Collection of Speeches By: Ruperto K. Kangleon
COLLECTION OF SPEECHES BY RUPERTO K. KANGLEON AS SECRETARY OF NATIONAL DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES 1946- 1950
HONORABLE RUPERTO K. KANGLEON
by: Capt. Vicente Yngente
(taken from Philippine Aray Bulletin March 1947)
One of the most outstanding, if not the foremost, leaders of our contemporary Philippine history is the Hon. Ruperto K. Kangleon. He is not known to most of us because of his distaste for publicity. He is unassuming, modest, and humble by nature; these are his few distinguishing characteristics. Even though he doesn't care about publicity, I'm going to tell you about this national figure in a very short biography.
Ruperto K. Kangleon was born in San Roque, Macrohon, Southern Leyte, on March 27, 1890. After finishing the elementary school here, he went to Cebu to finish and complete his high school education. He distinguished himself as an athlete here, and he was named to the Philippine Olympic Teams in 1912 and 1913.After graduation from high school, he enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of the Philippines, Manila. The lure of military service, however, was so great that he entered the Philippines Constabulary Academy, from which he graduated in 1916. His first assignment after securing his commission was to fight "Oto", the notorious Panay Bandit, whom he subdued in no time. He participated in the famous Pulahan and Inchencherado campaigns in Negros. Thereafter, his military assignments took him to many different parts of the islands. In 1938, he was assigned as District Commander of the 3rd Military District. Later, he was the Commander of the 9th Military District up to 1941.
When World War II broke out, he was Commanding Officer of the 81st Infantry, which was immediately dispatched by Gen. MacArthur to meet an expected landing of the Japanese on the island of Samar. From there, he and his unit were transferred to Davao. He engaged the enemy on the fields of Mindanao, the most outstanding of which was the fight on the Davao-Agusan National Highway. When orders for surrender came, he disarmed his men, and together with his Division Commander, he obeyed the order to surrender. While in the Agusan Concentration Camp, he laid the groundwork for his guerilla warfare, establishing contacts with already existing resistance forces, from which he furnished essential intelligence reports.
In December 1942, Col. Kangleon managed to escape from the Japs' Concentration Camp. He went to Leyte and effected there the hazardous task of unifying the numerous guerilla units of Leyte and Samar. In the early part of January 1943, he was able to put up a radio station that enabled him to establish contact with Gen. MacArthur in Australia. He was designated Area Commander and was authorized to organize the 92nd Infantry Division. In November, 1943, he received his first shipment of arms and supplies, which was the beginning of a continuous flow until his units were fully equipped and supplied.
Thereafter and during the liberation, his forces continuously harassed the enemy all over Leyte and its neighboring islands, annihilating whole garrisons and denying them the use of airfields and many strategic areas. At the same time, he developed an efficient island-wide radio-intelligence network which permitted the rapid transmission of vital enemy information to the Southwest Pacific Area Headquarters. These reports were very helpful in planning and carrying out the operations that were meant to free the Philippines.
He established the civil government in Free Leyte on July 1, 1943. Prior to the landing of the Americans in October 1944, Sec. Kangleon’s 92nd Division, Leyte Area Command had killed about 3,800 Japanese in 304 engagements. Aside from this, one regiment directly under his command cleared the southern part of Leyte of over 2,000 enemy troops.
On October 20, 1944, an American destroyer picked him up at Barrio Bulak, Abuyog Leyte, and brought him to the WASSAT, command ship of General Kreuger, who commanded the United States Sixth Army. On the same day, after seeing General Kreuger, he conferred with Gen. MacArthur in his command ship, the Nashville. He went ashore with the first assault wave off Leyte. Shortly after the landing of the Americans, Gen. MacArthur paid tribute to the Filipino guerillas: "Seldom," he said, "has a military commander penetrated enemy-occupied shores with a greater potential for interior support than that which I today rely upon from the people of the Philippines."
On October 23, 1944, he was appointed Military Governor of Leyte and continued as Civil Governor upon the reestablishment of the Commonwealth Government. On July 31, 1945, he gave up his position as Governor and went back to work for the Philippine Army.
Upon the assumption of the office of President Manuel Roxas on May 28, 1946, he was appointed Secretary of National Defense. For his outstanding work during those hectic days, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Star, the Distinguish Service Medal, and the Military Merit Medal, aside from many other campaign ribbons.
As paradoxical as it may seem, he is better known in the United States than in his own country. He is the guerilla leader who has been written about and talked about the most in American politics and literature.
He is married to Valentina Tagle, with whom he has ten children.
So ends Secretary Ruperto K. Kangleon's biography as a soldier, leader, and patriot.