Testimony of Felix Javier on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bo. Sulok, Sto. Tomas, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Felix Javier on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bo. Sulok, Sto. Tomas, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Felix Javier on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bo. Sulok, Sto. Tomas, Batangas in 1945

This page contains the testimony of Felix Javier of Santo Tomas, Batangas on the atrocities committed by the Japanese in the town 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. 1556]


called as witness on behalf of the Prosecution, being first duly sworn, was examined and testified through Interpreter Rodas:


Q (By Captain Pace) Give your name, please.
A Felix Javier.
Q Where do you live?
A Suluc. [Correctly, Sulok (corner in English), also known as Barangay Santa Cruz in the present day.]
Q How do you spell it?
A S-u-l-u-c.
Q Are you sure it is S-u-l-u-c, or S-u-l-a-c? [Many U.S. Army records incorrectly used “Sulac” instead of “Sulok,” as should be the case.]
A S-u-l-u-c.
Q Will you point it out on Exhibit 243, please?
A (Witness attempting to locate barrio of Sulac.)
Q Do you see it?
A No.
Q Is the place I am indicating the place you mean?
A Yes.

CAPTAIN PACE: Will the record show that the witness indicated the barrio of Sulac, which is about seven kilometers northeast of the town of Lipa?

Q (By Captain Pace) Did you live in Sulac on March 10, 1945?
A Yes.
Q Did the Japanese take you to a house in Sulac at about seven o’clock in the morning?
A Yes, they took.

[p. 1557]

Q How many men were in this house?
A Three.
Q Alright. What happened, then?
A We were taken by the Japanese.
Q Where were you taken?
A To the eastern part of the house.
Q Yes.
A We were taken there, and I saw the men tied.
Q How many men were tied?
A Those that were tied were twelve.
Q Civilians?
A They were civilians.
Q Where did they take the 12 of you?
A To the eastern part of the house.
Q After you were in the house, where did they take you?
A Near the bank of the river.
Q What is the name of the river?
A It is called Water of Sulac.
Q How close to Sulac is that?
A Maybe about 30 meters.
Q What direction?
A To the right side of Lipa and Santo Tomas.
Q What did they do to you there?
A When we arrived there, we were chained together, three of us. Three of us tied together were placed near the bank of the river, three at a time, and after that, we were bayoneted and three of us were bayoneted. And after the three fell down, the next three would be bayoneted, and the three would fall down next.

[p. 1558]

Q Were all 12 of you bayoneted?

INTERPRETER RODAS: I beg your pardon?

CAPTAIN PACE: “Were all 12 of you bayoneted?”

A Yes.
Q (By Captain Pace) How many wounds did you receive?
A Seven.
Q Will you stand with your back toward the Commission and lift your shirt up, please?
A (Witness arises and displays bayonet wounds.)

CAPTAIN PACE: Will the record show that the witness’ back on the left side has one, two, three, four, five, six scars?

Q (By Captain Pace) Where is the seventh wound?
A It is on my left arm.
Q How many of the 12 people there died as a result of the bayonet wounds?
A We were all 13. I saw 12,and I was the thirteenth.
Q How many died and how many lived out of the 13?
A I am the only one who survived, and 12 died.
Q At the time, were you taken to the river by the Japanese, did you know where your wife was?
A I knew.
Q Where was she?
A In the water.
Q Do you know how she got there?
A She was washing clothes.
Q And what has happened to her?

CAPTAIN REEL: Sir, could we have the foundation for this witness’ information? If he saw this, that is

[p. 1559]

alright; otherwise, we object.

CAPTAIN PACE: I shall withdraw the question if the Commission desires.


Q (By Captain Pace) After you were bayoneted, did you find your wife’s body in the water?
A When I came from the place where people were killed, I went to our neighbor.
Q Yes.
A And when I arrived at this house, I saw that the place where the 12 men came from was burned, and this house contained women and children.
Q How many women and children?
A I don’t know. All I know is that I heard the screams of the children and women.
Q Where were the Japanese?
A They were around the house.
Q What happened then?
A After the house was set on fire, the Japanese left.
Q Did they leave before the people inside had burned to death?
A There were no more people when the Japanese left. All of them were already burned.
Q Did you see your wife that day?
A When I went — When I passed by our house, I saw blood, because she was bayoneted right there when she was hanging clothes.

CAPTAIN PACE: You may inquire.

GENERAL REYNOLDS: Will your cross examination be

[p. 1560]


CAPTAIN REEL: Very short.


Q (By Captain Reel) Were you a guerrilla?
A No.
Q Did you help the guerrillas?
A No, I never helped them.
Q Do you know whether any of the other people involved in this series of events you have described were guerrillas?
A No, I do not know.
Q You don’t know anything about guerrilla activities in that area?
A No, I do not know.
Q And you are as sure of that as you are of the other things that you have testified here today?
A Yes.

CAPTAIN REEL: That’s all.

CAPTAIN PACE: Thank you very much.

(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 Felix Javier 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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