Today is Graduation Day at BCA and all that passed the course were announced and given commissions as police officers with ranks from 5th Class Inspectors (Lts), 4th Cl. Insp. (Capts.), 3rd Cl. Insp. (Majs.) & 2nd Cl. Insp. (LCols). Majority are 5th Cl. Insp. and I am one of them. Those that failed and expected to be dismissed are given appointment as NCOs, thus to Sgts are Maj. Romulo Villaflor, Lt. J. Artillaga ’41, Lt. A. Astete ’42, Virgilio Danao ’42, to Cpls Lt. Nicolas Camello, Lt. Jose Fernandez and Lt. Marcos Simpao. They failed intentionally thinking that BCA will be like PMA, dismissal.
Our orders of assignments also came out and to my dismay, I am assigned to the province of Lanao with Insp. Tomas Domaoal as my Sr. Insp. with Insp. Francisco Bautista, a lawyer. I was expecting assignment in the Tagalog provinces but never in this land of juramentados. I was very upset and my blood was boiling but kept it all to myself. My classmate Joe Javier is assigned to Jolo and seems not bothered about it. I have to think deliberately and wisely on how I can avoid going to Lanao. Maj. E. Batongmalaque is assigned to Davao and happy about it. My classmates Cabangbang and Piccio are looking forward to their new assignment in Cebu.
BCA Academics are progressing smoothly. However, every passing day I come to know my classmates individually that today I can say I know all of them. It can be recalled this group started with that 1,400 “not sick” survivor POWs from Capas released and transferred to Camp Dau for Rejuvination Trng. last Jul 17. I knew more than half of them as my former associates and underclassmen at PMA. From this group 300 of us were sent to BCA and since our class started, I came to know those I did not know before, mostly senior PCA grads.
Among the Sr. PCA grads are Cols Lizardo ’15 Regmtl. Comdr. 41st Div, much decorated in Bataan; Col. Tomas Domaol ’17 C/S 41st Div of Gen. Lim; Cols Turingan ’17, Javalera ’17; Magsino & Diano ’19 Front Line Bn. Comdrs.; Majs Fidel Cruz ’27, Francisco Luna ’28, Leoncio Tan ’28 brilliant Div. Staff Os. Then we have Maj. Batongmalaque ’31 a Bn. Comdr. under Gen. Capinpin with his tales about his former CO, the legendary Capt. Canuto, better known as King “Canute.” Then we also have two bright combat lawyers, Lts. Amado Aleta and Francisco Bautista who earned decorations in Bataan for gallantry in action. Lt. Bautista was also the Captain Ball of the Phil. Olympic Basketball Team of 1936 that won 2nd place for our country next to the US. We also have my former PMA mentors Capts Alfredo Santos, D. Ojeda, S. Villa and E. Duque. Of course my classmates, Cabangbang, Tirona, Piccio, Escobar, Javier and Rodriguez. Then my underclassmen from ’41, ’42, & ’43.
In the battlefields, the group earned more than 300 DSC, SS, BS, Purple Hearts with many having multiple awards. This is an awesome group that fascinates me no end. I am privileged to be a member of this group, indeed.
Yesterday PM, Lt. Gomez & I were given special instructions on Japanese drill commands preparatory to our close order drill sked this PM. By this time we have been exposed to the Japanese anthem “Kimigayo” every morning and many Japanese common terms like “Ohayo”, “Ikaga desu ka” and “katakana”. Aside from Cabangbang and Tirona mentioned earlier, my other PMA classmates in this present class are Escobar, Javier, Piccio & Rodriguez and together with our underclassmen of ’41, ’42 & ’43 in this class, are elated in my being Sec. Marcher. However, there are skeptics that have negative comments and I told Gomez not to comment, to let the gossips run its course.
At 1430 today, our class was transported to Luneta Park for Close Order Drill. After the Section are assembled to start drill, I walked to where our Tac. O., Lt. Fukushima is and addressed the class: “Comrades, I would like to let everyone know my admiration on Lt. Fukushima. He was responsible for the capture of my OSP crew in Manila Bay after the Fall of Bataan. He treated us well and made us Malolos POWs”.
His ego titilated, Fukushima asked the class to form a circle around him, then started drawing diagrams on the ground describing how his two patrol boats tracked Q-112’s escape towards Hagonoy coast till it disappeared after scuttling and later finding our group of 20 to be captured by him. It took him about half an hour to tell his story that shortened our drill which was just to familiarize everyone of the Japanese commands like Kiotsky (Attention); Wakare-Atsumare (Fall Out and Reform; etc. And for the first time, our classmates realized how Lt. Gomez and I were made Section Marchers and the malicious gossips about us disappeared.
Today being a Friday, we are all looking forward for this weekend to be with our families.
As war clouds continue to gather in our Pacific region with intense Jap mil activities in nearby Indo-China, emboldened by their pact with Germany and Italy, US military dependents are being evacuated to the US mainland. The last batch of US dependents departed today aboard the US Army Transport US Grant.
Intense military training are not confined only to the OSP but PA wide also. My 29 classmates completed their training at the Infantry School, Camp Murphy, QC under Gen Mateo Capinpin. Their services are in great demand, so I hear from my former high school classmate and fellow Bulakenio, Cav Faustino “Tinoy” Sebastian, who tried PAAC first, washed out to graduate No. 1 in the Infantry School. These ’40 new graduates are being distributed all over the 10 Mil Districts as key Os.
According to Tinoy, the assignments are as follows:
Infantry School as Instructors: 3d Lts. Faustino Sebastian, Antonio Perez, Hospicio Tuazon & Ricardo Angeles; 1st Reg Div: 3d Lts David Pelayo, Jose Javier, Pedro Dulay, Alfredo Filart, Lucendro Galang, Delfin Argao, Ed Navarro, Joe Esguerra & Charles Corpuz; Albay: Epimaco Orias; Cebu: Daniel Iway; Cotabato: Salvador Piccio, Abenir Bornales, Marcelino Santos & Mel Acosta; Davao; Ramon Q Nosce, Romeo Lising & Francisco del Castillo; Panay – Ramon Gelvezon; Lanao: Felipe Fetalvero; Leyte: Sofio Bayron; Negros Occ: Uldarico Baclagon; Negros Or: Pacifico Barrios; Samar; Eduardo Soliman; Zambales: Ciceron dela Cruz; 4th MD-Pedro Bersola; 31st Inf – Diosdado Garcia; & 83rd Inf Div – Aristoteles Olayvar.