ROXAS OF THE UNDERGROUND
By JOSE M. HERNANDEZ
THE FILIPINO OBSERVER, January 1948
“It will give me the greatest pleasure to arrest General Manuel A. Roxas, personally, and cut off his
head with this sword.”
Thus spoke Nagahama of the Kempeitai. Place - Malacañan. Interlocutor-President Jose P. Laurel.
When? Late in 1944.
“But why?” Laurel asked as he watched Nagahama sheathe his keen-edged samurai sword.
“There is evidence a-plenty that Roxas is the chief of the guerrilla movement in the Philippines,” replied
Nagahama with a hiss.
The evidence was graphic and conclusive in the dark, medieval mind of that Japanese colonel. He
knew of the deeply mysterious movement of the underground - at least in Luzon. He had heard persistent
reports of Colonel Fertig in far Mindanao
who was in constant contact with
MacArthur in Australia. He knew of the
brothers Elizalde -Juan and Miguel, the Ita-
lian Enrico Pirovano and Senator Ozamis
and Colonel Ellsworth, pseudonym of
General Vicente Lim.
Luckily, he beamed mentally, these
men were safe in Fort Santiago, to which
they had been given a one-way ticket.
These were Roxas’ loyal henchmen. They
kept their lips sealed to the bitter end.
But he could not stop Roxas. He
had the general’s house watched twenty-
four hours a day. He followed every little
movement of the thin, flat-chested ex-pris-
oner from Malaybalay. He had everybody
who had anything to do with intelligence
communication and in contact with Roxas
arrested, imprisoned, tortured and killed.
Well, almost everybody.
He could not quite place his hand
on that elusive courier of the southern seas,
that mysterious officer who came and went
and somehow got in touch with Roxas and
with MacArthur. That was Primitivo San
Agustin. He couldn’t get Hans Menzi. Nor
Chick Parsons. Nor Joe Razon. But, he
shrugged his shoulders, his dragnet had swept into his predatory claws such men as Segundo and Martelino,
Moran and Guido, de Jesus and Tony Escoda and Fidel Cruz. And there too were Magtoto and Sta. Maria.
Roxas was helpless, he con