2nd Testimony of Conchita Lualhati on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Taal, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 2nd Testimony of Conchita Lualhati on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Taal, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

2nd Testimony of Conchita Lualhati on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Taal, Batangas in 1945

This page contains the testimony of Conchita Lualhati on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Taal, Batangas in 1945. Lualhati also testified in the trial U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita, the transcription of which is also available at this web site. This particular transcription is from her testimony in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et. al. 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.

[p. 24]


witness for the prosecution, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:



Q Will you state your name, please?
A My name is Conchita Alas Lualhati.
Q Where did you reside during the month of February, 1945?
A We were in Batangas in a barrio named Cubamban [Cubamba].
Q Is that a part of the municipality of Taal?
A Yes, sir, it is a part of the municipality of Taal.
Q Do you recall a raid by Japanese soldiers during that month?
A Yes.
Q What date?
A It was February 16, 1945.
Q On February 16, what was the first thing you noticed about that day?
A Well, in the morning of that date, the first thing I noticed was the running of many people and shouting, saying that [the] Japanese were coming.
Q What hour of the day was that?
A It was between eight and nine in the morning.
Q Will you relate the next thing that happened?
A We were at that moment — we were in our house. When I saw that people were running, and telling that there were Japanese coming, at first I did not move, but then I heard shot after shot and then followed by [the] screaming of children.

[p. 25]

Q Now, I will interrupt you. When you say “we,” that doesn’t mean anything to the Commission. They don’t know who you mean by “we” so would you say, please?
A The whole family.
Q Would you name the people and who they were, whether they were members of your family?
A Yes, they were my mother, my mother-in-law, my two sisters-in-law, my three daughters – I mean four daughters because one is still a babe, husband, the two servants, and several nephews and nieces.
Q Do you recall their names at this time?
A Of course.
Q Will you state them, please?
A Well, my mother is Vicenta Atienza. My mother-in-law, Apolonia Lualhati and my sister-in-law, Tranquilina Lualhati. There was Matea Morales, Rosio Orlina, Vicente Orlina, and Herminica. Then there were my three daughters, Ligaya, Antonia, Milagros Lualhati. There was Augusto Orlina and my husband, Jose Lualhati.
Q You reached a point in your testimony you were still in your house and had not left. Then, what did you do and what did the others do who were present?
A Then, when I heard shot after shot and [the] screaming of children and tramping of feet, we prepared to leave our place. Of course, my husband got my little babe and I got a little bag where I put some dresses of my little one and then we ran in the right direction. Now, we saw the sugarcane plantation and we decided to hide ourselves in

[p. 26]

the sugar plantation, so what we did was to get inside the sugar plantation because the sugarcane was quite tall and we believed that we would not be seen there. We stayed in the place for about two hours, but then my husband, because of my little babe, he rose and saw that the neighboring sugar plantation was already burning and he told me we might not be safe in that place. He persuaded me to leave the place and find a better one. Then, the others did not like to leave. Only my husband and my two girls and myself left the place and we saw, at a distance of about ten meters from that sugar plantation, some tall grasses and he believed that they might be a better place for us to hide because we had no more escape because we were surrounded by [the] noise of children and men and women. So, what I did was to get inside the tall grasses, but then I found that it was leading to a ravine or a deep ditch, so I fell down and my husband with my two girls were left at the top. When I was already down, I made a motion to my husband to jump, but he would not jump. He was showing to me the little babe. Then, I saw him leave the place and I supposed that he was looking for a better place to come down to the place where I was, but then I soon heard shots and the screaming of children, so I presumed that something happened in the upper direction where my husband was, but then I could not go up because I could still hear [the] noise of the Japanese. They were still laughing and conversing loudly and at the place where I fell, there were two individuals and they persuaded me not to move. So we kept quiet down

[p. 27]

there, but when it was already two o’clock in the afternoon, when we believed that the Japanese were at a distance already, I went up and found my husband already dead with my little babe, with the body mutilated, one leg was separated from the rest of the body.
Q How old was that baby?
A One year old. The bodies were half burned because they happened to be killed in a place where it was very near a house. They were near a fence, a bamboo fence, so I saw them dead and half-burned so I could not do anything because we were all tired and hungry.
Q Could you recognize whose bodies those were?
A Yes, I was able to recognize the bodies of my husband and child. My other child was not killed, but she was shot through her right ear. Of course, it was just a little wound and she was the one who related to us that her father and the little babe were killed by the Japanese, but then I went around to look for some men to help me take the body of my husband, but what I found at a distance were some dead bodies of our tenants and some neighbors in the place.
Q What were their names?
A Some of their names, of course, I cannot remember all the names. I think there was Josefa. I only know her by the name of Josefa. There was also Antonio. I don’t know their family names because I am not from the place. I was only in that place and I, of course, was only an evacuee and, of course, I didn’t know their names but I saw about twenty of them, at least. Then, I was so helpless

[p. 28]

that I gave up looking for some other people, but then, when it was already midnight, somebody came and informed us that there were still some dead bodies at some distance and, of course, I did not go to that place anymore. We were able to leave the place in the next day already. Because we were all females, we were able to leave. I mean, we were all girls because my husband was the only male in the family except the two little boys and we were afraid to go to town because we might meet again the Japanese. It was only the next day, about one o’clock in the afternoon, when my brother-in-law came and fetched us. We were brought to town and, of course, I left the body of my husband, my dead husband, and child in the place where he was killed.
Q How many people, Filipino people, did you see yourself being killed that were killed in front of your eyes?
A I did not see actually because I fell in a ditch or in a deep ravine, but I could picture what the Japanese were doing at the upper direction, because after shots, you would hear the screaming, then crying, then lamenting. Of course, you could picture what they were doing there and you could see smoke all around to show that the whole barrio was in flames. All the houses were burned, not even one was spared.
Q Do you know how many people were killed in that barrio?
A Of course, I did not count them, but somebody told me that —

MR. MORRISON: That is objected to, if the Commission please, on the ground that the witness is

[p. 29]

testifying to what somebody told her. Counsel asked her what she actually saw. I object to what somebody told her on the ground of hearsay.

COLONEL HAMBY: The law member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: The objection is sustained.

Q Please tell us what you actually saw.
A The bodies that I actually saw, of course, when I was searching for some people, were about twenty, but some said there were some more dead bodies which might be more than fifty.

MR. GUTHRIE: No more questions.



Q Mrs. Lualhati, were there any similar incidents in Taal or in the vicinity of Taal prior to February 16, 1945?
A Well, on the 15th, there was burning.
Q Were there any killings?
A No killings before that date.

MR. MORRISON: That is all.

COLONEL HAMBY: Any questions by the Commission? There appears to be none. The witness is excused.

(Witness excused.)

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

Notes and references:
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Conchita Lualhati in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et al.,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
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