GENERAL REYNOLDS: If this witness is to be interrogated through an interpreter, the Commission desires a second interpreter to sit with him and to check on his interpretation.
(Whereupon Interpreter Gojunco was called upon to act as a second interpreter.)
A (Witness talking in native dialect.)
THE WITNESS (through the Interpreter): Cipriano de la Peña.
A Barrio Dita.
A No, sir.
Q Where did you live on February 3, 1945?
A Barrio Butal east of Dita.
Q How far east?
A It is about one kilometer from Barrio Dita.
Q What happened in the morning of February 3rd?
A We were caught by the Japanese at Barrio Butal, where we live. We were taken to Barrio Dita.
Q What happened to you in Dita?
A In the afternoon, we were tied with hands behind.
Q How many of you were there?
A We were 21.
Q What happened to you, then?
A We were taken to Binaglunang near the ravine. We were 21. We were shot. My companions who died were thrown into the ravine.
Q Were all 20 of them killed?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were you wounded?
A I fell down. Those who were dead fell on me. When I regained consciousness, it was quite dark.
Q Were you injured?
A I was not injured but I fell. I lost consciousness.
CAPTAIN PACE: Butal; B-u-t-a-l.
CAPTAIN REEL: Butal? B-u-t-a-l.
CAPTAIN PACE: Yes.
A We left the Barrio Butal. We were taken to Dita.
Q Will you tell us what you meant when you said you were “caught” at Butal?
A When we were caught, we were taken there to that barrio at that time.
(Whereupon Interpreter Lavengco interrogated the witness.)
A No, sir. We were driven there.
Q Were you at the time you were caught with any persons who were guerrillas?
A We not help guerrilla companions.
Q Were any guerrillas caught at Butal on that day?
A No, sir.
Q Did you go into the ravine of your own accord?
CAPTAIN REEL: Did you go into the ravine of your own accord, of your own volition?
|Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila. Image credit: U.S. National Archives.|
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Cipriano de la Peña in U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.