2nd Testimony of Godofredo Brual on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore 2nd Testimony of Godofredo Brual on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

2nd Testimony of Godofredo Brual on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945


This page contains the testimony of Godofredo Brual on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Bauan, Batangas in 1945. Brual also testified in the trial U.S.A. v Tomoyuki Yamashita, the transcription of which is also available at this web site. This particular transcription is from his testimony in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et. al. 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.

Manila War Crimes Trial US Army
Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila. Image credit: U.S. National Archives.

[p. 83]


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



Q Please state your name?
A Godofredo Brual.
Q What is your age?
A Thirty-six years.
Q What is your nationality?
A Filipino.
Q What is your occupation?
A At present, a lawyer.
Q Where do you live?
A In Bauan, Batangas.
Q Where were you on February 28, 1945?
A I was in Mindoro.
Q Will you please tell us the reason why you were in Mindoro?
A I and my family evacuated to Mindoro because a parish priest of my town, who was stationed in Lipa at that time, arrived in Bauan and told a few of us that the Japanese were killing civilians in Lipa and so we better went away. So we did.

MR. MORRISON: Could I have that answer read?

(Answer read by the reporter.)

Q Did many people leave Bauan before February 28, 1945?
A Yes, sir.

[p. 84]

Q Approximately how many remained in the town of Bauan during that time?
A I could not tell you.
Q Do you remember the population of Bauan at that time?
A No, sir.
Q Do you know the population of Bauan or do you remember the entire population of Bauan during the month of February, 1945?
A I don’t remember, sir.
Q Have you heard of an incident committed on February 28, 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was the incident about?
A That was the dynamite blasting and the bayoneting of civilians at Bauan.
Q Have you heard how many were killed?

MR. MORRISON: Objected to on the ground that what he heard is hearsay unless he was actually present.

COLONEL HAMBY: Do you care to withdraw the question?

LIEUTENANT BANZON: I will withdraw the question.

Q After that incident in Bauan, on February 28, 1945, did you return to Bauan?
A Yes, sir.
Q What did you do in Bauan after that?
A I was summoned by a Colonel of the 11th Airborne because he was looking for the mayor and he ordered me to

[p. 85]

appoint a doctor and some helpers to bury the dead that were around and in the rear of the Bautista house. Many of the families of the victims of the dynamite blasting, as well as the bayoneting, were [went] to my office because I sent a town crier to find out how many persons were killed in Bauan. So, at my own volition, and at the order of the high command of the 11th Airborne, we compiled an official list of those who were killed at the dynamite blasting.
Q Before you prepared the list, were you elected or designated as the mayor of the town of Bauan?
A Elected as well as designated.
Q Who designated you as mayor of Bauan?
A About two days after I arrived from Mindoro, the Colonel of the 11th Airborne placed me as the mayor, and then when the civil government was organized, the former president appointed me.
Q How long have you been mayor since that time?
A Until the last election.
Q And when was the last election?
A The election of the President of the Philippines. That was nearly a year ago.
Q When you prepared that list of deaths, were you a mayor at that time?
A Yes, sir.
Q Will you please identify this list? (Offering to witness.)
A This was the official list we prepared because it

[p. 86]

bears the seal of the municipality.
Q Is this a complete list of all those who were the victims of February 28, 1945?
A This is not a complete list. This is a partial list.

LIEUTENANT BANZON: Sir, may I have this marked as Exhibit No. 5?

MR. MORRISON: Just a moment, can I see that?

LIEUTENANT BANZON: It is the same. It is the original.

MR. MORRISON: I want to see the top of it. If the court please, I object to so much of this as states that the deaths were by the Japanese, unless this witness saw them killed.


MR. MORRISON: Will you consent to delete “by the Japanese?”


MR. MORRISON: Under that condition, sir, I consent that it be admitted. Counsel has consented that the words “by the Japanese” be deleted.

LIEUTENANT BANZON: Will the court rule on the matter, please?

COLONEL HAMBY: Off the record.

(Off-record discussion.)

COLONEL HAMBY: The prosecution may withdraw this offer of Exhibit No. 5 and submit it at a later time in proper form.

LIEUTENANT BANZON: Will you please identify

[p. 87]

the supplementary lists that you have prepared also? (Offering to witness.)
A Yes, sir, this is a supplementary list.
Q Will you please identify this next list? (Offering to witness.)
A This is a supplementary list of the original.

MR. MORRISON: Are you offering it in evidence?

LIEUTENANT BANZON: I now have this list marked as Exhibit No. 6.

MR. MORRISON: I object to the admission of that, sir, unless this witness has actual knowledge that these people were killed by Japanese by bayoneting.

COLONEL HAMBY: Has this exhibit of the prosecution’s been shown to the defense counsel?

MR. MORRISON: Yes, I have a copy, sir.

COLONEL HAMBY: There is an objection by the defense counsel. The Law Member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: I will ask him questions.

Q Who prepared this list?
A My secretary, sir.
Q What is the name?
A Vicente Garcia.
Q Is this the true seal of your municipality? (Offering to witness.)
A Yes, sir.
COLONEL POBLETE: You can argue.

[p. 88]

MR. GUTHRIE: The document is being offered as an exhibit in this case as an official record. Under the letter of December 5, 1945, with which we are all familiar, such an offer is proper in these proceedings.

COLONEL POBLETE: Objection overruled. The document will be received in evidence.

LIEUTENANT BANZON: I now withdraw the original copy of Exhibit No. 6 and substitute therefor a duplicate copy.

COLONEL HAMBY: It is so ordered.

(Prosecution’s Exhibit No.
6 received in evidence.)
COLONEL HAMBY: At this time, the Commission will take a short recess.
(Short recess.)

[p. 89]

COLONEL HAMBY: The court is in session.

MR. GUTHRIE: Mr. Brual, I will remind you at this time that you are still under oath.

Q I show you a document which is entitled “Records of Death by the Japanese, Province of Batangas, Municipality of Bauan, killed in church February 28, 1945” and with the signature — whose signature is that?
A The secretary.
Q What is his name?
A Vicente A. Garcia.
Q I’ll ask you if you are familiar with that document.
A Yes, sir, I am familiar with that document.
Q That document was prepared under your direction as the mayor of the municipality of Bauan?
A Yes, sir.
Q And is that document an official record of the municipality of Bauan?
A Yes, sir.

MR. GUTHRIE: I will offer the document in evidence as Prosecution’s Exhibit No. 5 at this time.

MR. MORRISON: If the Commission please, may I renew my objection to the document on the ground the witness does not have personal knowledge of the killings of these people?

MR. GUTHRIE: I don’t believe that objection has anything to do with this record. It is an official record of the municipality of Bauan which is a government unit and as such, such a record is admissible under the provisions of the letter of December 5, 1945.

[p. 90]

MR. MORRISON: I just made my objection noted in the record. The question has already been ruled on by the Law Member as to Exhibit No. 6 and it involves the same question, I respectfully submit.

COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: The objection is overruled, the document will be received in evidence.

(Prosecution’s Exhibit No. 5
received in evidence.)

MR. GUTHRIE: I will request permission of the Commission at this time to withdraw the original and substitute a certified copy thereof.


Q Mr. Brual, I direct your attention to the top of the page No. 1 of the prosecution’s Exhibit No. 5, “killed in church February 28, 1945” and ask you if you will explain the meaning of the words “killed in church February 28, 1945?”
A There had been a mistake made by my secretary on quoting on the right-hand corner at the top of this page “killed in church February 28, 1945” because all of these persons listed here were not originally in the church but were killed at Bautista’s residence. It was part, the words “killed in church” were put here because these people were summoned by the Japanese to go to the church and when they reached the church, the women and children were separated from the men and taken to the Bautista house where they were bayoneted — where they were blasted.
MR. GUTHRIE: You may cross-examine.

[p. 91]



Q Mr. Brual, you stated that you evacuated Bauan on advice of a priest, is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Was the name of that priest Vashilido Maniginvas?
A No, sir.
Q Do you know Vashilido Maniginvas?
A I beg your pardon?
Q Vashilido Maniginvas of Bauan?
A There is no Vashilido Maniginvas in Bauan, there is a Basilio Manigbas in our place, a friend of Hagino, the accused.
Q What do you say his name is?
A Basilio Manigbas.
Q When did you evacuate Bauan?
A First of March 1945.
Q Of March 1945? When did you leave Bauan on the advice of this priest?
A The first week of March 1945.
Q Is that when you left for Mindoro, in March 1945?
A I remember maybe the first or second week of March, I am not sure, but it was in the month of March.
Q That was when you left Bauan?
A Yes, sir.
Q When did you return?
A Third week of March.
MR. MORRISON: I ask the Court at this time to take judicial notice of the record in the case of the

[p. 92]

United States of America vs Masatoshi FUJISHIGE et al, Volume VI, page 666, wherein the witness stated in answer to a question, “When did you leave for Mindoro?” “A The early part of February.” “Q About what date?” “A The first week.” “Q And when did you return?” “A The second week of March.”
Q Does that refresh your memory?
A Yes, sir.
Q Would you care to change your answer as to when you left Bauan?
A Yes, sir.
Q Now, do you remember when you left Bauan?

MR. GUTHRIE: May I interrupt, if the Commission please, I have an objection to make. I have a motion to make. There has been a request that this Commission take judicial notice of a certain record. I would like to know what counsel’s purpose is for that request?

MR. MORRISON: The purpose of counsel is to impeach the credibility of the witness.

MR. GUTHRIE: Then I object to the request on the ground that is not a proper method of impeachment. The matter that he is attempting to impeach this witness on is a collateral matter to this case, it is a fact that has no connection with this case in any manner whatsoever. The only way you can impeach a witness is upon inconsistent statements as to matters that are material to this case. When he left for Mindoro has nothing to do with anything to the events charged in this case. It is

[p. 93]

improper impeachment and I object on that ground.

MR. MORRISON: I submit it is a very important question because to the witness’ original answer in this trial, he would have been in the vicinity of Bauan or in Bauan at the time this survey was made, thereby indicating his knowledge was much more first-handed. I believe it is very important he was never in the place at the time of the atrocities charged here. He was never in Bauan and I therefore respectfully submit that the attempt to impeach this witness is entirely proper.

MR. GUTHRIE: If the Commission please, I will withdraw my objection and leave it stand merely as argument against the weight of the matter that counsel has brought to the attention of this court.

MR. MORRISON: Agreeable, sir.


Q Mr. Brual, did you see any Japanese kill any Filipino civilians during the month of February 1945?
A I beg your pardon, sir>
Q Did you see any Japanese kill any Filipino civilians during the month of February 1945?
A No, sir.
Q Were you ever investigated by the Japanese?
A Yes, sir.
Q For what reason, if you know?
A The accused herein, Hagino, the accused in this case, put me in the garrison accusing me to be head of the guerrillas in the town and three of my companions never came back.

[p. 94]

Q Were you in the guerrillas?
A No, sir, there were no guerrillas in our place.
Q Were there any guerrillas in Batangas?
A I don’t know about some towns in Batangas, but in our town there were none.
Q There were guerrillas in the other towns of Batangas?
A I don’t know, sir.
Q Didn’t you previously state that there were guerrillas in Batangas Province?
A I do not know.
Q Was there any kind of looting or robbing carried on in Batangas carried on by Filipinos?
A I do not remember.
MR. MORRISON: I request the Court to take judicial notice of Volume VI in the case of the United States of America v Masatoshi FUJISHIGE, et al, previously mentioned, on page 666 of which the witness stated in answer to the question “Did you ever hear of guerrillas in Batangas Province?” “A I have heard, but I understand that they are not guerrillas, they are looters and robbers.”
Q Is that correct?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were these looters and robbers Filipinos?
A Yes, sir.

MR. MORRISON: No further questions.

MR. GUTHRIE: No further questions.

[p. 95]



Q You mentioned an accused in this case by the name of Hagino, can you point that accused out?
A Yes, sir.
Q Please do so.
A Could I approach him?
Q Yes, sir.
A That one there. (Witness touched the accused Hagino on the shoulder.)
MR. GUTHRIE: May the record indicate the witness has just indicated the accused, Hagino.
Q Do you know any other accused in this case?
A No, sir.
Q Have you seen any of the accused in this case before they came to trial?
A No, sir.
Q Do you know of your own personal knowledge of any atrocities the accused Hagino had committed?
A Yes, sir.
Q Please relate them to the Commission.

MR. MORRISON: If the Commission, please, will the Commission please fix the dates of the atrocities?

COLONEL HAMBY: I think the witness can do that.

MR. MORRISON: Very well, sir.


A That was Hagino who took us to the garrison and three of our companions never came back. I considered it as one of the atrocities because they were taken out from the

[p. 96]

garrison and they never came back. I don’t know, the families and people of Bauan were expecting them to come back, but until now, they have never come back.
Q Do you know of your own personal knowledge what happened to them?
A I don’t know, sir.

COLONEL HAMBY: Questions by other members of the Commission?

Questions by the prosecution?

MR. GUTHRIE: No, sir.

MR. MORRISON: One more, sir.




Q Who secured your release after you were arrested by the Japanese?
A No one.
Q Why were you released?
A Because I did not commit any crimes.
Q Isn’t it a fact that Hagino secured your release?
A I don’t believe so.

MR. MORRISON: No further questions.

MR. GUTHRIE: No further questions.

COLONEL HAMBY: The witness is excused.

(Witness excused.)
Notes & References:
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Godofredo Brual in U.S.A. v Shumpei Hagino, et al.,” part of the U.S. Military Commission compilation of war crimes documentation, online at the Internet Archive.
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