Testimony of Marcelina Endaya of Santo Tomas, Batangas on Her Experiences of Japanese Atrocities in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Marcelina Endaya of Santo Tomas, Batangas on Her Experiences of Japanese Atrocities in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Marcelina Endaya of Santo Tomas, Batangas on Her Experiences of Japanese Atrocities in 1945

This page contains the testimony of one Marcelina Endaya on Japanese atrocities she suffered and witnessed in Santo Tomas, Batangas in 1945. The pages contained herein are now declassified and were part of compiled documentation1 of war crimes trials conducted by the United States Military Commission after the conclusion of World War II. This transcription has been corrected for grammar where necessary by Batangas History, Culture and Folklore. The pagination is as it was contained in the original document for citation purposes.

War Crimes Trial in Manila
Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila.  Image credit:  U.S. National Archives.

[p. 17]


MARCELINA ENDAYA, after having been duly sworn, testified at the Municipal Building of Santo Tomas, Batangas, P.I., on 21 September 1945, as follows:

Q What is your full name?
A Marcelina Endaya.

Q What is your age?
A I am 28 years old.

Q What is your nationality?
A Filipino.

Q Do you intend to remain at your present address?
A Yes. I do not expect nor desire to go away.

Q Did you suffer any mistreatment at the hands of the Japanese?
A Yes.

Q Did you see other people mistreated by the Japanese on or about the 11th of February 1945?
A Yes.

Q Please tell us in your own words what you saw in the way of mistreatment of Filipino civilians by the Japanese.
A On Sunday morning, 11 February 1945, while we were hiding near the house of Tiburcio Cumba, west of San Juan River, Santo Tomas, we saw six Japanese soldiers. They saw us, too, and ordered us to come out of our hiding place. Then, they tied our hands, the left hand, with a rope in the manner of a chain gang. The first ones who were caught by the Japs were led to a place about 120 meters north the house of Tiburcio Cumba. We, too, were marched to that place, where our left hands were loosened from the rope that tied us. I was bayoneted about 4 times in the back, and 3 times in front. The thrust went through my right wrist to the body of my 5 months old son, Reynaldo, and killed him.

When we were all stabbed, we were thrown into one pile and gasoline was poured on us. The Japs also gathered dry sticks and piled them on top of our bodies and then set us on fire. When my hair was being burned, such was the pain that I put my hands to my throat and tried to choke myself and end it all. But this was of no avail, so I jumped from the burning pile. There were still Japanese soldiers around, so I pretended to be dead. They did not see me. When they went away, I got up and went to the house of Tiburcio Cumba. About 8 o’clock in the evening, my mother and sister found me in that house.

Q Who were the “we” that you refer to?
A The 24 persons hiding near the house of Tiburcio Cumba, 2 men and 22 women and children, including myself.

Q When you arrived at the place of killing, were there any people there?
A Yes, there were other people there when we arrived, and together with our group, numbered about 50 people in all.

Q How many Japanese soldiers participated in the killing?
A I saw only one doing the killing and also another one untying the rope of those victims to be stabbed.

[p. 18]


Q What were the other four Japanese soldiers doing?
A They were walking around, guarding us lest we escaped.

Q Were there any survivors besides you?
A In our group, I was the only survivor, but I believe there were other survivors in the other groups.

Q Can you give me the names, ages, nationalities and addresses of those people who were killed at that place?
A Yes. Trinidad Sanchez, 22; Julita Sanchez, 20; Soledad Sanchez, 12; Elvira Sanchez, 7; Urbana Sanchez, about 51; Benigna Cumba, 35; Veronica Centeno, 55; Patricia Medina, 27; Jose Endaya, 4; Proceso Endaya, 8; Dominga Comia, 25; Estela Endaya, 4; and Jose Medina, 6. These are the only ones whose names I immediately remember. All were Filipinos and residents of this town of Santo Tomas, Batangas.

Q Do you know the place where they were buried?
A Yes, in a common grave at the back of the Santo Tomas church.

Q Do you know the identity of the people buried at this place you just mentioned?
A No, they were so badly burned beyond recognition.

Q Please give us a description of the wounds that you received.
A I received 7 bayonet wounds: one through the right wrist that killed my five-months baby Reynaldo, whom I was holding; one on the right of my sexual part; one on the left of my sexual part; and four on the small of the back.

Q Did you give the Japanese any cause for this mistreatment?
A None absolutely.

Q You stated that 6 Japanese came to the house and when you were in the place where they did the killing, how many Japanese were there altogether?
A Only those 6 as I remember.

Q Can you describe their uniforms?
A Their uniforms were khaki.

Q To what branch of service did they belong?
A I do not know.

Q Was there someone among the 6 who gave orders?

Q Was he dressed differently from the others?
A The one giving the orders carried a pistol and a saber. He had some sort of insignia on his lapels.

Q Can you describe the insignia on his lapels?
A I cannot describe the insignia because I was so terrified at that time as to notice the kind of rank he was holding. All that I can perfectly remember is that he had them.

Q Can you describe any of the 6 Japanese?
A No. As I said, I was terrified and was more concerned

[p. 19]


about what would happen to us that how the Japanese looked like.

Q Did you hear anything that would give you a clue to their names?
A No.

Q Can you give me the name of the doctor who treated your wounds?
A Dr. Savalla from Santa Rosa, Laguna, P.I. I do not know his first name, but I think he is the Director of the Santa Rosa Hospital at Santa Rosa Town, Laguna.

Q Who among the dead were your immediate members in the family?
A My baby, Reynaldo, 6 sisters-in-law, 2 nephews, 3 nieces, and my mother-in-law, whose names, ages and addresses are among those which I already mentioned.

Q I show you a photograph marked for identification as Exhibit A and ask you if you can tell me what it represents.
A This is the place where we were attacked north of the house of Tiburcio Cumba, and these are the remains of the persons killed there.

Q Is there anything further that you wish to tell us?
A I think that is all.

/s/ Marcelina Endaya




I, MARCELINA ENDAYA, being duly sworn on oath, state that I had read to me and understood the translation of the foregoing transcription of my interrogation and all answers contained therein, consisting of three (3) pages, are true to the best of my knowledge and belief.

/s/ Marcelina Endaya

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 28th day of September 1945.

/s/ Herman Mendell
Investigating Officer, War
Crimes Investigating Detachment.

[p. 20]





I, CASTOR C. AMES, JR., residing at 178 Alejandro VI Street, Sampaloc, Manila, being duly sworn on oath, state that I truly translated the questions and answers given from English to Tagalog and from Tagalog to English, respectively, and that after being transcribed, I truly translated the foregoing deposition containing three (3) pages, to the witness; that the witness thereupon in my presence affixed his signature thereto.

/s/ Castor C. Ames, Jr.

Subscribed and sworn to before me this 28th day of September 1945.

/s/ Herman Mendell
Investigating Officer, War
Crimes Investigating Detachment.


WE, HERMAN MANDELL, Capt., 0394593, TC, Investigating Officer, War Crimes Investigating Detachment, and JOE G. RILEY, 1st Lt., 01045572, Inf., Investigating Officer, War Crimes Investigating Detachment, certify that on the 21st day of September, 1945, personally appeared before us MARCELINA ENDAYA, and according to CASTOR C. AMES, JR., gave the foregoing answers to the several questions set forth therein; that after her testimony had been transcribed, the said MARCELINA ENDAYA had read to her by the said interpreter the same and affixed her signature thereto in our presence.

Municipal Bldg., Real Street
Santo Tomas, Batangas, P.I.
/s/ Herman Mandell

28 September 1945 /s/ Joe J. Riley, 1st Lt., Inf.
/t/ JOE J. RILEY, 1st Lt., Inf.

The following witness, having been interrogated by the Investigator-Examiners, possesses knowledge of the facts contained in the statement of Marcelina Endaya as to the atrocity committed at the open field near the bamboo grove about 120 meters north of the house of Tiburcio Cumba:

Maria Caringal 70 years Santo Tomas, Batangas Filipino

Notes and references:
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Marcelina Endaya in U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
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