Testimony of Felipe Castor on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore Testimony of Felipe Castor on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945 - Batangas History, Culture and Folklore

Testimony of Felipe Castor on Japanese Atrocities Committed in Bauan, Batangas in 1945


This page contains the testimony of Felipe Castor on Japanese atrocities committed in the town of Bauan, Batangas in 1945. 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. 152]


witness for the prosecution, being first duly sworn, testified as follows through Interpreters Campomanes and Rodas:



Q State your name?
A Felipe Castor.
Q On February 28, 1945, where were you living?
A Inside the town.
Q What town?
A Town of Bauan.
Q On that day, did anything unusual occur?
A On February 28th 1945, in the morning, while I was in my house, somebody passed by and said that there was to be a meeting. Although many people were passing by and telling me that there was a meeting, I still stayed at home because I was observing the movements around. After 10:00, a Japanese came to our house, he was wearing a cap and he was camouflaged with grass. When he came into the house, I was already lying in bed and I told him I had malaria. Then, he left. After a while, another Japanese came and when the second Japanese came, I still insisted that I had malaria but the Japanese said, “No, no, no malaria,” and then he tied my hands behind my back and ordered me to go down. I left the house, leaving my family behind. On both sides of the street were soldiers and the second Japanese soldier handed me

[p. 153]

to another Japanese soldier who urged me to go on to the church. This last Japanese soldier brought me to a barbershop where there were Filipinos inside, men, women and children. After a while, this Japanese ordered the women and children to leave the shop and only the men were left. Then, we were ordered to leave the shop one by one. I was the tenth one to leave the place. Near the corner, we met an officer, he was wearing a saber. They talked in Japanese, which I could not understand, but I recognized the Japanese whom we met at the corner, he was an officer.
Q Before you left the barber shop, how many Filipino men were there?
A Around seven.
Q Do you know their names?
A I remember three alive and three dead.
Q They were all alive at the time you saw them in the barbershop?
A They were still alive.
Q Tell us the names of the ones you remember.
A Alejandro Agbay, Fermin Dimatulac, Ramon Escalona, Simon Adap, and I, Felipe Castor. We were three alive and there were three dead which I know.
Q But at that time, you were all alive?
A Yes, sir.
Q You have named six persons but you say there were ten altogether including yourself.
A Yes, there were ten, but I didn’t know the others, I knew only those whose names I have given.

[p. 154]

Q When you were taken from the barbershop, what happened?
A After we met that officer, we continued walking, I was in front of the three soldiers. When we passed by a house, we turned to San Pedro Street where there was a house where I was brought in.
Q Will you look at the people in this courtroom and tell me whether any of them is the officer you have just referred to.
A Could I point him?

MR. GUTHRIE: Step down and look at everyone very carefully in this courtroom, before you point out the one you think you know.

(Witness replied.)

MR. GUTHRIE: May the record show that the witness has indicated the accused Ichiro Kobayashi.

[p. 155]

Q Look further and see if you can see any other officers, any other persons you saw at that time.
A This one (indicating) Hagino.
MR. GUTHRIE: May the record indicate that the last person indicated by the witness is the accused, Hagino.
Q Was one of those two persons the officer to whom you were brought after you left the barbershop?
A Yes, sir, that other officer.
Q By “other officer,” do you mean the first person you pointed to or the second person you pointed to?
A The first one.
Q For your information, Mr. Castor, the first officer you pointed to is named Kobayashi and the second person you pointed to is Hagino. Now, when you first saw Kobayashi, what did you see him do or did you see whether he talked to anyone?
A I did not understand what they talked about, just he talked to his soldiers and pointed that way.
Q And then what did his soldier do?
A When I was upstairs, the door was closed. He kicked the door three times because it was locked. Then, he said, “Mati, mati.” When the door was opened, I was pushed inside, and after some time, a bayonet was thrust at my back which came out in front. (Indicating.)
MR. GUTHRIE: May the record show that the witness indicated by motions that the bayonet penetrated from his back to his front about his middle section.

[p. 156]

Q Will you stand up and raise your shirt so that the Commission can see the wound you have just indicated?
A This is the first one (indicating).
MR. GUTHRIE: Indicating the back.
A (Continued) This is the second one.
MR. GUTHRIE: Indicating also in the back.
A (Continued) This is the third one.
MR. GUTHRIE: Indicating another place in his back.
Q And what is that wound in the front part of your middle section?
A That was the first thrust which came out.
Q Do you mean came out from the back to the front?
A Yes, sir.
Q You stated that some of the Filipinos you saw in the barbershop are now dead?
A Yes, sir.
Q How do you know that they are dead?
A Because until now, they have not showed up.
MR. GUTHRIE: No further questions.



Q Why didn’t you go to the church? Why did you not go to the church when you were told to do so by the Japanese?
A We were told to enter the barbershop.
Q Didn’t you state previously that you didn’t go to the church because you had malaria?
A I was forced by the Japanese.

[p. 157]

Q Don’t you know that when you are ordered to do something, it is a dangerous thing to disobey, especially in time of war?
A Yes, sir.

MR. MORRISON: No further questions.

MR. GUTHRIE: No further questions by the prosecution.

COLONEL HAMBY: Any questions by the Commission?



Q Who made the bayonet thrust that went through your body?
A The soldier.
Q Do you know his name?
A I don’t know his name.
COLONEL READ: Do you know the reason why you were bayoneted? What was the reason for it?
A I don’t know the reason because I had not done anything. I was just asked to go there and then they bayoneted me.
Q Was it in the street? Did you stop going down the street?
A It was in the house.
COLONEL HAMBY: Is the man that bayoneted you in this courtroom?
A No, sir, he is not here. The one I only see was the one who was wearing a saber.
COLONEL POBLETE: What did Kobayashi do to you

[p. 158]

on that day?
A He didn’t do anything personally to me. He just talked to the soldiers and pointed that way and then I was brought by the soldiers.
Q Is there any particular thing about Kobayashi that enables you to identify him now?
A Yes, sir, when we were brought to LUPOW [Luzon POW Camp] in October, I recognized him immediately in the stockade at LUPOW.
Q Were you brought to LUPOW on or before the 28th of February, 1945?
A You mean 1946?
Q Yes. I would like to state as to when you were brought to LUPOW. Was it on or before February 28, 1945?
A After the 28th



Q Is the person who bayoneted you —

MR. MORRISON: Objected to. Excuse me, counsel, I beg your pardon. I am sorry to interrupt.

MR. GUTHRIE: Is the soldier who bayoneted you the soldier who had you in custody when you were in front of Kobayashi?

MR. MORRISON: Objected to, if the Commission please, on the grounds that the question is leading.

COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: Objection overruled. The witness may answer.

[p. 159]

A Yes, sir.
Q Did you see Kobayashi talk to that soldier?

MR. MORRISON: Objected to, if the Commission please, on the ground that the question is leading.

COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.

COLONEL POBLETE: Objection overruled. The witness may answer.

A Yes, sir.
Q Did he talk in Japanese or some other language?
A He spoke in Japanese because we were not far from them.
Q And immediately after Kobayashi talked to the soldier, what did the soldier do?
A I was brought away.
Q And then what did the soldier do?
A I was ordered to go upstairs.
Q And then what did that soldier do?
A I was bayoneted.

MR. GUTHRIE: That is all.

MR. MORRISON: No further questions.

COLONEL HAMBY: The witness is excused.

(Witness excused.)
Notes and references:
1 “Excerpts from the Testimony of Felipe Castor 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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