This morning, my grla. associates, Col. Ramirez, Capt. Calvo and Mr. Elizalde dropped quietly at my office on their return trip to Manila from Isabela. Elizalde asked me for a list of 14th Inf. officers in hiding because they are in the Japanese wanted list and I gave him the names of Maj. Romulo A. Manriquez ’36, Capt. P. Dumlao, Lt. H. Quines ’42 and Lt. V. dela Cruz. Col. Ramirez greeted his former JO, my Sr. Insp. Sergio Laurente, briefly and after my visitors left, Laurente asked me how I came to know them. I replied that I met them through Manila socialite Ms. Lulu Reyes in my OSP Manila socials. It was then that he opened to me about his pro-American sympathies, how he suffered at the hands of the Japanese after he was surprised with the Japanese landing in Ilocos Sur where he was PC Prov. Comdr. Dec. 10,1941, captured and became the first USAFFE officer to become a POW.
I did not tell my Sr. Inspector that my visitors are my grla. associates but instead recommended that in view of the briefing by Capt. Calvo last Feb 15 and to safeguard prime foodstuff raised locally by the natives for their own welfare, that we prohibit merchants from taking them out in commercial quantity of Vizcaya without permit from our office. Merchants from Manila have recently been purchasing rice by the truckloads due to shortage there. Laurente did not only approve my recommendation but even appointed me Chief, Economic Police for the province. I made a directive to all our detachment commanders accordingly and henceforth, movement of foodstuff in bulk from the province to anywhere outside must have written permits from our HQ.
Meanwhile, the scuttlebutts by Capt. Calvo was confirmed by short wave radio news I heard with Fr. Lambreth’s two night ago. In addition, we also heard about the Council Meeting in Casablanca by US Pres. Roosevelt, Churchill and De Gaulle. The latest one I got was about my OSP Boss Maj. Enrique L. Jurado USNA ’34 who managed to elude the Japanese from Batangas to Romblon and he finally settled in Odiongan before joining the Peralta Grlas. recently in Panay, the very place he wanted our Q-Boats to escape when Bataan was surrendering. Also Col R. Kangleon is building up his grlas. in Leyte and Capt. Pedro Merritt ’34 with my classmate Lt. Ed Soliman ’40 are organizing in Samar. Maj. Inginiero and my classmate Lt. H. Alano ’40 are also busy in Bohol.
It is a pleasant surprise for Col. Alfredo Ramirez ’14, Spanish Aviator Capt. Juan Calvo and Don Juan Elizalde to visit me this morning at my BC office in Bayombong and when my Sr. Inspector, Sergio Laurente ’21, saw Col. Ramirez, he was doubly surprised because I learned Laurente was once a junior officer of Ramirez. My visitors are my associates in the 14th Inf. Grlas. under Col. M. P. Enriquez ’34 but Insp. Laurente was unaware of it. I only told him they are my old friends.
Capt. Calvo briefed us on the latest scuttlebutts –prime commodities like rice getting scarser and expensive in Manila because the enemy is living on the fat of the land, the good news in the European, African and Southwest Pacific Fronts. On the African Front, Allied Forces under LtGen. Eisenhower, have established firmly there with Gen. Rommel on the run. Even the Germans that occupied Stalingrad had surrendered to the Russians. And the Japanese had quit on the Solomons. The best news is about the arrival of Major Jesus Villamor via Submarine in Negros from SWPA HQ Australia to contact guerilla units in the Visayas. It seems the tide is now turning in our favor.
After my Taisho Training visit in Solano three days ago, I instructed SA Pablo Naval to see me that afternoon in my office in Bayombong. In the privacy of my office, I instructed him “as soon as ready” to proceed to Baguio area where our Grla. Comdr., L.Col. Enriquez is “laying low in hiding” to give the following report: “Peace and order in Vizcaya is good as the guerrilla units there are under my complete control; my rapport with Japanese military authorities is also good with their blessing on our neighborhood association idea wherein Taisho Instructions were given twice, and the authorized assemblies gave us opportunity to further military training. When I arrived in Bayombong early last Nov., there were a dozen American POWs that included L.Col. E. Warner, original 14th Inf. CO and L.Col. Theodore Kalakuka, emissary of Gen. Wainright in the surrender process after the fall of Corregidor. Warner surrendered to Kalakuka and their combined efforts in collaboration with the Chief of Police of Jones, Isabela caused the capture of L.Col. G. Nakar, who, I understand, was executed. Early last month two American POWs, L.Col. Kalakuka and a Lt. Ziegler, died of dysentery and malaria and were buried at the local Catholic Cemetery. Before the end of last month all American POWs were transferred to Cabanatuan POW Camp.” Since this report will be delivered verbally, I asked Naval to repeat what the message is and to my satisfaction, he covered all subjects verbatim.
Today, my being Actg. Sr. Inspector of Vizcaya ended with the arrival of Inspector Sergio Laurente ’21. After a formal turnover this afternoon, I accompanied him to the Provincial Capitol to pay a social call on Gov. Quirino and other officials. He was received cordially as he has a pleasing personality. At the start of the war, Laurente was provincial PC Comdr. of Ilocos Sur and when the Japanese landed there Dec. 10,1941, he was taken by surprise, immediately captured and earned the distinction of being the first Filipino USAFFE to become POW. From the way I size him up, I think we will have a very pleasant camaraderie although he graduated from the old PCA nineteen years before I graduated from PMA in 1940.