(Seventh of a series)

Japanese occupation of Ifugao sub-province

THE enemy occupation of the sub-province commenced when Japanese soldiers first entered Kiangan marching from Nueva Vizcaya from the east via Bolog and Nayon. It was about 4 o’clock in the afternoon of May 15, 1942 when they were met by Carlos Codamon, former mayor of Kiangan.

“They held a public meeting on the next day and ordered the people to return to town and also to repair the roads. They left on May 17, saying they would return to establish their government. On May 23, they returned and had another meeting and ordered the surrender of all arms and designated Alberto Crespillo as acting Mayor and sub-governor of Ifugao. They centered their attention in opening the roads and bridges.

“On June 26, this platoon was relieved by a platoon from Bontoc, followed by General Narra and Dr. Clapp, who was later appointed Governor of Mountain Province on July 10. I met them in town and reassumed my position as Deputy Governor of Ifugao, as also did Mayor Jose Dulinayan who came out ahead of me about the first week of May, 1942.

“The Japs began their propaganda of Japan’s superiority and began to teach the people to bow and obey them. In September, the adult classes were opened by them and they began to circulate their pamphlets and newspapers. The public school building, walled of stones was occupied as the headquarters and a small store room there was used as the prison where offenders and suspects were held.

“Officially, the Municipal District governments in Ifugao were organized by the enemy on the following days:

“1. Kiangan was organized on July 1, 1942 with Mayor Jose Dulinayan who assumed his office much earlier on May 8, 1942. Municipal Treasurer Roque Paredes also assumed office on July 1, 1942.

“2. Burnay was organized July 1, 1942 with Mayor Moris Baywong re-assuming his position. Treasurer Follosco did not report and Nicolas Liangna, his chief clerk reported as treasurer of Burnay district on August 1, 1942.

“3. Banaue was organized on August 4, with Mayor Adriano Apilis re-assuming his position and Treasurer Andres Morales too reported.

“4. Hungduan was organized on August 18, 1942, with Mayor Mauricio Napadawan, re-assuming his position. The treasurer did not report so Mr. Olpino, clerk there was designated acting treasurer on the same date as the Mayor.

“5. Mayaoyao was organized on January 1, 1943. Mayor Balajo did not report, being in the guerilla organization so Vice Mayor Bonifacio Atluna assumed office on Jan. 4, 1943. Allaga Olnanigon was designated treasurer, in place of Mr. Nebre, on Feb. 12, 1943.

“The Japanese ordered that anyone not helping or cooperating with them will be shot and their homes burned. When we did not yet come out (of hiding), we felt that our safety was doubtful because wherever we hid ourselves, it became known by the enemy and we suspected that our places had been pointed out by those friendly people who came out ahead of us. “The Japanese however, in the course of time treated the people, generally in a friendly manner ...” – (to be continued)

Note: The narrator is the youngest son of the late Luis I. Pawid of Kiangan, Ifugao and Angeline Laoyan of La Trinidad, Benguet. He is a journalist by profession, former town Mayor of La Trinidad, Benguet, and former Executive Director of the defunct Cordillera Executive Board of the Cordillera Administrative Region. He now resides in New Jersey, USA.