Major Busran Mondragon Kalaw | Photo & Information Contributed by Ms. Agnes Paulita Roa, CDO Historian
The US Army Intelligence briefly described Maj. Busran Mondragon Kalaw as:
“A Moro Datu active in organizing the Bolo Battalion in Mindanao before the surrender of the USAFFE forces and in persuading the moros of Lanao to resist the Japanese. Was hostile to the guerrillas originally but joined forces with the 108th division early in 1943. Was associated for a time with Capt. Morgan’s activities. Commanding Officer of the 126th (guerrilla) regiment, southern Lanao. Active in the anti jap propaganda among the Moros. Kider does not like him personally”
Born on Oct. 5 at Momungan, Lanao del Norte (now Baloi), he was a teacher, a civil servant and before the war broke out was in the reserves as a 2nd Lieutenant and an agent of the Philippine Constabulary. During the Japanese Invasion, the Bolo Battalion for Iligan and Momungan under his command was assigned and deployed in Momungan ready for enemy Invasion.
As the USAFFE defenses in Mindanao crumbled, many young USAFFE soldiers retreated and abandoned their posts, the Bolo Battalion composed of Christian and Moro soldiers under the command of now Captain Kalaw were ordered to stop the stragglers and force them to face the enemy. Those who resisted were shot, stripped of the firearms and uniforms and left where they lay as a warning to other deserters.
The Bolo Battalion was both feared by the Japanese and hated by many guerrilla factions. Kalaw later on joined Col. Wendell Fertig and worked closely with Capt. Morgan.
Maj. Busran Kalaw ended the war sick with Malaria and kidney infection.