not knowing that this would lead to my capture by the Japanese in a hamletting [zona] dragnet in July [ the town’s feast week ]. of 1943.The enemy spy system would be able to infiltrate the once guerrilla-dominated town, identify the resistance leaders and members to the Japanese dreaded military police [ Kempei Tai ] to be tortured or executed.

The Japanese Military Administration never really had confidence and trust for Filipinos whom they knew had very strong affiliation with America The dreaded Kempei Tai. [Japanese Military Police has set up a campaign to retaliate against the people, more particularly the guerrillas and supporters.

They resorted to terrorism and zonification of towns and villages to sort out guerrillas. They would set up cordons - no less compared to fish corrals in a lake thrown around a town and those who were caught inside the dragnet were forcibly detained. No one were allowed to escape.

They would select a fairly good-size building to house al the captives and convert it into detention and torture chambers. It lasts for days or weeks until victims of tortures cry out names just to escape further torture. For days the prisoners and even their families would hear the moans and cries of victims beaten to the pulp. We were not fed for the duration of the hamletting.

The Brave Women of Paete

However, thanks to the brave and enterprising women leaders of who dared trooped to the Japanese top official, Col. Makino - to protest and ask for the release of the men of Paete, and be able to bring food to the prisoners. At first the enemy officer was reluctant, but the women leaders camped in the officer’s quarters until he relented. After two days of hunger - we were able to taste the likes of food.

We pay tribute to the following women leaders: Juanita B. Abanilla, Raymunda N. Cadayona, Dr. Nievas Baisas, Felisa Cadayona, Pomposa C. Edesan, Faustina A. Adefuin, Rosa E.Atega and Severina Dono.

In an appeal to the men of Paete, inside the church wnere they were incarcerated, Marcelina A.Cachola - made a emotional appeal for those who have arms to surrender them to the Japanese - so they in turn would receive pardon and be released.

She relayed the message of Col. Makino that he would alloy food to the prisoners - if they would not escape like Alfonso Acac. He was never found by the enemy.

However, the interrogation and torture continued day and night. Men of Paete were all suspect and therefore would suffer by torture. If at all, what was accomplished was the bringing of food to all the men imprisoned in the church.

The Paete Dragnet

In the case of Paete, the solid stone church was selected by the Japanese as a suitable prison area for no less than 1,500 men and teenage boys who stood wearily without any space to sleep. The church was packed like sardines. It was instantly a sea of humanity - unbearable to all of them.

They would take turns standing nights and days trading space so they cuold steal a few minutes of sleep. They were under close surveillance by sadistic enemy guards with fixed bayonets. If they moved or dozed, they would be struck mercilessly with rifle butts.

Sleep deprivation was a trick under enemy psy-war designed to wear down the prisoners. It was employed to make victims admit false confessions just to get rid of the beatings.

The "Magic Eyes"

One of the their worst moments was when there were a handful of Makapilis [ the dreaded spies and paid collaborators ] who wore paper bags over their heads, with holes for their eyes to see and point to the Japanese suspected guerrillas. Most of their victims were mere farmers, fishermen and toilers who were not really guerrillas. They would point to anyone at random to merely satisfy their whims and show the Japanese that they knew the men they betrayed.

These hooded informers [ dubbed as "magic eyes" were ruthless crooks who had beguiled the Japanese into hiring them as informers.

Copy-cut Tortures

This type of torture was one among the variety of the notorious "water cure" punishment. This was recorded in the Philippine history w that was also employed by the American colonizing troops in 1898 and further - to secure informations from Filipinos suspected of aiding the revolutionarios [ freedom fighters ] whom Amercans called "insurectos", but in fact were freedom founders, who did not want to take defeat from the American colonizers.

This copy-cut torture was one of the brutal punishments employed also by the Japanese Kempei tais. There were some variations, however, the net effect was to drown the victim to make him talk or admit falsehood.

Brutal Method

The captive was held up-sided down, his head submerged in a large drum of water , he is almost drowned, his head withdrawn and given a chance to speak. Failing to give satisfactory or desire information, he is again emerged until he passes away.

Another form of similar torture, the victim is tied to a bench, held by guards, and water is poured from a teapot to his nostrils, until the stomach is drenched. A plank is laid over the stomach and two or more guards jumped on the plank forcing water up to his mouth and nose, actually drowning the victim.

This produces the most horror-stricken sound which could be heard by prisoners awaiting the same fate. It successfully broke down the morale of the rest of the prisoners. And if this failed, then successive punches and blows on the face and the body follows.

The Japanese copied this brutalities from the American troops, and was improved by the Japanese. It is a simple form of harsh a quickest form of denying an individual precious air to force him to admit what the enemy wanted.

While the victim was still gasping for breath, questions were repeated shouted at him. The victim’s head is raised above the water to give the victim a chance to reply. And if the answer was not satisfactory, the torture contnues.

Should the victim refuse to give the desire reply, he is again immersed many times until the victim passes out.

Those Who Passed Out

He is usually given artificial respiration by adeptly resuscitating him and then again interrogating him.

Another tactic, for those who drowned - he is immediately untied and laid face down on top of a tilted barrel. The barrel is rolled to and from simulating a rocking chair, thus coaxing the water out from the victim’s stomach and lungs. When he wakes up - then another round follows.

When asking questions, the enemy would strike the victim on the chest or stomach with a piece of wood beating the victim continuously who would be groaning in pain. The sporadic dunking into the pool of water goes on until the victim capitulates.

Baseball Bat Beatings

The other method was - the victim with both arms were tied and hung with rope above their heads. Two guards would start beating victims with a baseball bat in the torso even before they asked questions When the prisoner was groggy, the ropes tied to their arms were pulled up higher so that only the toes barely touched the floor.

Under such torment, the suspended victim would again be beaten, and asked more questions. The guards not satisfied with replies - would sway the hanging prisoner back and forth, until he passes out.

Questions are asked intended to elicit names of companions who may be in their list of suspected guerrillas. If the answer is negative - the boxing and beating is resumed. This would go one for days and nights.

It was left to the discretion of the guards as to whether the prisoner deserved to die or not. Most often the officers would intervene just to see whether the guards wee making progress.

[ See my personal Days in Hell, in the later chapter ]

Family Reunion

Many days after search n 1942, I found my exiled family in my father’s hometown, Paete, Laguna, a small town of around 5,000 Paetenians, a village - tatched between the imposing Sierra Madre mountain on the east, bound by the flaccid shores of Laguna de Bay on the west.

In Paete, people were profoundly clannish and religious - with an extra-ordinary compassion for the poor, the needy and to the refugees called "bakwis" slang for evacuees. Many Manilenos found their second home for the duration of the enemy occupation. Among them were fellow officers of the USAFFE -like Col. Manuel Salientes, a U.S. West Point graduate shortly before the war, and was released from concentration camp as POW. He evacuated with his family in Paete, being a close chum of Col. Luis Adea, also a PMA alumnus, class 40. The Salientes family were sheltered in the house of Jose Caancan. And later returned to their home province of Pangasinan.

The other was Capt. Manuel Oppus and family of Cebu sheltered in my uncle’s house [ Eusebio N. Quesada ] at Barrio Ibab, before they moved at Gitnang Bayan. As matter of fact, Nena, a daughter of Capt. Oppus was later married to a Paetenian, "Loli" Kagahastian.

They would be adopted also as Paetenians for sharing the equal privations of every one during the trying days during the war in this close-knit town sans uneasiness.

And these "bawises" would return for visits to Paete during peacetime - like any other evacuees, Velez family from Zamboanga, who have adopted Paete and the people as heir own hometown. Even up to now - they would join Paetenians everywhere they were later based..

Odd Faces of Evacuees

Hundreds of odd unfamiliar faces were to be quickly assimilated into the local fellowship and "bon ton" [society].They were quickly assimilated and had entered the workforce of the thriving home-industries. They kept toiling for a living along with the assiduous locals.

These "bakwises" [ ecacuees ] were mostly Catholics, and a few other denominations that celebrated God’s laws, respected their fellow men and neighbors in their newly established domicile.

Anecdotal Aliens

In their intercourse with the locals, they would marry Paetenians, and be adopted as relatives in a town where almost everyone were related. Altogether they closely followed the Christian precepts, and were likened to the historical Essences described in the Bible as:

" As aliens who reside with locals should become a native, loved themselves and their neighbors like Jesus, who was once an alien and became a resident of Egypt." [ Leviticus 19:3-34 ].

Enemy Ingress to Paete

Hostilities of war reached Paete as an acute trial of both the lives of the evacuees and the locals. They felt as one huge family in a huge boat swaying in a turbulent sea, testing the love of their neighbors to the limit. They were to be challenged to weather the storm together or avoid breaking apart.

Under such circumstances, they would fervently assist each other which perhaps rarely occurred beforehand. It was their deep abiding faith and endurance that may humbly compare their plight to St. Apostol Paul [ Corinthian 11:24,28 ], When he tried to weather the storm [ with his physical privation, imprisonment and endless torment [severest storm in his life that challenged his spirituality and ability to love his tormentors].

Paete’s crucial test - nevertheless was experienced in an extra-ordinary bitter struggle during the enemy occupation, more felt more particularly by the men-folk who took all the sufferances.

Beginning of Military Rule

By March 1 of 1942, The existing Municipal Council was ordered abolished by the Japanese Imperial Army, however, retaining only the presence of the Mayor and the local skeletal government comprised of the Municipal Treasurer and clerks, and token police unit.

A Fateful Omen

In April 8th, on the eve of the USAFFE surrender in Bataan, a strong agitating earthquake shook the town at midnight, tremors repeated at every quarter of an hour. After 2:00 o’clock A.M. the next day, tremors was still felt until morning.

Thunder and lightning followed by a torrential rain that soaked the country thereafter.

None in town knew that the USAFFE was going to be capitulated and surrendered by the American top officers next day, April 9 of 1942.

USAFEE’s Farewell

It was on the night of April 9th, when the farewell broadcast of the USAFFE’s Voice of Freedom in Corregidor was heard by the nation and world-over, and over the air-lanes from illegally altered short-wave radio sets, like mine and everywhere to the farewell.

I firmly knew right away and recognized the voice of my chum and pre-war classmate in the university before the hostilities, that of Lt. Norman Reyes. Tears unashamedly welled on everybody’s cheeks remembering our fathers, brothers, cousins and friends trapped by an obdurate enemy in the desolate peninsula of Bataan.

[ See the farewell "Bataan Has Fallen." in the earlier chapter of this treatise ].

Nobody could tell what was the fate of the hapless USAFFE defenders would be. It was a week of mourning, and hope for salvation for all our brothers-in-arms now prisoners-of-war. It was thereafter that we would learn the barbarity of the enemy who inflicted mass torture in an equally horrible holocaust during the surrender and the Bataan Death March.

[See Fall of Bataan in an earlier chapter of this treatise ].

Visiting Enemy Troops

In April 16th, A handful of Japanese Officers and soldiers again arrived Paete with a civilian interpreter, known to Paetenians as one, Mr. Inoye, who had resided before the war in Pangil, Laguna.

As low-altitude enemy airplanes hovered over Paete, people at the town square watching the spectacle - when one Paetanian, Liborio Edesa, loudly shouted, "Jap plane, Jap plane."

Inoye heard and saw this, apprently was incensed and insulted by the word "Jap" slapped Edesa many times on the face, then ordered the enemy guards to arrest and reprimand him. Edesa was tied to a post of the town square post, and was left there all day under the scorching summer sun for the whole townspeople to view.

Enemy Brutality - Abhored

This was the first brutality by the Japanese against a peace-loving citizen of Paete. It left a revolting impression upon us who had later chosen to vigorously resist the enemy at all cost, even at the price of death. With the capitulation of Bataan and seeing such barbarity - have provided us guerrillas with more resolve to fight the enemy to the last man.

Like our forefathers, who were freedom founders - the glory of dying for a free fatherland have ignited the fire in our hearts as freemen. Many Paetenians as well as other youths of the land who have delved deeper into the nation’s history - knew that ‘History is just because it is cruel." said our sublime paralytic hero Apolinario Mabini, who was outspoken against the Americans in 1898, and was banished to Guam to silence him.

History has again repeated itself indeed. For during the Spanish-American War - Filipinos were tortured and given the abominable "water cure" - which again was used by the Japanese in World War II in 1941-45.

Temporary Lull of Peace

Paete was left alone by the Japanese after this singular visitation incident Visiting Japanese officials have formed a cursory impression, found the town pre-occupied and humming with home-industries likened to the industrious towns of Japan.

They saw for themselves here like their townspeople back home - who were peaceful and were more concerned with earning a living, than engaged in political activities. Except perhaps for Inoye who all along knew that Paetenians could not be fully trusted. This initial impression of the visiting Japanese officials would not last forever.

Disbelief and Scurrility

The Japanese never really trusted anyone every where they went in Asia, for they believed that they were the chosen ones as pretender sons of the Bushido superior to any Asians. Especially after they have driven the Caucasian colonials out of the Orient. They acted as a master race as they vanquished as many nations in South-East Asia. However, failed to invade Australia. And that was their waterloo - where soon enough the tide of war turned the opposite direction - against their favor . MacArthur have mounted the allied liberation campaign towards the Philippines. The Filipino people kept faith on his promise to return. And he did.

Abusive Sons of the Bushido

In the Philippines, not for long, they would begin to imposed stricter authoritarian rule. Sensing that they were not winning the hearts and minds of Filipinos, they offered to grant political independence, but kept the military interfering over the civilian puppet government. They have isolated the Caucasians within - who were herded to concentration camps in different locations in the Philippines as prisoners-of-war. Some of them were used as forced labor for the military locally and abroad.

During their pacification campaign, they sensed Filipinos were not fully cooperative, and who merely put up a semblance of work, just went along passively with the mainstream. As a consequence, and in retaliation the Japanese shamed Filipinos by slapping them of the face with the least excuse or provocation.

Harsh Treatment

If the Filipinos did not bow low enough before the crouched sentries, the Japanese would beat Filipinos, commonly slapped men and women alike to satisfy their ego as conquerors. People were arrested for failing to bow properly before an ordinary soldier. And were slapped on the face if not sufficiently tractable and or self-abasing.

Japanese Failure of Observation

The invaders [ whether Japanese or Korean by descent as Imperial soldiers ] failed to understand, nor make any effort to comprehend the underlying Filipino psyche as my comrade guerrilla padre [priest] the late Fr. Jaime Neri S.J. in the resistance movement.

He was also tortured and beaten at Fort Santiago in Manila. He said, "To Filipino, personal rights and respect for human dignity and deep sense of gratitude for benefactors received were of greater value than the racial identity or geographical affinity."

To Filipinos, generally gentle in character were vexed or annoyed under Japanese harsh discipline and strict authority. To them, face slapping is considered inhuman, and is resented because as Christians they believed that the human face as a masterpiece of God’s procreation, and should treat one’s face with reverence.

A under the Spanish colonial up- bringing, a slap on the face means only two things. Either the victim was a tramp, or the slap was challenge to a duel. This - indignity. they had to endure as a vanquished subject in World War II in the Philippines

There were instances witnessed by the people of rape at will by the enemy, likewise abused children. They abducted women they meet on the street and kept them as "comfort women" [prostitutes ] against their will. And killed them.

Lack of Perception

On the other side of the coin, Filipinos with little contact with the Japanese upbringing and folkways, did not know how to deal with them. Japanese soldiers were products of their culture based on Buddhist doctrine and tenets of dutiful piety, strict discipline and hard work. The only prime mission for them was first, to be patriotic, and second, blind loyalty to their Emperor, and die for him without question or reservation.

Thus, any deviation from those beliefs, they quickly punish Filipinos if they did not show the desired behavior like theirs. Inherently, there was a clash of each home-grown cultures.

The two cultures clashed producing deep resentments that would gather national outrage and hate among Filipinos. Such foreign un-civilized brutalities added to the growing "bete noire" [hatred ] for the Japanese as a whole, that would unify Filipinos even closer.

Spanish Brutality - Redux

And under the face of such situation, guerrillas grew larger in size in the countryside. The obtaining situation was no less than the same during the abusive reign of Spaniards for at least a century - also against similar brutality.

That difference in folkways and mores, plus abuses - infuriated the whole nation. Women and children were guarded from reported abduction and rape. They stayed home almost all the time under watchful eyes of their parents.

On the other-hand, parents of young boys whom they Japanese suspected would be conscripted by the Japanese administration into the army or forced labor units. To offset this trend, Parents have volunteered their sons and daughters to join the national resistance movement which was continuously expanding all over the country.

Personal Experience

I remember this very distinctly when I was among the "trigger squads" to hunt down Makapilis [spies ] and Ganaps [quislings ], fathers with tears flowing down their faces, came up to me to volunteer their teen-aged boys sons to join the guerrilla unit rather than be made to serve the enemy.

Those young and restless boys, however, turned out to be heedless and cold-blooded hunters I never expected. They have taken more risks than I had - with kindled fire in their hearts. I am truly proud of them whom I have trained and had performed so well. one more collaborator and spy they took - was one more less enemy.

Among these were some Paetenians who have displayed untinted courage in the face of the enemy. I can name only a few whom I worked with in huntng down Makaplis, Sakdals and enemy soldier. They are: Arturo Valdespina, Celis, Eduardo Velez, Pepito Tan and my co-fficer Maj. Daud Mancon. I salute them who have shown valor., Celis and Daud died in the hand of the enemy after courageous exploits as "fast guns" [ in our trigger squad ].I survived with luck on my side, but was slightly wounded in the process.

Undisclosed Area of Operation

I can not as yet name the place of our operation against the Makapilis [traitors ]- for their sons and daughters are peacefully alive in the community without any tinge of stain of disrepute. I feel they have to be spared from the stigma of their fathers. But I can described the place as a busy town in the Laguna province.

It was a hub of commerce but was infested and crawling with enemy spies and extortionists. We simply had to eliminate them with bullets - in defense of God and country. Our operation, perhaps infuriated the enemy more which made them apply the hamletting [ zonification ] of towns to sort out guerrillas from the non-combatants.

However, we believe that it is part of the conduct of war where bad eggs [traitors and spies ] must be meted the coup-de-grace [death] for treason. As trigggermen, we held the life and death of spies in our hands, most often regretable on our part for taking a man’s life, which was necessary.

To be a soldier, orders must be obeyed which are regimented. We live under the sword to which we may have to pay for it later The law of karma will later garner what was deserved by the soul. And that is one’s own destiny on this three dimensional plane, we call earth.

Enemy Pacification Campaign

The Japanese frustration of failing to win the hearts and minds of Filipinos tried another strategy. They sent out propaganda sorties to the towns to perpetrate the slogan "Asia for the ‘Asians" - with collaborating speakers and Japanese officials appealing to the masses for cooperation, and promised rewards.

The Japanese whose propaganda insisted that they wanted to save the Filipinos from the crutches of the American imperialism. They scattered enemy leaflets in towns and sitios, but did not take any favorable effect among loyal Filipinos to God and country. They maintained blind loyalty to the United States, for democracy and freedom.

Wrong Presumption

As the Japanese hopped from one town to another, they expected Filipinos to pay homage to their Emperor, asking people to face the north, the direction of the Imperial Palace, bowing their heads several times, then raising both arms, shouting "Tenno Heika Banzai" [ Long live the Emperor ]. If Filipinos dared to disobey what they were coercively told, they severely punished them.

But the preponderant patriotic masses easily saw through the shallow enemy proselytization, thus outrightly rejected the scheme.

Filipinos preferred to remain steadfast friends with the Americans despite the barefaced inequality and subtle racial differentiation which divided beneath the surface. Choosing between the Americans and the Japanese, Filipinos chose the former who were less corrupt, although equally guilty of racial perception.

Japanese Inefficacy

When they again failed, they pursued drastic measures to quell the swelling ranks of guerrillas everywhere. and the growing ambushes against them by freedom fighters.

The year 1943, however, became propitious time for the Japanese to counter-attack. They were losing a lot of soldiers and equipment under the hands of the challenging forces of the guerrillas. They would then strike back against the civilian population suspected as supporters, and families of guerrillas. Civilian population were randomly chosen from the crowed, whose face they merely did not like. The would vent their frustration against the innocent civilians with impunity.

Town Zonifications

Violent measures were applied against the hapless civilians in hamletting [ zona ] - towns were sealed and people were terrorized into forced confessions and pointing to innocent people to be used as examples by the Japanese as victims of persecution through terrorism.

In the summer of this year [ 1943 ] Filipinos were war-weary, and the

Japan in Deep Crisis

Japanese have resorted to looting to send anything they could to the ravaged homeland. The war had rendered their economy bankrupt. They were fulminated.

Rice harvests, and other staple products of Filipinos were commandeered and ship to Japan. It was becoming desperate situation for them locally and abroad.

The Japanese occupational troops were ordered to only take two meals a day. And to exercise extreme frugality. In sum - there are now in deep trouble.

Double Trouble

They still have to eliminate the guerrilla menace that threatened their military presence in the country. And the diminishing logistics of their military forces, likewise the economic crisis back home in Japan where the population are starving.

The menacing shadow of defeat is now written on the wall - as the tides of war turned in the opposite direction. The U.S. and allied liberation forces have began to fight back with unlimited logistics and manpower.

MacArthur waas gaining grounds in his island-to-island hopping campaign from Australia towards the Philippines.

In retaliation, the dreaded Japanese "Kempei Tai" [ military police ], mounted another manner of subjugation. The zoniification campaign became more and more brutal out of their frustration and failure to co-exist in the archipelago with Filipinos.

My Capture and Days in Hell

Before the feast day of St. James Apostol, Paetenians were preparing for the traditional fiesta for the 25th.

The town was surrounded on July 21st by hundreds of Japanese soldiers, and sealed. At the break of dawn, all men and teen-aged boys were rounded up. No vehicles were allowed to enter or leave town, animal-drawn vehicle cold come int but were not allowed to leave. No one was allowed to leave or enter the town.

The modus operandi was to isolate Paete from the outside and force residents into detention with the use of coercion and butcherous tortures as an adjunct to the enemy’s psychological warfare against the hapless people of Paete.

I Was A Prisoner

Unfortunately, I was among those who were caught inside the dragnet. Everybody was caught with their pants down. except my comrades [ guerrillas ] outside town up atop the Sierra Madre, overlooking the poblacion. They first contemplated to liberate us from the enemy, however, they decided not to put the whole population at risk and jeopardy if they attacked the Japanese guards. All the while when I was in prison, they watch the enemy from atop Barrio Humarap, curiosly thinking and prying what the Japanese would do to me.

The Catholic church was commandeered, and the parish priest was ejected from his quarters.

Every one was intrigued to see why the Catholic church was chosen as our prison. Certainly the school house complex which was larger could have been better to accommodate at least 2,500 people of Paete.

Among the prisoners, there was common good in all faiths . and there were private discussions about the fruitage of religion, and how people of Paete could please God - for among us were active combatants in a war whose mission was to kill the enemy [ were human beings] against the commandments. And further to foment warfare !

Was God pleased with us who caused to plant bombs in enemy garrisons, ambush them in cold blood? For my part, it was sort of a disturbing feeling which crept upon me as a Bible reader. However, looking back at religious history, the Thirty Years War [1618 -1648] was a religious conflict which was a bloody war between the Protestants and the Catholics and was one of the most violent encounters in European history.

Then - take the Religious Crusade, from the 11th and 13th Century which was also resulted into a horrible bloodshed. Christians brutally slaughtered Muslims, and Jews in Jerusalem. Since then, wars and conflicts ensued that plagued the whole world until now.

In the discussion, we discovered that before concluding, whether it was acceptable to God or not, - we referred to the passages in the Bible [ Peter Pt. #:11 when he urged his believers "to do what is good . seek peace whenever possible - then pursue it."

Thus, for my part - as combat officer, I believed in fighting a Godless enemy who invaded the country and abused fellowmen, a fruitage we could not be expected to as true love for our neighbor as an enemy.

Quite an uncomfortable feeling, which was unsettling - my primary task as a guerrillero was to fight for God and Country against a disbeliever in Christ.

Days and Nights in Hell

For more than 8 days - women and children watched listened to in horror to the cries and moans of their loved ones being beaten and tortured by the enemy. I was caught inside the dragnet for not being cautious enough that week.

Paid spies and informers pitted the townspeople against each other as a trick to intrigue them to extricate the information they needed. Inside the church - were two torture chambers: one at the sacristy and the other at the baptisty. Captives were called to each chamber for interrogation and torture.

Punishments by Torture

Through interrogations were conducted while men were tortured and beaten at random initially ferreting guerrillas from the townspeople. Those who were singled out were beaten but most of them chose to endure punishment rather than to squeal on their comrades. Some chose death by decapitation. Their heads rolled with sealed lips to save the rest of their comrades in the guerrillas. These were my veritable heroes.

Determined Hero

Hoping to save his fellow men and comrades, Dr. Ariston Baet, a Paetenian dentist, could not endure the beatings and torture finally admitted being a guerrilla officer. He went through the brutal routine described above - if only to save his comrades from Harm’s Way. He became the first guerrilla hero who was executed by the Japanese by decapitation [ by beheading ].He accepted his fate like a man. And never squealed against his men.

He died gloriously his lips sealed - and his men were saved.

During this fateful week the regular fiesta was not celebrated, but commemorated the day by all men of Paete inside the prison walls of the Catholic church. Instead if a feast day - it turned out to be a week in hell.

A Whiteman in Soutana

On July 24th, there was some commotion at the town plaza . An unknown white priest in white soutana was pushed out of the enemy truck and led towards the church on bayonet point by enemy guards. He was dragged across the plaza and tied in a lamp post. Terrified women and children who were allowed to moved about the town looked with much pity at the white priest, exposed to the scorching sun with machine pointed to his head.

No one was allowed to get near him, nor give him a drink of water. No one knew who he was nor where he came from. As the sun set over the west, the guards hauled the priest into the church, and was first detained inside the sacristy.

Being the only white man, he stood like a sore thumb among us.

Another Prisoner Among Us

Angry guards then transferred the white priest inside the nave of the church , his suotana already soiled with blood, was struck on his head with rifle butts, and tied to the confessional railing at the altar for all of us to see. The priest did not say a word. He prayed the rosary intensely.

The lives of Paetenians hung in a balance. However, everything was placed on hold, as the enemy guards concentrated their fury against the priest who was regarded by the guards as a foreign spy. The guards started beating the torturing the priest at the sacristy. It was Capt. Shikioka who interrogated the priest, while the guards struck him n the face and body with their pistols. Blood flowed down his face, not saying any word or sign of pain.

After each session, he would be tied in a post near the entrance of the sacristy. For the first time, he spoke in English.

He told the guards, " Please do not to tie both my hands because I will not escape." His other hand held the rosary beads while he endlessly prayed the rosary. He was only a few feet away from where I was detained.

For several days of beatings, the white priest’s lips moved continually reciting the rosary - followed by the Paetenains in unison.

He then said to us softly:

"Be not afraid for we are in the House of God. He will protect al of us."

It started a widespread sweeping prayer which the guards could not stop. There was a solemn chorus of recitation of the Holy Rosary, that reverberated in the whole church.

After our beatings by the guards, Danny Adea and I had requested the white priest to hear our confession, which he secretly approved. Danny took turns in facing him - knelt and confessed to him. He gave us our individual absolution quickly before the changing of the guards.

Eagle-eyed guards watched the priest which prevented us to conduct further conversation.

A Priest’s Confession

Each time after the beatings he would be tied in the same spot absorbing al the tortures in full fury and frustration of his guards. On the third day, he requested the Captain to fetch Fr. Nicomedes Rosal, parish priest, so he could hear his [ the white priest’s ]confession.

At first Fr. Rosal hesitated, pointing out his profession: if the Japanese would want to know what was said during the confession, he would be unable to tell the Japanese, and not violating the vow of secrecy of confession. He would rather die than reveal what was said during confession under a confessional seal.

The English-speaking guard remarked

" I admired the man, he knows how to suffer. He has been there three days and nights and yet shows not the least sign of pain and impatience."

What the guard said was true. I saw it for myself how this priest endured all the beatings and torture without complaining. He just kept in praying clutching the rosary.

Paetenians were also hauled by the guards one after the other at the sacristy [ the make-shift torture chamber ] and in the baptisty. Apparently, the Japanese had captured a roster of guerrillas beforehand, and used it to line up Paetneians using the list to torture and beating prisoners to extract the desired informations they needed.


Pursuant to Title 17 U.S.C. 107, other copyrighted work is provided for educational purposes, research, critical comment, or debate without profit or payment. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for your own purposes beyond the 'fair use' exception, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner