Testimony of Lucio Dimayuga on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Lucio Dimayuga on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Lucio Dimayuga on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Tanauan, Batangas in 1945

Apart from trying the top brass of the Japanese Imperial Army for war crimes committed in the Philippines, with special interest on those in Batangas, the US Military Commission also tried officers for an assortment of charges. This particular documentation is the transcription of the trial United States of America v Mikio Taneichi, Yuzo Sakata, Taichi Yamada, and Bunji Kanto. 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. 15]


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



Q Your name is Lucio Dimayuga, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Will you speak loudly enough so that the Commission and all persons in the courtroom may hear you?
A My name is Lucio Dimayuga, Filipino, 58 years of age, married, and a resident of Tanauan, Batangas.
Q What is your occupation Mr. Dimayuga?
A My occupation is Municipal Secretary.
Q In what city?
A Tanauan, Batangas.
Q How long have you been Municipal Secretary in the City of Tanauan, Batangas?
A I have been Municipal Secretary in Tanauan, Batangas since 1917 up to this time.
Q Were you in Tanauan on or about the period from the first of February 1945 to the 7th or 8th of February 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did you leave Tanauan some time after the 7th or 8th of February 1945?
A I left Tanauan on February 8th, 1945.
Q Were you in Tanauan up until February 8th 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were you acting as Municipal Secretary up until that date?
A Yes, sir.

[p. 16]

Q At any time prior to February 8th, 1945, did you have a conversation with any Japanese officers in Tanauan?
A Yes, sir.
Q With whom did you have a conversation?
A With the commanding officer of the Tanauan garrison.
Q What was his name?
A It was Major Obata.
Q Was he Japanese?
A Yes, sir, Japanese.
Q What was the occasion for having that conversation?
A The story is this: The commanding officer summoned the mayor of Tanauan to his place and the mayor took me with him to the office of the commanding officer. In the presence of the commanding officer — or the commanding officer, upon our arrival, asked the mayor what were the instructions or orders, if any, given to him the Colonel of the Japanese Army who had just left the town. The mayor replied that he had received orders to make all the guerrillas of Tanauan surrender with their firearms, but so far no guerrillas had surrendered up to that time. The Major — the Japanese Major commanded the mayor of Tanauan to comply with the orders of the Colonel.
Q To comply with orders to have all guerrillas surrender their arms?
A Yes, sir.
Q Continue.
A The Major also had a piece of paper of the names of those guerrillas, but the Major did not show us the names, only the paper, and I believe it was only a trick, that the paper contained no names, just to make any males surrender, but nobody surrendered, nor did we make anybody surrender because to

[p. 17]

surrender at that time meant it was your death.
Q Were there guerrillas in Tanauan?
A I had heard that there were some.
Q Did Major Obata make any threats to you and the mayor of the town concerned?
A Yes, sir.
Q What would happen if the guerrillas did not surrender?
A I distinctly recall what his words were.
Q Will you relate?
A If the guerrillas surrender, they would be pardoned and released, otherwise they would be caught and killed, together with their families and their houses to be burned, and the Japanese officer to the mayor that he expected the order to be complied with within two or three days.
Q What date was that conversation?
A It was the early part of February, maybe February 5th — I cannot distinctly state exactly.
Q And what did you do after you had that conversation?
A Well, we were allowed to return home, and on February 8th, the mayor was abducted, was arrested by the Japanese, and he was seen no more.
Q And what did you do?
A When knowing [of] the kidnapping of the mayor, I made good my escape, because the Japanese were two minutes late in arresting me.
Q Was the City of Tanauan occupied by the Japanese forces at the time you left Tanauan?
A Yes, sir.

[p. 18]

Q And how many would you say were there?
A About 50 Japanese were there.
Q How long had they occupied the town of Tanauan?
A Occupied on January 12th, 1942, up to February or March 1945.
Q Was the town occupied by the Japanese at the time you left?
A Yes, sir.
Q When did you return to Tanauan?
A I returned to Tanauan on April 10th, 1945.
Q Did you again assume your office as Municipal Secretary?
A I was appointed by —
Q By whom?
A I was reinstated by the Provincial Governor.
Q After resuming your duties as city secretary in April 1945, did you have an occasion to make a survey of the number of people in Tanauan who had met their deaths since you had left?
A Yes, sir.
Q How did you go about making the survey of the people who had died since you left?
A We sent orders to the barrio lieutenants to make a census — an enumeration of the deaths, and we found out that there were 826 persons massacred by the Japanese.

CAPTAIN GREER: May it please the Commission, the witness has already testified that he was not present in Tanauan during the time set out in Specifications 1 and 2, specifically, 9 February through 28 February 1945. He has just made a statement in his last answer about 826 persons [who] were either killed or massacred by the Japanese. This, of course, could only be presumption on his part. I believe that the witness has taken the stand to prove one fact. The defense is perfectly

[p. 19]

willing to stipulate to that fact by showing an increase in death rate in Tanauan over a period in February of 1945.

COLONEL WORTHMAN: Does the prosecution have any further comment?

LIEUTENANT PHARR: The prosecution is willing to stipulate, without asking the witness any further questions, that 826 people met their deaths at Tanauan between 9 February 1945 and 28 February 1945; that the normal death rate of Tanauan was approximately one person per day. Is that stipulation agreeable?

CAPTAIN GREER: The stipulations are agreeable.

COLONEL WORTHMAN: The Law Member will rule on that objection.

CAPTAIN GREER: I will withdraw my objection in view of the stipulations.

COLONEL WORTHMAN: Did you offer this comment in the form of an objection?

CAPTAIN GREER: My objection was limited to the remark about the witness’ last answer. He presumed that fact after having stated he was not there during that period of time.

COLONEL WORTHMAN: Therefore, if there be no objection to the stipulations from the prosecution as they appear from this statement, the stipulations will be accepted in evidence.

CAPTAIN GREER: No objection to the stipulations.


COLONEL WORTHMAN: Cross-examination?

CAPTAIN GREER: No cross-examination.

[p. 20]

COLONEL WORTHMAN: Questions by the Commission?

COLONEL MADDEN: I have a question, Sir.



Q Were you reappointed by the acting provincial governor of your province?
A Yes, Sir.
Q And not by a provincial governor?
A By the acting provincial governor.

COLONEL WORTHMAN: Further questions by the Commission? There appear to be no further questions, the witness is 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 Lucio Dimayuga in U.S.A. v Mikio Taneichi, Yuzo Sakata, Taichi Yamada, and Bunji Kanto,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
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