Testimony of Fausta N. Espiritu on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Fausta N. Espiritu on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Fausta N. Espiritu on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945

This page contains the testimony of Fausta N. Espiritu on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Tanauan, 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.

[p. 2178]


called as witness on behalf of the Prosecution, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified as follows through Interpreter Rodas, with Interpreter Dionisio acting as “check” interpreter:


Q (By Captain Pace) Give your name, please.
A (Through the Interpreter) Fausta N. Espiritu.
Q Where do you live?
A Tanauan, Batangas.
Q What barrio?
A Bongkalot [also Bungkalot, presently Banjo East], Tanauan, Batangas.
Q What happened in the morning of February 28, 1945?

[p. 2179]

A In the morning of February 28, 1945, four Japanese came from the fields. These four Japanese arrested us in the fields. After we were arrested, my husband was hogtied. After he had been tied, the Japanese asked where the other people were, and my husband answered, “There are no more, no more people.” Because of the way he answered, because of this answer of my husband, his tongue was cut off.
Q What did they do after they cut your husband’s tongue off?
A After his tongue was cut off, he was bayoneted.
Q What did the do to you, then?
A After they had killed my husband, they got my child from me, wrested my child from me, and placed the baby on the ground.
Q What happened, then?
A After the child was placed on the ground, I was assaulted by one — by the Japanese.
Q What kind of assault was it?
A He raped me.
Q Did he have any weapon while he raped you?
A He had his bayonet pointed at my breast; that was why I consented, even if I did not like to.
Q How many men did the Japanese kill in the fields besides your husband?
A Two more men besides my husband.
Q Did you see them rape any other woman?
A I saw one more.
Q What was her name?

[p. 2180]

A Damiana.

CAPTAIN PACE: You may cross examine.


Q (By Captain Sandberg) Did he hold the bayonet while he was raping you?
A (Through the Interpreter) Yes.
Q During the entire time?
A Yes, right on top of my breast, near my heart.
Q Will you show us how he was holding the bayonet while he raped you?

THE WITNESS: Like this (demonstrating).

Q (By Captain Sandberg) And what did he do with his other hand?
A (Through the Interpreter) He was holding my hand, pinning it down, and forcefully, with great strength.
Q Did he hold both your hands?
A Yes.
Q Did he lift your dress while he was raping you?
A Yes, he lifted it.
Q How?
A Up.
Q I mean, did he use his hand?
A Yes.
Q Well, did he use the hand with which he was using the bayonet?
A No, the other hand which did not hold the bayonet.
Q Then he let go of your two hands, then?
A He was holding my two hands tightly.
Q Now, you say that he used that hand to raise your

[p. 2181]

dress; didn’t he then have to get go of your hands?
A When he lifted my dress, he held my hand with the hand that held the bayonet.
Q So that he held the bayonet and both of your hands and your dress at the same time?
A Yes.
Q Did he hold your hands behind your back?
A No, he held my hand right here on my breast, because his bayonet was also in his hand.
Q And with the same hand, he held the bayonet and two of your hands?
A Yes.


CAPTAIN PACE: Thank you very much, Mrs. Espiritu.

(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 Fausta N. Espiritu 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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