2nd Testimony of Francisco Manigbas on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 2nd Testimony of Francisco Manigbas on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

2nd Testimony of Francisco Manigbas on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945


This page contains the testimony of Francisco Manigbas on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Bauan, Batangas in 1945. Manigbas 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 his 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.

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

[p. 52]


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



Q Will you state your name?
A Francisco N. Manigbas.
Q What is your profession?
A Physician.
Q And how many years have you been licensed as a physician?
A Since 1929, about seventeen years.
Q In the month of February, 1945, where was your home, where did you reside?
A In Bauan.
Q And how long had you lived there?
A Since my birth; it is my home town.
Q And is that where you practiced your profession?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you have any reason for recalling the date of February 28, 1945?
A I have.
Q What is that reason?
A On February 28, 1945, we heard that all the civilians were to assemble in the Bauan Catholic Church to have a meeting because a high-ranking Japanese was coming. Previously, we heard that whenever this Japanese was to hold a meeting, it meant that they were going to kill all those who attended.

[p. 52]

MR. MORRISON: Will the witness please refrain from using “we?”
A I and my family attempted to escape but learned that all escapes were heavily guarded [against] by Japanese soldiers. So, at nine-thirty on that date, February 28, 1945, I went to church piloted by my brothers and sisters together. When we were already in the church, the women were excused and the men were told to stand up in two’s and we were searched for weapons and were relieved of knives, pocket watches, wrist watches and Philippine currency. Then those people were told to sit on the pews by eight.
MR. GUTHRIE: May I interrupt you? Who told the people to sit on the pews?
A Captain Hagino gave that order and I was told through our mayor.
Q Did you know Captain Hagino?
A I saw him several times but he always used sunglasses and I never attempted to go near him.
Q You had seen him to recognize him before February 28th?
A Yes, I had seen him and recognized him.
Q You can tell the Commission as to whether you recognize him as being in this courtroom at this time. You may walk around.
A I think this man, the second man from [direction not transcribed], that is Captain Hagino. I don’t know whether he is [a] lieutenant but he was known as “Captain” in our place.
MR. GUTHRIE: May the record so indicate the witness pointed to the Accused Hagino.
Q Will you continue with your story of what happened, telling what you saw and what you heard and who said it?

[p. 53]

A Then, we were seated by eight on a pew, and the pews were counted and there were forty-one pews so there were three hundred and twenty-eight men present in the church. At about one o’clock, Captain Hagino said, through our mayor, that we were to be taken home. The first one hundred were told to go out and the second one hundred, in which I and my brother and sister together were included. When the first one hundred where I was already out of the house, I was surprised, instead of going in the direction where my home was situated, we went this way to the home of Mr. Bautista. Among us were four priests, Monsignors Castillo, Gran, Isipin and Garcia. When we were already under the house of Mr. Bautista, some more Japanese came with a small saber and we were told to go down under the center of the house and then he went out and later on, I heard footsteps on the floor of the house. Those were followed by two loud explosions. I found myself lying on my back and managed to stand up and escape. Lucky enough, I was not seen by any Japanese soldier, otherwise I would not be here anymore. I hid in a barrio for about a week but I was very impatient because I heard nothing about my family. I went to the barrio several times to look for my family and finally found them. There were tears after tears, I don’t know whether they were tears of joy because I returned alive or maybe tears of sorrow because I returned alone without my brother-in-law. The next morning, while I was looking out of the window, I saw American soldiers going to Mabini, the first American soldiers I had seen since 1941. On March 28, 1945, an American colonel appointed me to bury the dead; around two

[p. 54]

hundred bodies were taken from underneath the Bautista home and around fifty were taken from the outside. They were highly mutilated.
Q Were you able to make any identification of those bodies?
A Only my brother-in-law. He was found underneath the Bautista home at about fifty yards from the edge of the home. I told the helpers there to look for something to identify him, and when I saw his belt, I knew his belt because when we were in the evacuation place, it happened that one part of the belt, this one like that, it was lost, and we looked for something to replace it [with] and we happened to find —

MR. MORRISON: Just a moment. I can’t see the reason for all this testimony, I can’t really see what bearing this testimony has.

MR. GUTHRIE: He is telling how he made the identification of one of the victims whose name is in the Specification, Sixto Guerra.

MR. MORRISON: I object to the testimony which this witness happens to be relating at this time concerning a belt on the ground that it has no bearing.

COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: Objection overruled. The witness may answer.

A The tongue of the belt, I don’t know the name of it or the technical term that is used, but it was made of silver, and besides that, when the handkerchief inside his pocket was taken out, my name was there. I know it was my brother-in-law because of that handkerchief and because of that belt.

[p. 55]

Q Doctor, will you describe a little more fully the place where these victims were imprisoned just before the dynamite blast under the Bautista house, will you describe the room under the house of Bautista, what kind of room was it?
A It was, that room was surrounded with walls made of stone. It had two doors in front. It was about, I think it was the length of that from the door to here, and the window was —
MR. GUTHRIE: Just a minute, let the record show that the witness a distance of thirty-five feet.
Q And the width?
A I think about that wide.

MR. GUTHRIE: Will the Commission help me determine the length?

COLONEL HAMBY: Twenty feet.

MR. GUTHRIE: The witness indicated by pointing on the floor of the courtroom a distance of twenty feet.

Q Did that room have walls?
A Yes, sir, made of stone.
Q And what was the material on the floor?
A Cement.
Q And how thick were the stone walls?
A As thick as that, probably less than a foot.
Q Were there windows in that room?
A There was only one window for air, not for anybody to pass.

[p. 56]

Q Do you know whether that window was open or was it closed at the time of the blast?
A It was closed.
Q Did that room have doors?
A It had two doors in front.
Q How close to each other were those doors?
A That is the width, one door here and one there.
MR. GUTHRIE: The witness indicated two doors about three feet wide right next to each other.
Q Were the doors open or closed at the time of the blast?
A They were closed at the time of the blast.
Q Are you able to recall from your own memory the names of some of the victims that were in the Bautista house?

[p. 57]

A I think I can recall some of them,not all.
Q Will you give us their names and when you do, will you also give us their ages?
A I cannot tell the exact age because I can just tell more or less.
COLONEL HAMBY: At this time, the Commission will take a short recess. In the meantime, the doctor can get the names for the record.
(Short recess.)

COLONEL HAMBY: The Commission is in session.

MR. GUTHRIE: The Commission is present sir, the accused are present together with their counsel and personal interpreters and the prosecution staff are also present.

(The witness on the stand at the commencement of the recess was Doctor Francisco N. Manigbas, who had not completed his direct examination.)

Doctor Manigbas, at this time, I will remind you that you are still under oath that was administered to you when you commenced your testimony.

A Yes, sir.
Q During the recess, did you compile a list of victims of the Bautista incident?
A Yes, sir.
Q Do you have that?
A Yes, sir; I have.
MR. GUTHRIE: May it be deemed read into the record?

[p. 58]

MR. MORRISON: If there are not many names, I would like them to be read because I don’t have them myself, if the Commission please. If they could be read though hurriedly, provided there aren’t too many, I would prefer it that way.

REPORTER SELZER: There are fifty-nine names.

MR. MORRISON: I won’t object, then.

(The following list of names, together with their ages, are incorporated in the record herewith, in the words and figures as follows to wit:

more than 65 years old
around 80 years old
around 65 years old
around 65 years old
around 65 years old
around 65 years old
around 65 years old
around 65 years old
around 60 years old
around 60 years old
3 years old
around 45 years old
around 16 years old
around 46 years old
around 50 years old
around 20 years old
around 40 years old
around 40 years old
around 25 years old
around 50 years old
around 65 years old
around 45 years old
around 40 years old
around 25 years old
around 45 years old
around 55 years old
around 65 years old
around 50 years old
around 55 years old
around 40 years old
around 40 years old
around 43 years old
around 35 years old
around 40 years old
around 30 years old
around 40 years old
around 50 years old

[p. 59]

around 45 years old
around 50 years old
around 50 years old
around 40 years old
around 45 years old
around 35 years old
around 55 years old
around 45 years old
around 40 years old
around 35 years old
around 50 years old
around 55 years old
around 45 years old
around 65 years old
around 55 years old
around 50 years old
around 50 years old
around 20 years old
around 40 years old
around 19 years old
around 45 years old
around 25 years old
Q Those names are the names of the victims whom you recall as of today?
A Yes, sir.
Q There were other victims whose names you do not recall at this time?
A There are many.
Q One of the victims you named was Salvador Dimayuga?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was his age?
A The age of Salvador Dimayuga was 3 years.
Q When did you last see him before you entered the Bautista house?
A He came with his father in the last one hundred.
Q Will you relate what you saw happen as he entered the Bautista house, what you saw and what you heard?
A When the last one hundred came, Prudencio Dimayuga,

[p. 60]

the father, and Salvador Dimayuga, the son, after they came, the door was closed. Then, there was a blast and I did not see them anymore.
Q Did you hear any conversation between the Dimayuga boy’s father and anyone else after they went in the Bautista house?
A I did not hear anything, sir.
MR. GUTHRIE: No further questions.



Q Doctor, do you know who gave the order for the explosion?
A According to our mayor, Captain Hagino.
Q Did you see anyone just prior to the explosion, did you see any officer or enlisted man or any Japanese, did you see or hear them give an order for the explosion?
A I saw many but I only remember Captain Hagino because the Japanese, I saw him the first time that time, but Captain Hagino was there because I knew him.
Q Did you —
MR. GUTHRIE: Just a minute, did you finish your answer?
A Yes, sir.

MR. GUTHRIE: I think the witness should be allowed to finish his answer.

MR. MORRISON: Did you complete your answer?

A Yes, sir.

[p. 61]

Q At the time of the explosion, you were confined beneath this house, isn’t that so?
A Yes, sir.
Q So that just prior to the explosion, you couldn’t very well see or hear who gave the order, could you?
A I heard a Japanese shout upstairs which I did not understand what he said, and then it was followed by two explosions. That is all; I didn’t know this Jap upstairs.
Q Now, were there any similar activities or incidents involved prior to this?
A Early in the morning, I heard that about six o’clock, or at dawn, our secretary was bayoneted there. That was prior to the explosions, that was early in the morning of February 28, 1945.
Q You misunderstand me, Doctor. Prior to February 28, 1945, were there any incidents similar to the ones which occurred on that date in Bauan?
A There was only one.
Q Large-scale killings?
A I don’t remember anything that happened before that.
Q Do you know of any guerrilla activities in or around Bauan?
A I do not know anything about guerrilla activities.
Q At any time during the Japanese Occupation?
A I do not know anything.
Q Do you deny that there was any guerrilla activity?
A I do not deny. I do not know anything about it.
Q Do you know Lieutenant Takemoto?

[p. 62]

A I don’t know him.
MR. MORRISON: That is all.



Q On cross-examination, Doctor, you stated that the mayor told you that Hagino ordered the blasting?
A I did not mean that, sir. I did not mean that Hagino told the mayor that he was the one that ordered the blasting. I did not mean that.
Q What is the name of that mayor?
A Doctor Jose Dimaculangan.
Q Do you know whether he is living or not?
A I think he is dead.
Q But according to him, Hagino was the one who ordered —

MR. MORRISON: Objected to. This witness has already testified that Hagino did not give the order for the explosion, if the Commission please. Counsel is now asking him a leading question and putting the answer into his mouth, contrary to what he has already testified.

COLONEL HAMBY: Do you care to withdraw the question?

MR. GUTHRIE: I will withdraw the question for the Commission.

That is all.

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

(Witness excused.)
Notes and references:
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Francisco Manigbas 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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