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Wednesday, June 26th 2013, 2:19pm

Philippine News and Events 1944

The Freeman (Cebu), Saturday, 1 January 1944

Crowds gathered at the naval shipyards at San Fernando to witness the keel-laying ceremony for the new escort sloop Banica. She is designed to undertake a variety of missions in southern waters, and will assure that piracy and banditry continue to be suppressed. A sister vessel, the Marakina, was laid down at Puerto Princesa, while elsewhere in the nation two destroyers and two additional submarines began construction. Today is a stellar day in the renovation of the nations naval strength.

Jesselton, North Borneo, Monday, 3 January 1944

Li Po took the news of the loss of his servitor, Tien Fook Leung, with equanimity. The possibility of an encounter with a Philippine naval patrol was a risk to be accepted in his line of work. The Hakka had served him well, but Li Po felt no deep regret or desire for revenge; the latter held no profit.

There was a knock at the door of his office and a man entered. "You sent for me Master?"

"Welcome Chen Jiong-ming," the triad chieftain said with a smile. "I have chosen you to replace our departed associate, Tien Fook Leung, in overseeing our activities in support of the Abu Sabaya network."

Chen bowed low. "I am honored to accept the trust you repose in me," he replied.

Action Service Headquarters, Makati, Tuesday, 4 January 1944

It had taken several days for Gavin Bagares to determine which of his agents would be the best to undertake the mission that would signal the end of Operation Balimbing. The three he selected now sat before him, reading copies of the file on their target.

Eduard Sacapaño had served with the Philippine Army for five years before leaving to join the National Police; he was a natural leader, and would head up the team. Rolando Navarrete had been one of the Philippine Constabularys crack shots before he joined the Action Service  a practiced long-range marksman. Agapito Lozada appeared to be a bookish amateur, but he had proven himself on several important assignments. More importantly, as the son of the Philippine consul in North Borneo, he had grown up in Jesselton, its capital - knowledge of which would likely prove invaluable.

"Any questions at this point?" Bagares asked.

"You've left many of the details to our discretion sir," Sacapaño said.

"I've done so deliberately. We have no way of knowing the best way to take down the target until we know his routine; that can only be accomplished by direct observation  and that means you."

Sacapaño nodded in response. He looked back at the portfolio and marked the face of the man called Li Po. "When do we leave sir?"

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "BruceDuncan" (Jun 28th 2013, 8:05pm)


Friday, June 28th 2013, 8:06pm

New Bilibid Prison, Manila, Friday, 7 January 1944

Rafael Antonio Montoya, governor of New Bilibid Prison, found himself re-reading the memorandum that lay on his desk. Though signed in proper form by the Minister of Civil Affairs is contents still struck him as unusual, to say the least. He awaited the arrival of the prisoner who was the subject of the memorandum.

Some moments later Montoya heard the clank of manacles and the footsteps of the guards as they escorted the prisoner; a knock at the office door heralded his arrival.

"Come," Montoya said.

For his part the prisoner had wondered why he had been taken from the solitary cell in which he was incarcerated. Since his conviction Pieter Buencamino had been kept locked away, allowed only the occasional visitor. And yet he had been able to mastermind and bankroll a rebellion that even now had the southern provinces aflame. "Perhaps," he thought, "those fools in the Senate have seen reason, and I am to be set free to deal with the rebels. They know that it is hopeless to do otherwise. I am the only one who can deal with the Moro..."

Montoya could not hide his disdain for the prisoner. Once vice president of the nation, Buencamino, "Little Finger", had conspired in the death of the beloved President de la Vega, had systematically pillaged the public purse for his own needs, and had fled abroad to escape justice. Montoya could not understand the instructions given him by the Minister.

"Prisoner Buencamino," he began, "I have received instructions from the Minister of Civil Affairs, Don Alfredo Montelibano. In recognition of your good behavior while imprisoned here, you are to be released from solitary confinement and transferred to the general prison population, and the privileges pertaining thereto."

Buencamino blinked, and thoughts ran through his head. "Perhaps the time is not yet ripe, or Montelibano is trying to play both sides of the game - he keeps me in prison but allows me this to gain my trust for his own purposes."

"Take the prisoner to his new quarters," Montoya instructed the guards. "Get him out of my sight."

Jesselton, North Borneo, Saturday, 8 January 1944

Agapito Lozada disembarked from the aeroplane that had brought him from Singapore via Kuching. Since he had left several years before, Jesselton had not changed significantly, and he was soon able to adjust to his surroundings. He was here on commercial cover, as a representative of a small import-export firm, seeking to drum up business with British trading houses in the port. He took a room in a hotel in the business district in anticipation of beginning work in earnest on the following Monday. For the time being he rested, and studied the photograph of his target, the triad chieftain Li Po.

The Mindanao Journal, Sunday, 9 January 1944

The village of Pisawak, in the Siocon district of Zamboanga Province, saw the dedication today of a new twenty-four bed hospital, clinic and dispensary constructed by personnel of the First Civic Action Group. This medical facility will substantially improve the health and wellbeing of the population of the district, most of who are small, independent miners working in the Canatuan Creek area. The First Civic Action Group has been involved in the construction of many public works in the western portion Mindanao in support of the civil government's effort to suppress rural banditry.


Sunday, June 30th 2013, 2:29am

Sipankot Island, off Sibutu, Wednesday, 12 January 1944

Much to his surprise and relief, Jesus Sotto, the erstwhile 'Dukut Arang', found that the Shih-Hai had not abandoned their gun-running activities in support of the Abu Sabaya network. Messages had apprised him of the arrival of a new ship, with a new captain and crew. Thus his crew of tame 'bandits' was waiting when a schooner hove into view, and he flashed the 'all-clear' signal.

Chen Jiong-ming had guided his craft carefully, using notes left by his departed predecessor on the patrol areas of the Philippine Navy. In the distance he saw the flash of light that signaled that all was clear for his approach. Using the schooner's auxiliary engine he brought her close to shore where several bancas had gathered to offload the cargo of arms and ammunition.

While the crew of the schooner and the bancas was otherwise engaged, 'Dukut Arang' came aboard to meet his new contact.

"Greetings honored sir," said Chen. "I bring greetings from my master, Li Po. He hopes that your cause prospers."

'Dukut Arang' replied in a similar manner, "With the help of God and your chieftain, we shall overcome our enemies and achieve our goals. Your voyage was uneventful?"

"We were able to avoid the naval patrols," Chen admitted. "Once our cargo is off loaded, there will be small risk of detection."

"Excellent," said 'Dukut Arang'. "I look forward to being able to continue our work together."

Jesselton, North Borneo, Thursday, 13 January 1944

Eduard Sacapaño arrived in Jesselton aboard a small coastal steamer of the Koninklijke Paketvaart-Maatschappij. Ostensibly he was a tourist, and as such the local customs officials did not make too thorough a search of his luggage. Which, in the grand scheme of things, was very good. Taking a room in a cheap hotel, his first duty was to make contact with Lozada.

"Have you found him?" was Sacapaño's first question when they met later that evening.

"His headquarters is in a social club in Brooke Road. I've observed him arriving daily and staying for most of the day," Lozada replied. "His people come to him. When he arrives and when he leaves he has two bodyguards."

"You have a hide?" Sacapaño asked.

"I've rented a room that overlooks the entrance to the club. It provides a good field of fire," Lozada admitted.

Sacapaño drew a tight smile. "Good. Navarrete will be arriving in a few days with the equipment."

Mission Nuestra Senora de los Islas, Tapiantana Island, Saturday, 15 January 1944

Brother Francis received the truck that arrived from the naval base with a happy heart. "Blessings and peace be with you my sons," he said to the four sailors. "What brings you to our humble mission?"

A petty officer got out from the passenger's seat and explained, "Our supply ship brought a crate of supplies for you Brother Francis. We were ordered to deliver it."

The friar was mildly taken aback. "I was not expecting any such delivery. Do you know from whom it comes?"

"The manifest says it came from the Bishop of Cebu; 'Mission supplies' is what the crate is marked," the petty officer explained.

"Manna from heaven?" Brother Francis inquired rhetorically.

The sailors had man-handled the crate off the back of the truck. "Shall we open it?" one asked.

"By all means," said the friar.

Once opened the crate disgorged all manner of supplies - simple things such as nails, needle and thread, or very necessary things, including communion wine.

Brother Francis bowed his head. "Father we thank you for all your gifts, and for those who give them."


Sunday, June 30th 2013, 10:01pm

New Bilibid Prison, Manila, Monday, 17 January 1944

Pieter Buencamino still found his new surroundings disconcerting. He had expected to be accepted by the other prisoners as a superior, and have several of them groveling for his favor. As it was, he was shunned by most of the prisoners; others were actively hostile and he had to be kept apart from them. He had expected that the authorities would be courting him; instead he was being treated like a common criminal.

He now had access to more information regarding the state of affairs outside the prison walls. Contrary to his expectations, the common people seemed to be rallying behind the turncoat Soriano and his partisans in the Senate, willingly shouldering the burden of combatting the rebellion emerging in the southern provinces. That, at least, was going according to plan. In the dog-eared issues of newspapers brought into the prison Buencamino read of the many gun battles between the rebels whom he financed and the Government.

"They will see their foolishness," he thought. "The day will come when they turn to me to pull their fat out of the fire!"

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Tuesday, 18 January 1944

The landing ship Calibato has completed its trials and working up, and has departed for Mindanao, where it will support ongoing anti-piracy operations.

The Manila Times, Wednesday, 19 January 1944

Today His Eminence Cardinal Reyes led special prayers for the victims of the recent earthquake in Argentina. Speaking afterwards, he urged those able to contribute to the relief efforts being organized by the Government and the Red Cross. The Navy has chartered two freighters to carry food, medicine, clothing and construction materials for the reconstruction of San Juan and the devastated region. It is expected that these two ships will arrive sometime next month.


Monday, July 1st 2013, 3:47pm

Jesselton, North Borneo, Thursday, 20 January 1944

The small trading steamer Islas de Perla docked at Jesselton Harbour on her regular voyage from Cebu, across the Sulu Archipelago, and thence down the Borneo coast to Singapore; it was one she had been making for the last ten years for her current owners, and no one knew for certain how long she had been plying the route. Her arrival was no surprise, and she began offloading cargo for delivery to local merchants, and to pick up cargo for delivery later in her voyage. Several passengers also disembarked, and cleared customs attracting little notice.

Rolando Navarrete took care to assure he was not being followed before making rendezvous with his companions Sacapaño and Lozada. He preferred to be over-cautious.

"Glad you made it," said Sacapaño when Navarrete joined them in their hide opposite the social club that served as Li Po's headquarters. "Did the gear make it through customs?"

"Yes. It was being loaded on a truck as I left the docks. We can collect it from the warehouse tomorrow," Navarrete replied, looking out the window and judging the potential firing angles. "This place looks good," he said with a nod. "Have we worked out a schedule?"

Lozada nodded. "He spends most of the day inside. When he leaves at night the street is rather full of passers-by; however, he arrives in the morning before the traffic get too busy."

"We can refine that," Navarrete concluded. "I doubt that the Boss would appreciate collateral damage."

The Manila Herald, Friday, 21 January 1944

The Government has announced that it has placed orders in France for the procurement of additional Char 6D Bruyere light tanks of the latest design, as well as support vehicles on the Char 6 chassis, to equip the newly formed First Armored Regiment. Orders for Panhard VCI Modele 1941 infantry carriers have also been placed, and an agreement has been reached with the French Government for the provision of turrets and technical assistance in upgrading the Army's current inventory of Char 6 tanks to the latest Char 6D configuration. Deliveries of new vehicles are expected to begin shortly, and the upgrade program is expected to be under way before the end of the year.

The Manila Chronicle, Monday, 24 January 1944

Shares of Delta Motors rose on the Manila Stock Exchange today on reports of changes in the customs regime in French Polynesia. According to unconfirmed sources the French Government is expected to eliminate import duties in that region for motorcycles and motor-tricycles of the type manufactured by Delta Motors. The recently established firm is controlled by the French Gnome-Rhone industrial combine, and it is speculated that the change in customs imposts is part of a deliberate French policy to grow the market for industrial goods in its possessions throughout the Pacific region. In any event, prices of Delta Motors shares surged five percent today before the close of business.


Monday, July 1st 2013, 9:36pm

Hm, a risky suit that Navarrete, Sacapaño, Lozada & Associates are pressing...


Tuesday, July 2nd 2013, 3:15am


Originally posted by Brockpaine
Hm, a risky suit that Navarrete, Sacapaño, Lozada & Associates are pressing...

Could be? 8)


Tuesday, July 2nd 2013, 3:54pm

The Manila Times, Wednesday, 26 January 1944

The unloading of the Chinese-flag freighter Tung Lung at the port of Manila came to a complete halt following an altercation yesterday between the boatswain of the freighter and the foreman of the stevedores assigned to unload the vessel. Reports differ as to the exact cause of the dispute, but at noon the stevedores ceased work and have not yet returned. A spokesman for the Luzon Stevedoring Company indicated that that the firm is attempting to resolve the issue but several barriers remain to be addressed. For their part, the dock hands say that they were verbally mistreated by the crew of the Chinese vessel and positively refuse to continue working to unload her. A union steward called for a boycott of all Chinese-flag vessels by members of the Philippine Longshoreman's Union.

The Mindanao Examiner, Friday, 28 January 1944

Don Marcelo Palmero, Governor of the Zamboanga District, officiated over the formal opening of final stretch of road linking Zamboanga City with the town of Tungawan, the first stretch of coastal highway that will eventually link Zamboanga with the rest of Mindanao. The work has been done over the last several months by units of the First Civic Action Group and local contractors. The paved motor road will be a boon to commercial traffic and provide an alternative to the slow coastal steamers that have heretofore plied between Pagadian and Cotobato without competition.

Action Service Headquarters, Makati, Sunday, 30 January 1944

Gavin Bagares received the message from his team in Jesselton calmly. All the pieces were in place and they were ready to move. Unfortunately, the time was not quite ripe to move against the Shih-Hai. They would have to wait and observe for the time being. He drafted a curt reply and had it sent.


Wednesday, July 3rd 2013, 3:19pm

The Manila Chronicle, Monday, 31 January 1944

Stevedores in Manila continue their industrial action against the Sino Shipping Company freighter Tung Lung, refusing to return to work and unload the vessel until their dispute with the owners is resolved. Thus far the Chinese shipping firm has declined comment. Stevedores at Cebu have struck in sympathy and are refusing to work on two Sino Shipping Company vessels docked there, the Hai Ying and the Hai Er. Minister of Transport Mariano Eraña has called for calm among the striking dock workers and has asked both sides to open negotiations to resolve the issue.


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 12:52am

Philippine News and Events, February 1944

United Press International, Manila, Tuesday, 1 February 1944

The Manila Times, Thursday, 3 February 1944

The continued labor dispute in the port of Manila continues to hold three Chinese-flag freighters of the Sino Shipping Company in thrall, and a further two Chinese vessels are at anchor in the bay, having been refused clearance to dock pending resolution of the dispute. The employees of the Luzon Stevedoring Company are demanding a formal apology from the captain of the freighter Tung Lung for sharp language used by the boatswain of the freighter in comments made to the stevedores unloading the vessel. Thus far the authorities have refused to intervene despite protestations of the captains of the vessels in question and the Chinese consul-general here. It is unclear when the dispute may be resolved.

Jesselton, North Borneo, Saturday, 5 February 1944

The three members of the Action Service continued their surveillance of the Shih-Hai chieftain Li Po, awaiting further instructions from Manila. Sacapaño spent most of his time in the hide across from the triad leader's headquarters, carefully noting movement in and out. Navarrete selected the weapons from their small arsenal - two Chinese-made M95 rifles with sniper scopes and a Beretta light automatic, as well as three Chinese-built Mauser C96 "Schnellfeuer" pistols, for just in case. All the weapons had been taken from shipments that the Shih-Hai itself had delivered to the Abu Sabaya rebels; they were, in the terms of the trade, "sterile". Lozada spent his time researching their escape strategy. Waiting for word was growing difficult; but then, no one ever said that working for the Action Service was easy.


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 2:05pm

Interesting, what is type is the PADC 880 in the real world? I can't say I've ever seen it before.


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 2:37pm

It's the Breguet 892. Brock thinks it is ugly but I say beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 2:42pm

I think it looks quite good. From this angle it looks quite American but I couldn't place it as a French aircraft. I originally thought American but then it didn't have radials and that confused me. Now all makes sense!


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 3:09pm

One cannot justify its development on pure economic grounds alone; the local market is too small, and it is quite uncertain whether it can find a market elsewhere. Rather like the later OTL Dassault Mercure - a nice looking aircraft but a commercial failure, with only ten aircraft being built.


Sunday, July 7th 2013, 4:55pm

Action Service Headquarters, Makati, Sunday, 6 February 1944

Gavin Bagares reviewed the reports spread on his desk with a mix of expectation and frustration. His agents across the archipelago were reporting that they needed more time to complete the plan to take down the Shih-Hai triad's network in one fell swoop; at the same time he had agents in Borneo ready to strike and to leave them there left them vulnerable to discovery. Don Alfredo Montelibano was pushing for a quick end to the operation, but he too wanted maximum results. He needed a diversion - something that would distract the local Shih-Hai leadership, something that would throw sand in the financial machine that took the Shih-Hai's money beyond the reach of the law. Pondering the dilemma, a thought formed in his mind.

The Mindanao Post, Wednesday, 9 February 1944

The spontaneous boycott of Chinese goods that broke out yesterday in the capital has spread here to the principal cities of the province, Davao, Butuan and Zamboanga, and is expected to spread into the countryside. Beginning among common citizens in Manila and Cavite, the boycott is in sympathy with the dockworkers of the port of Manila and Cebu, where several Chinese vessels are immobilized due to industrial action. Aimed at increasing pressure on the intransigent Sino Shipping Company the boycott, should it last, would have serious economic implications. For the moment the Government remains non-committal, though Minister of Commerce Alejandro Melchor has called for calm and has begun informal talks with the leaders of the boycott.

The Freeman (Cebu), Thursday, 10 February 1944

The minesweeper escorts Nueva Vizcaya and Compostela have completed their trials and working up and are docked here pending their assignment to duties with the fleet.


Monday, July 8th 2013, 1:48pm

The Mindanao Examiner, Friday, 11 February 1944

The latest of the Barangay class destroyers, Lambuano and Leganes, were launched today in the Butuan shipyards. They were immediately towed to the shipyard's fitting out wharf where they will continue construction; it is expected that they will complete sometime this autumn.

The Davao Herald, Saturday, 12 February 1944

The minesweeper escorts Camarines and Romblon were completed today at Butuan, and were formally commissioned. Following a three-month period of trials and working up they will join their sisters patrolling the southern seas to put down the banditry that infests them.

Jesselton, North Borneo, Monday, 14 February 1944

It was time.

The order had arrived from Manila to take down their target, and the three Action Service operatives took up their stations that morning with a sense of relief. In their hide across the street Sacapaño and Navarrete waited, rifles in hand, for the arrival of their quarry; Lozada, lounging at street level, hid his Beretta automatic beneath a newspaper. There was little street traffic at that hour of the morning, which suited them all.


Accompanied by his two bodyguards Li Po arrived, ready to take up his day's work. There was disturbing news from the Philippines, where anti-Chinese sentiment was growing, to the detriment of the Shih-Hai's business. He had also to prepare for a visit from his superior, who wished to audit Li Po's accounts; this was normal but the timing was most unfortunate. Li Po's thoughts were elsewhere, and he did not notice the man several yards ahead of him rise.


Sacapaño and Navarrete took careful aim; Navarrete had the honor of taking down the triad chieftain; Sacapaño would take down the leading bodyguard. The little parade slowed as it neared the door of the social club, and fingers squeezed gently to fire near simultaneous shots.


Lozada stood, and brought his Beretta up to waist level. Before he could pull the trigger he saw Li Po's head seemingly explode, a bullet entering neatly on the left side but blowing brains out the right side as it exited; one of the bodyguards jerked as a bullet struck him at the base of his neck and passed through his body and slumped to the ground. The second bodyguard, startled by what had happened, froze long enough for Lozada to fire a burst that ripped across the bodyguard's torso, crumpling him.

Taking the several steps necessary to reach them, Lozada emptied the magazine of his Beretta carbine into the bleeding remains of Li Po, assuring the bandit's death. He then dropped his weapon, now unnecessary, and took out his wallet. In imitation of ancient Chinese custom he dropped a wad of money on the bodies, to pay the funeral costs. It would, he hoped, suggest gunmen from a rival triad were responsible. He then quickly fled the scene, to rendezvous with his comrades and prepare for their hasty departure before the local constabulary looked into the matter.


Tuesday, July 9th 2013, 4:15pm

Offices of the Insular Trading Company, Cebu City, Tuesday, 15 February 1944

Sun Chuan-fang was looking over the latest shipment of watches his operative had smuggled past Philippine customs when the Philippine Constabulary broke through the warehouse doors, their guns drawn and shouting "You are under arrest; up with your hands." The triad chieftain at first seemed nonplussed - he thought a few thousand well placed pesos would resolve this unfortunate matter; such tactics had served him well before. His people submitted, lifting their hands high and allowing themselves to be handcuffed. Sun began to lose his sense of confidence when a steely-eyed man in civilian clothes stepped into the warehouse and walked up to him.

Francisco Mañosa had been waiting for this day for several months, happy that action could now be taken against the spreading Shih-Hai octopus. He approached Sun with a growing sense of elation. "Sun Chuan-fang," he said, "In the name of the Republic of the Philippines I place you under arrest on suspicion of murder, extortion, smuggling, money-laundering and aiding and abetting rebellion." Mañosa pinioned the Shih-Hai leader's hands behind his back and hand-cuffed him.

Sun was speechless. Never had a Philippine policeman dared to lay a hand on him. It was inconceivable. A long string of Chinese expletives escaped from his mouth.

"Oh no," replied Mañosa with a smile, "I know my family tree better than that."

Sibutu, Tawi-Tawi, Wednesday, 16 February 1944

In his guise as 'Dukut Arang' Jesus Sotto had called together the sympathizers of the cause of Abu Sabaya for an emergency meeting. While he had carefully controlled the actual efforts of the bandits for several months, he had allowed a fringe to develop of those who wished to 'contribute to the jihad' through money and information, recognizing that these too were a threat. Now the time had come to end the charade.

He stood before a gathering of some forty erstwhile Abu Sabaya supporters, flanked by two of his own Action Service operatives. "The time has come for action," said 'Dukut Arang', and there was a responsive murmur among them. "The time has come to crush those who oppose us!" he continued; and there were calls for jihad. "And you are all under arrest!" he concluded, drawing his pistol as his fellow Action Service operatives did the same. The Constabulary troopers who had taken up position outside the place of meeting entered, their weapons leveled. There was no resistance.

Action Service Headquarters, Makati, Thursday, 17 February 1944

Gavin Bagares read the reports coming into his office from all over the country. Operation Balimbing had reached its culmination - the principal Shih-Hai leaders in Manila, Cebu and Mindanao were in custody, their hatchet-men rounded up, their records seized, their assets frozen. Li Po, the puppet master, was dead in Jesselton. Across the southern provinces his men, who already controlled what remained of the Abu Sabaya network, had arrested those few supporters who thought that it was an actual liberation movement and imploded it in one fell swoop. The court cases would stretch over months, and the net would, no doubt, ensnare more fish as the records seized from the Shih-Hai illuminated more of their workings. There was one outstanding matter to be dealt with, and Bagares would seek the approval of the Minister to resolve it.


Tuesday, July 9th 2013, 4:58pm

Inspector Creighton sat behind his desk fanning himself from the heat. A knock came at the door, "Come in." A Colonial Police Sergeant marched in and saluted. "Sergeant Keruak reporting, Sir. We had a report that there was a shooting in town, Sir." "Whereabouts did this take place?" "Outside the Social Club in Brooke Road, Sir." Creighton knew what that meant and paused fanning himself to take a sip of his tepid glass of water. "What did you find when your men arrived?" "There were three bodies on the ground, all Chinese. We are trying to identify them. One of them may be Li Po Sir. There were some discarded small arms on the ground. Some money was left on the corpses. We have the guns downstairs Sir. Also several Chinese men tried to obstruct us taking the bodies away." Creighton waved his hand, "lock them up if they cause any trouble. Well it won't take us long to conclude anyone of the local hoodlums might have killed Li Po. Have your men question witnesses and keep the area sealed until I get there but don't waste unnecessary time." "Yes Sir. I understand." "Very well Sergeant carry on." The Sergeant saluted and left the room while Creighton opened a drawer and pulled out a blank paper folder and neatly wrote on it 'Li Po Murder Investigation'.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "Hood" (Jul 9th 2013, 4:59pm)


Wednesday, July 10th 2013, 5:31pm

The Manila Times, Friday, 18 February 1944

Minister of Civil Affairs Don Alfredo Montelibano held a press conference today to outline actions taken in the past week to expose and bring to justice the activities of an organized ring of criminals known as the Four Seas Gang. This Chinese triad had been the subject of a lengthy under-cover operation carried out by the National Police, the Philippine Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies throughout the nation, which have resulted in the arrest and arraignment of no fewer than one hundred twenty-seven members of the so-called Four Seas Gang, including Sun Chuan-fang, the crime lord of Cebu. Don Alfredo praised the efforts of law enforcement officials around the country for their diligence and tenacity in tackling the disease of organized crime and bringing low this cancer that harms so many of the nation's poorest citizens.

Nielsen Field, Manila, Sunday, 20 February 1944

Eduard Sacapaño, Rolando Navarrete and Agapito Lozada deplaned from their Philippine Air Lines DC-4, which had arrived shortly before from the British colony of Hong Kong. Since leaving Jesselton they had travelled fast and light - first to Kuching in Sarawak, and thence to Batavia; there they had taken a regular KLM flight to Singapore, where they subsequently booked onward to Hong Kong. Having several sets of identity papers to draw on, the Action Service agents believed that their trail was sufficiently covered.

A car met them at the exit of the Custom's Hall.

"Welcome home," said the driver. "The job is done?"

"Yes Boss," replied Sacapaño. "That loose end is all tied up."

The Daily Guardian (Iloilo), Monday, 21 February 1944

The continuing labor dispute among longshoremen at the nation's principal ports now ensnared a fourth freighter of the Sino Shipping Company. Our correspondents in Zamboanga report that the freighter Heng Tai has been refused loading of her cargo, with the local association of stevedores initiating industrial action in support of the striking longshoremen in Manila and Cebu. Meanwhile the grass-roots boycott of Chinese-made goods has been fueled by the revelations of Chinese involvement in organized crime around the nation. Municipal authorities here have met with community leaders in an attempt to resolve the situation but no success has been obtained to date.


Thursday, July 11th 2013, 11:18pm

The Manila Times, Editorial Page, Wednesday, 23 February 1944

The central criminal court in Manila has seen a veritable parade of gangsters pass through it over the last several days. The National Bureau of Investigation, the National Police and the Philippine Constabulary have done an admirable job of bringing to justice those who have battened on the common citizen and sapped the life-blood out of our economy. Hiding behind the facade of well-known legitimate businesses - the Insular Trading Company, the South Seas Trading Company, the Eastern Seafaring and Trading Company and the Transoceanic Finance and Trading Company - the criminals of the Four Seas Gang had established illegal gambling activities, conducted smuggling, carried out loan-sharking and extortion, abetted prostitution, trafficked in narcotics and a host of other criminal endeavors.

Most damning of all is the recently-released documentation showing the connections between the Four Seas Gang and the bandits that have infested the southern provinces over the last year. The capture and arrest of the Chinese national Chen Jiong-ming while attempting to smuggle arms into Palawan confirm long-held suspicions regarding complicity of Chinese interests in the rebellion. Statements made by several of those arrested have also linked former Vice President Pieter Buencamino to the gun-running activities of the Four Seas Gang. Buencamino is presently serving a life term for his complicity in the murder of former president De la Vega, and the Attorney General has declined comments on whether charges will be pursued against Buencamino.

United Press International, Manila, Friday, 25 February 1944

The Office of the Philippine Minister of Defense released the following statement today:

"In view of the continuing hostilities in northeast Asia, the Republic of the Philippines has concluded an agreement with the Government of the United States covering the purchase by the Philippines of additional quantities of American-built combat aircraft, including North American P-51D and Grumman F6F fighter aircraft and Consolidated B-24 long-range bomber aircraft."

On news of the sale the stocks of American defense companies moved higher on the New York Stock Exchange.

Tai-pei, Formosa, Saturday, 26 February 1944

Hu-ang, Dragonhead of the Shih-Hai, assessed the reports from his underlings with a growing sense of anger. The Philippine authorities had struck so deeply into the triad's apparatus in the archipelago that it would take years to recover its strength - time during which rival triads would take the opportunity to usurp the position rightfully belonging to the Shih-Hai. The Philippine police had such complete information that there must have been traitors within his own ranks - had Li Po not been struck down by rivals Hu-ang would have ordered his death; as it was, he had a list of those to be dealt with before him. He applied his chop to it with such force that the ink-pot rattled.

The Shih-Hai had been hurt; it had lost face among its rivals. Hu-ang would not forget, and Hu-ang would have his revenge. This he swore.