(14th of a series)
Local officials garrisoned
THE Deputy Governor felt he was being played with the information provided by the Japanese garrison commander of the cowardice escape of Capt. Manalo to Isabela and the capture of former Mayaoyao Mayor Balajo who resigned to join the resistance movement.
On May 15, as directed by the Japanese garrison commander, my father together with Kiangan Mayor Dulinayan, his secretary Mr. Laragan, and town treasurer Follosco were sent to Burnay to explain the organization of Kalibapi. There was a crowd it being a market day.
He wrote: “Lt. Emiliano Dulnuan had some soldiers whom he convinced to surrender. I told him to allow them to go home and give them time to think what’s best for themselves. Cpl. Luis Baglan of the Philippine Scouts was one of them. I whispered to him that surrender is not compulsory (as explained by Lt. Dulnuan) but it is decision they themselves should make.”
The next day, on May 16, for unknown reasons the Deputy Governor, Mayor Dulinayan, Follosco, Emiliano Dulnuan, William Dulnuan, Henry Binwag, all municipal employees of Kiangan were incarcerated. They were suspected of conniving with allied soldiers hiding in Lamut.
“I was one of them in prison but the garrison commander, seeing that there will be no one to move about in town for them and the people, allowed me to go home. I was later on taken by them to witness the search on the house of Mayor Dulinayan where they found a radio and two Cal. 38 revolvers supposedly for his policemen.
“I told the garrison officer during our long conference that I cannot believe the charges against Mayor Dulinayan and the municipal employees. I added further that detaining them will hamper the function of the local government. He assured me that the rest, except the mayor, will undergo interrogation that same night and will go home. However, they were kept overnight until I went again to plead for them. They were only released in the afternoon but Mayor Dulinayan.
“I again pleaded for the release of the mayor but was told that his incarceration is by order from the provincial supreme commander in Bontoc. I wrote the Provincial Governor Dr. Clapp to intercede.
“At this time, the garrison commander revealed that during the raid at Dulinayan’s house they found a letter from Capt. Manalo, appointing him as sergeant and to act as intelligence informer for him. Failure of Mayor Dulinayan to comply would mean that he will be ‘shot like a dog’. I made emphasis on that phrase that if the Mayor of Kiangan was conniving with the ‘bandits’, why would Capt. Manalo threaten him with an order to be shot like a dog.
“I requested him to inform his superior officer that the suspicion on the mayor is unfounded. He did but we never heard of any word from Major Yanase, until May 20, when Mayor Dulinayan was released in the afternoon.
“On May 29, I sent secret messages to the mayors of Burnay and Hungduan that the movements of Sergeant Bunnol and his temporary HQ are known to the enemy, and that he should be advised to move elsewhere for his safety and that of his men.
“On May 30, the Paredes family members were again detained and I was called to help explain what the garrison commander wanted to find out. They missed breakfast and lunch and were released after I clearly conveyed their absolute and honest ignorance of the whereabouts of Mr. Pedro Manalo, a son in-law of Mr. Paredes and younger brother of Capt. Manalo. The commander believed that Pedro was with his elder brother which was true but we vehemently denied their suspicion.
“In the afternoon of the same day, all the women in town, including my wife, were ordered to report to the garrison. Wondering why, I went to find out for myself. The women were asked to roll tobacco and mend the clothes of the soldiers. To avoid any suspicion of non-cooperation, I suggested for them do as ordered.”
After his release, Mayor Dulinayan and my father were ordered to proceed to Bontoc to attend the unveiling of the tomb of Dep. Gov. Arciso scheduled a week later. Upon their arrival, they noted that allied soldiers from Natonin, Barlig, Kalinga and Bontoc were assembled inside a government hall.
“Governor Clapp requested several of us to give them some sort of advice. I spoke in the Ilocano dialect for some ten minutes, telling them that under the present circumstances, their surrender was for their own good and their respective families. After my short talk, someone whispered to me that Lt. Tomaliwan, who was captured a week earlier, was confined at the Bontoc Bilibid jail.
On June 4, the unveiling of Dep. Gov. Arciso’s tomb took place and was graced by the presence of a representative of Gen. Nagasaki, and the assumption of the new provincial commander, Col. Sakaba in lieu of Maj. Yanase.
“We were presented to the new commander. His soldiers will relieve all those in Ifugao, Kalinga and Apayao replacing those under Major Yanase who were ordered south as I was told by Lt. Watanabe of the Kiangan garrison.
Sayonara good bye
Lt. Watanabe was very sorry to leave Kiangan. The Deputy Governor said: “He expressed it, saying, ‘I am sorry to leave Kiangan a very peaceful place. Now we go south maybe Australia’. So we said, ‘sayonara’ sarcastically wishing him to reach Australia.”
“On June 8, the new garrison commander, Lt. Eto by name arrived and immediately conducted an inspection tour of his barracks and the town. He called for a public meeting on June 16 among District presidents and local officials. Mr. R. Baguilat, Mr. Lanag, Mr. Guyguyon, Mr. Ramos, the Kiangan mayor, and treasurer expressed words of welcome and spoke on various topics concerning their respective offices.
“On June 17, a Japanese patrol with Mr. Laragan left for Lamut to see to the rice supplies for Bontoc, and to be shipped after the visit of the Mt. Province commander a week later.
Col. Sabaka visits Ifugao
“Upon his arrival in Kiangan, Col. Sabaka called all prominent citizens including the parish priest for a conference. He urged sincere cooperation and assistance in convincing Pilipino hiding soldiers to peacefully surrender and avoid harm and death. He intended to return back to Bontoc the next day.
Wives & families of RP officers freed
Despite his woeful situation in the hands of Japanese, my father, upon his personal guarantee, was able to seek the freedom of Mrs. Dunuan, Mr. Paredes, Miss Maria Manriquez and her mother, and Mr. Pedro Manalo, son-in-law of Mr. Paredes and former head teacher.
“I requested the immediate release of Mrs. Dunuan and Mrs. Manriquez and he talked with his commanding officer for the Kiangan garrison. I was assured of their release, as soon as they will look into their papers. They were not supposed to be allowed freedom had I not assumed full responsibilities about them. They were released upon my personal guarantee in black and white.”
“On June 23, Lt. Eto informed me of the release of the detainees.
“Col. Sabaka was rather friendly and somewhat not as strict as Major Yanase. Lt. Eto was also a very reserved fellow, seldom talks, and usually smiles to anyone he meets.
To be continued...
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