Japanese Atrocities Committed in San Jose, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Japanese Atrocities Committed in San Jose, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Japanese Atrocities Committed in San Jose, Batangas in 1945


In early 1945, partly because the United States Army had already established itself in Central Luzon and Nasugbu in a campaign to rid the island of the Japanese, atrocities were being committed by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army in many provinces including Batangas. After the war, it was estimated that anything from 18,000 to 25,000 inhabitants of the province, mostly civilian men, women and children, were massacred by the Japanese.

Among these atrocities were these described below in a memorandum1 issued by the War Crimes Branch of the US Army Judge Advocate’s Office, Western Pacific, to the Prosecution Section of the same office. These are but a few examples of the countless atrocities committed, documented for use in war crimes trials.

Below is an excerpt from the said document, quoted verbatim from Section II, entitled “Summary of Evidence.”

Victims of Japanese atrocities, San Jose, Batangas
Modesta Remo and here daughter in front of their house in San Jose, Batangas, which was burned by the Japanese.  Image credit:  United States National Archives.


On or about 23 January 1945, a warehouse in the vicinity of San Jose, Batangas, used by the Japanese to store their supplies, was looted and burned by guerrillas and civilians. On 27 January 1945, the Japanese rounded up the people of the town for questioning concerning this incident, and arrested a priest, the mayor, and two other town officials. One of these men escaped, but the remains of the others were later found and identified.

From that time on through March 1945, the Japanese carried on a program of burning and killing throughout the barrios of San Jose. At least one hundred and seven Filipinos, including women and children, were slain by the Japanese. Many were tied, led away and bayoneted. Some of the bodies were mutilated; the hands and feet of one victim were cut off, and the right hand of another was severed. The burned and beheaded body of one man was found tied to a post.

Ten members of one family, in whose home the Japanese found a leaflet dropped by an American plane announcing the landing of United States troops on Leyte, were arrested and later found bayoneted to death.

Anselmo ALABASTRO, Eutiquio ALABASTRO, and Felipe ALABASTRO were taken by the Japanese to the home of BALIWAG, a short distance from their own home. Here, they were tied hand and foot with their backs to the posts of the house, and burned to death when the Japanese set fire to the house. Others were taken from their homes and bayoneted to death, and their houses burned to the ground. At least fifty-eight homes were burned by the Japanese.

Notes and references:
1 “San Jose, Batangas Massacre,” by the War Crimes Branch, US Army Judge Advocate’s Office, Western Pacific Theater, issued November 1945.
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