(13th of a series)
Mass surrender of Pilipino soldiers
"On March 8, 1943, some 99 soldiers from Ifugao surrendered and brought to Bontoc to take their oath of loyalty. The surrender of soldiers were due to the intensive campaigns of the enemy and also due to the work of Lt. Emiliano Dulnuan. Included is a spy from Nueva Vizcaya, a former resident of Burnay.
"Banaue surrendered the most because Mayor Apilis was ordered to join the Japanese to the houses of soldiers and to convince them to surrender.
At Burnay district, the person who betrayed most of the soldiers and hidden arms was identified as Puguon. He was collared by Ifugao constabulary soldiers in a surprise raid in his house. A case of "exploitation and robbery" was filed against him by local residents and was sentenced to six months imprisonment in Bontoc where he died of hunger.
"Cols. Volkman and Blackburn, I believed, blamed us for the surrender of the soldiers and some arms. Since I received their letter, the truth is I instructed the mayors and other local officials never to exert pressure upon the soldiers to surrender. The fact was that the soldiers surrendered because their presence was known ... and due to the influence or example of Lt. Emiliano Dulnuan's surrender.
"Most of the soldiers who surrendered, however, later reported to the U.S. Army Majors for active duty during the formal organization of the 11th Infantry. Their peaceful surrender was somewhat a blessing in disguise to the hiding men, because since those times, the Japanese began to be convinced that there were no more hiding 'bandits', except those who were reported to be in Mayaoyao.
Taggng the populace
"On March 24, I was called by the garrison commander and scolded me why the people were now forgetting to bow to them. It appeared that earlier that day, he went around town and walked by the house of Atty. Gabriel Dunuan. Upon seeing the Japanese commander approaching, he quickly rushed into his room.
"The officer noticed it and thought Atty. Dunuan was disrespectful. He was called to the garrison to explain himself and apologized. In view of this incident, the officer ordered me to remind all mayors, district presidents and barrio officials to remind their respective people to bow to the Japanese. He also required everyone to be tagged with their name and barrio address, and conspicuously pinned on their front clothes.
"On April 5, the garrison commander brought newspapers and posters to be distributed to the district presidents and mayors to be posted in every house and other conspicuous places. Failure to comply will indicate non-cooperation, he said, and will therefore, be a reason for punishment.
"On April 17, I was in Bontoc to attend the meeting on the organization of Kalibapi by a certain Tan from Manila. After its organization in the provincial level and town chapters, everyone was mandated to join as 'it was good for peaceful citizens'. Those who will not join will be considered indifferent and are not loyal to the new government.
On April 18, three truck loads of Japanese soldiers from Bontoc started for Banawe with the mayor of Mayaoyao with them. We were not allowed to ride with them but a Japanese engineer was bound for Banawe in the afternoon, so we rode with him. Upon arriving in Banawe, we found out that the soldiers already proceeded to Mayaoyao.
Back in Kiangan on April 25, the garrison commander called Mayor Dulinayan and Deputy Governor for a meeting on reports that Captain Manalo and two others were sighted sometime on April 18 to 20 in Namulditan, Burnay district.
Upon the initiatives of Lt. Emiliano Dulnuan, the chief of police, volunteer guards called 'Jikidans' were organized in selected localities.
"Lt. Emiliano Dulnuan was ordered to proceed to Burnay and verify the reports."
A day after, Lt. Dulnuan confirmed the reports to the Japanese officer that Capt. Manalo, a "white" person and escorts were in Namulditan and were bound for Hungduan.
In the afternoon of April 26, my father was asked to type and send a letter dictated by the garrison commander to the mayor of Hungduan informing him of the findings of Lt. Dulnuan.
In a separate message, the Deputy Governor advised (with the help of another runner) the Hungduan mayor to inform guerilla units hiding in his town that the movements of Capt. Manalo, his "white" companion and escorts were known by the enemy. He also emphasized that appropriate action be taken to protect them.
"On April 27, Mayor Dulinayan went to Nueva Vizcaya to head the delegations from Ifugao to attend the Kalibapi Carnival. The garrison commander did not go join the group."
Emperor's birthday celebration
"On April 29, all barrio folks in Kiangan were required to come to town to attend the Emperor's Birthday celebration, and also a meeting of the Kalibapi. The commander spoke on the significance of the anniversary, the Kalibapi and the success of the Japanese occupation."I was asked to read the instructions on what the Kalibapi is all about."
"In the afternoon, he required all those who surrendered to tell on other hiding 'bandits' to give themselves up to the occupying forces.
"One man from Burnay stood and in the native dialect informed the garrison officer that in his barrio some of his neighbors often times disappear and return after some days pass. He insinuated that his neighbors seem to be in contact with hiding allied soldiers.
"I was asked to interpret and in chicanery manner told the garrison commander the people wanted some vegetable and good rice seeds. Every one gave the guy stern looks but were relieved that I made a different interpretation. The commander, at this instance, gave a lecture on agriculture and we all pretended to appreciate his suggestions on how to plant and grow rice. Pleased, he asked the kitchen to feed every one, give drinks and even tobacco. Mayor Baywong, I later gathered, gave said constituent some sort of punishment."
"April 30: the garrison commander informed me that Captain Manalo and his family escaped and that they were in a mountain toward Isabela province, and that former Mayor Balajo was captain with some arms."
In Manila on May 5, my father was informed of the arrival of Japanese Premier Tozyo and was received by some 300,000 Filipinos.
Chairman Vargas declared the day as "Peace Day" to commemorate the day Corrigidor was taken by the Japanese the year earlier in 1942.
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, Cordillera Administrative Region. He now resides in New Jersey, USA.