Testimony of Timoteo Magsombol on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Cuenca, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Timoteo Magsombol on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Cuenca, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Timoteo Magsombol on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Cuenca, Batangas in 1945

This page contains the testimony of Timoteo Magsombol on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Cuenca, 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. 1746]


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


Q (By Captain Pace) Give your name, please.
A Timoteo Magsombol.
Q Where do you live?
A Sablay sitio, City [should be municipality] of Cuenca.
Q Is that near Cuenca?
A More or less two kilometers.
Q Were you living there on the 11th day of March, 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q What happened on that day?
A About 9:00 P.M., three Japanese came and took me.
Q Where did they take you?
A They brought me into their tunnel, City [municipality] of Cuenca, Batangas.
Q How many other men did they take there?
A 40 persons.
Q How many people did the Japanese take to the tunnel which you have spoken of?
A They brought there 40 persons in all.
Q And what did you do after you got to the tunnel?
A We were told to work day and night and we were not permitted to go out.
Q What kind of tunnel was it?
A At the side of the tunnel, water passed, and the tunnel

[p. 1747]

was excavated.
Q How long did you work on this tunnel for the Japanese?
A It lasted eight days.
Q What were you fed during these eight days while you were working on this tunnel for the Japanese?
A A bowl of rice sometimes; that’s all.
Q What happened on the 19th day of March, 1945?

INTERPRETER GOJUNCO: I beg your pardon, please?

CAPTAIN PACE: “What happened on the 19th day of March, 1945?”

A (Through Interpreter Gojunco) March 19th, 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the Japanese told me to go out from the tunnel about five meters from the tunnel.
Q (By Captain Pace) What happened, then?
A 15 meters.
Q What happened, then?
A I was told to lie flat on my stomach and I was bayoneted.
Q How many times?
A When I regained consciousness the next morning, I found out that I had eight wounds.
Q Will you look at Exhibit 276 for identification and state what it is?
A I see one wound on my right breast originating from the back and another wound on the left part of my breast originating also from the back.
Q Do you mean that the mark on your right breast and the mark on your left breast came as a result of bayonet thrusts that began on your back? Is that right?

[p. 1748]

A I received the four wounds on my breast when I was bayoneted at the back when I was laying flat on my stomach.
Q Will you point at the four wounds on your breast?
A (Indicating wounds on breast on Exhibit 276 for identification.)

CAPTAIN PACE: The witness has indicated three dark spots on the right side of his chest just inside of his shoulder and one spot just inside of his left shoulder.

I offer this exhibit in evidence.

GENERAL REYNOLDS: The picture is so unclear, the Commission would ask the witness to raise his shirt and show us the wounds.

Q (By Captain Pace) Will you stand up, please, and put your sweater up>
A (Displaying wounds on chest and left shoulder.)

CAPTAIN PACE: Let the record show that the witness has a scar on his left shoulder and three scars on his right breast.

Q (By Captain Pace) Will you turn around, now?
A (Indicating wounds on back.)

CAPTAIN PACE: Three wounds on his back about the center of the right side and one on the left side at about the center.

GENERAL REYNOLDS: Very well. The document is accepted in evidence.

(Prosecution Exhibit No. 276
for identification was re-
ceived in evidence.)

CAPTAIN PACE: At this time, Exhibit 277 for identification is offered in evidence.

[p. 1749]

GENERAL REYNOLDS: There being no objection, it is accepted in evidence.

(Prosecution Exhibit No. 277
for identification was re-
ceived in evidence.)

Q (By Captain Pace) After you were bayoneted, did you become unconscious?
A Yes, sir.
Q When did you regain consciousness?
A The next morning.
Q What did you see when you woke up?
A I found out that I had the wounds.
Q Did you see anybody else around there?
A I saw ten dead bodies, my friends.
Q What happened to them?
A I saw them lying flat on their stomachs, some with bayonet wounds and others were fired upon.
Q Were they all dead?
A They were all dead.

CAPTAIN PACE: You may cross examine.


Q (By Captain Reel) How long did you lay in the grass before you were wounded?
A I don’t know.
Q Well, was it — Go ahead.
A When I was bayoneted, I was unconscious.
Q Before you were bayoneted, how long did you lay down on the ground?
A Less than five minutes. Then, I was bayoneted.
Q Were you lying face down?

[p. 1750]

A My face was facing the ground.

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 Timoteo Magsombol in U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
Next Post Previous Post