Q What is your full name?
A Valentin Mayuga.
Q You are a member of the Philippine Army?
A I am a commissioned officer of the Philippine Army.
Q Lieutenant Mayuga, do you recall the month of February 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q What were you doing on February 16, 17, and 18, 1945?
A On those dates, sir, I was at our headquarters, guerrilla headquarters, in Batangas.
Q You were in guerrilla headquarters at Batangas?
A Yes, sir.
Q What was your rank in the guerrillas?
A I was a Major.
Q A Major?
Q How many men did you have in your command in the guerrillas?
A Formerly, I was an organizer of one company.
Q How long were you in the guerrillas?
A I beg your pardon?
Q How long were you a member of the guerrillas?
A I organized my own unit, since November, 1942.
A I had around 700 officers and men, sir, under my command.
Q Where were majority of your men stationed?
A The majority of my men were stationed in Batangas, Batangas.
Q Were any of your men stationed in the vicinity of Taal and Bauan?
A Well, in Taal, sir, I had only my operatives.
Q How many operatives?
A I had six intelligence operatives.
Q And you say the majority of your men —.
A Were in Batangas, sir.
Q Were they in the city itself or in the outlying barrios?
A They were in the outlying barrios, sir.
Q Do you recall the dates of February 16, 17, and 18, 1945?
A Yes, sir.
Q Will you please tell us what happened on those dates?
A On those dates, my intelligence operatives reported that the Japanese soldiers stationed in Cuenca, Batangas and San Luis, Batangas killed all the civilians in the barrios of Taal, killed all the civilians in Taal, sir.
Q Did your men sustain any casualties in the fighting in Taal on February 16, 17 or 18, 1945?
A There was no fighting, sir.
Q There was no fighting?
Q On those dates, did your men sustain any casualties? Did any of your men who were located near the town of Taal on February 16, 17 and 18, 1945, sustain any casualties?
A None of my men, sir, during those dates, sustained casualties.
Q Did your men sustain any casualties in the month of February, 1945?
A None of my men in Batangas, Batangas, sustained casualties.
Q Did any of your men, in February, 1945, stationed outside of Batangas, sustain any casualties?
A In Batangas, Batangas, sir, that is a town in Batangas province.
Q I mean, did any of your men, stationed in the barrios in the vicinity of Taal, sustain any casualties on February 16, 17 and 18, 1945?
A None, sir.
Q Did any of the men under your command ever engage in any fighting in February, 1945?
COLONEL HAMBY: Do you desire to rephrase the question?
MR. MORRISON: Yes, sir.
A None of my men under my command, sir, inflicted any casualties against the Japanese on February 16, 1945.
Q Do you know if there was any fighting between guerrillas and Japanese in the month of February, 1945, in the vicinity of Taal, Batangas?
A I have not heard, no, sir, of any fighting on February 16, 1945, in Taal.
Q Were there any guerrillas stationed in the vicinity of Taal in February, 1945?
A My intelligence operatives, sir. Some intelligence operatives were in Taal and in other towns of Batangas.
Q Were any guerrilla forces located in the vicinity of Taal during 1945, in February, 1945?
A There were no guerrilla armed forces located in the vicinity of Taal in February, 1945.
A There were no armed guerrilla forces located in Taal in February, 1945, sir.
A There were no guerrilla forces, sir, in the vicinity of Taal in February, 1945.
Q Are you familiar with the town of Maabud?
A That is a barrio, sir, not a town.
Q Were there any guerrilla forces located in the barrio of Maabud during February, 1945?
A As far as I remember, sir, the guerrilla members were in the barrios, were living in the mountains in February, 1945.
Q They were living in the mountains?
A Yes, sir.
Q About how far were those guerrillas from the town of Taal, Batangas?
A Around fifteen miles, sir, from the town.
Q Did any of those men engage in any fighting in January or February, 1945?
A Well, during the landing, sir, in Nasugbu, the guerrillas, during the landing of American forces on January 31, 1945, the guerrillas met the liberating forces. They joined the American forces in fighting against the Japanese.
Q Were they ever engaged in any other fighting?
A As far as I remember, sir, I don’t know of any engagements that they ever had.
Q Were any members of your command ever wounded in January or February, 1945?
Q Were any members of your command ever killed in January or February, 1945?
A No member of my command was killed in February or in January, 1945.
Q Do you know if any casualties were inflicted by guerrillas in January and February, 1945, in the vicinity of Taal and Bauan?
A What I remember, sir, are the casualties of [the] Japanese against the civilians, sir.
Q The Japanese sustained casualties as a result of what?
A What I remember, sir, were the casualties sustained by the Japanese against the civilians in Bauan.
Q The civilians in Bauan inflicted casualties on the Japanese?
A No, sir, the civilians did not inflict any casualties against the Japanese in Bauan.
Q I ask you if you know of any casualties inflicted on the Japanese during the months of February and January, 1945, by guerrilla forces.
A I don’t know of any casualties, sir.
Q Do you recall telling me that there was fighting between Japanese and guerrilla forces in which guerrillas inflicted casualties on the Japanese and killed some Japanese?
MR. GUTHRIE: I have one more statement. The rule is well settled that when a party calls a witness, he vouches for him and he is bound by his testimony.
MR. MORRISON: I believe the rule is also well settled, if the Commission please, that when a witness testifies contrary to what he has stated at some other time, the one propounding the questions is entitled to question him as to his former testimony or statements, not to impeach his credibility but merely to neutralize his former statements. I am not trying to impeach this man’s testimony, merely to neutralize his former statements. I should further like to say that I have been taken by surprise, in view of the fact that the witness has stated somewhat contrary to what he had stated to me previously while I was speaking to him, and the only way I can lay a foundation for that is to question the witness [as] to whether or not he did make a statement.
COLONEL HAMBY: The Law member will rule.
A What I remember to have told you, sir, [was] that there was fighting between guerrillas and [the] Japanese when they were with American forces. May I repeat my statement?
A What I remember to told you [was] there was fighting between guerrillas and [the] Japanese when the American forces were there.
Q Was that fighting in the vicinity of Taal?
A Of course the fighting was in the vicinity of Taal.
Q What was the date of that fighting?
A On or about March 2, sir.
Q I now ask you again, was there any fighting in Taal between the guerrillas and the Japanese on February 16, 17 and 18 1945?
A I don’t remember, sir, of any fighting on the streets between the guerrillas and the Japanese.
Q You think it possible that there might have been fighting which you do not remember?
A As the time only, one year, — as almost one and one half years have elapsed, I think my memory is still fresh and it did not happen that there was fighting there without my knowledge.
Q Where were your headquarters located?
A Mt. Conde.
Q How far away is that place from Taal?
Q You stated before that you had about 700 men under your command in Taal on February 1945, or rather at Batangas?
A At Batangas, Batangas, sir, not in Taal.
Q Do you recall saying to me about 800?
A I told you, sir, about 700 at Batangas, Batangas.
Q In February 1945, you knew Judge Juan K Solis?
A I know him personally, sir.
Q Did he know that you were a member of the guerrillas?
A Of course, sir, during the Japanese time, to be a member of the guerrillas was highly confidential and my mother and members of my family didn’t even know. How much more Judge Solis knew, I don’t know, I have no relationship with him and during the Japanese time, sir, Judge Solis was living in the town and I can still remember that he became a municipal secretary of Taal.
Q Do you remember saying to me that Judge Solis knew you well and that he knew you were a guerrilla?
A What is, what I told you was that I knew Judge Solis personally.
Q Didn’t you also say to me that Judge Solis knew you were in the guerrillas?
A I did not ever tell you, sir, what I told you was that I knew Judge Solis personally because during the
A I know her, sir.
Q How long did you know her?
A I have known her since my boyhood because she is my close relative, sir.
Q Did she know you were in the guerrillas in February 1945?
A She knew that I was in a guerrilla unit even before February 1945 —
Q Did you know Milagros Barrion of Taal? I’ll repeat the question, did you know Milagros Barrion of Taal in February 1945 and for some time prior to that date?
A I have know, sir, Milagros Barrion being the sister of Juanita Barrion and they are my close relatives.
Q Do you know her present whereabouts at this time? Do you know her present address at this time?
A At present, they are in Batangas, Batangas.
Q Does she attend the Philippine Women’s College at Manila?
A Milagros Barrion, well, her sister told me last semester that she will attend the Philippine Women’s University. I do not know, sir, whether she is really there or not.
A Those people being my close relatives knew or could detect that I was a member of the guerrillas or some underground movement.
Q Did they know you were in the guerrillas in February 1945 and sometime prior thereto?
A They had known me to be a guerrilla prior to February 1945.
Q How long were your headquarters, your guerrilla headquarters in Batangas, Batangas?
A Around, more or less twelve miles from the town.
Q No, you misunderstand me. For how long were your headquarters at Batangas, Batangas?
A Since last September the tenth, 1944.
Q And that is the place where you said you had about 700 men under your command?
A Well, the first time when I had my headquarters there, of course the numbers increased month by month or year by year.
Q Prior to being stationed in Batangas, Batangas, after you were stationed in Batangas, Batangas, where did you operate from?
A Prior to that, sir, I operated in the mountains bordering Lake Taal, those mountains that surround Lake Taal.
Q How far are the mountains from the town of Taal?
A More than twenty miles, sir.
A Prior to March 1945, none of my men had ever been engaged in actual combat against the Japanese.
Q What do you mean by “actual combat?”
A That means fighting against the Japanese arm to arm, or, you know, there are different ways of fighting the enemy.
Q Did they do any shooting against the Japanese in February 1945?
A None of my men, sir, did any shooting against the Japanese.
Q Did they do any shooting against the Japanese in January 1945?
A Neither, sir.
Q Did your 700 guerrillas do any shooting at all against the Japanese?
A When the American forces landed, when the American forces arrived at my sector, my unit was attached to the American forces and we did some fighting against the Japanese and supplied the American forces with intelligence reports in regard to their position in different places.
Q How many operatives did you have in Taal in the month of February 1945?
A I had, in February, I can still remember, I sent two operatives to Taal.
A Well, my — my operatives had their own sectors. In Bauan, sir, I had six operatives.
Q What was the sector of which you had command, was it the province of Batangas, tell us just what it was.
A It was over several towns in Batangas.
Q Will you tell us what those towns were?
A Batangas, Batangas, sir, Lobo, San Jose, Ibaan, Rosario, Taysan, Lipa, Tiaong, and Isla Verde Island. Those were only the main places where the members of my command came from in Batangas, Batangas.
Q When you say “came from,” do you mean stationed there?
A No, sir, that means the members of my command had their residences in those places.
Q Did your sector include the town of Lemery?
A That was not included in my sector.
Q Did you sector include the towns of Taal and Bauan?
A When it came to intelligence operatives, my sector covered as far as Manila from Batangas.
Q Aside from intelligence operatives, what was the closest barrio to Bauan and Taal in which you had guerrillas under your command?
A The closest barrio, of course, sir, was the barrio of Batangas, Batangas, that is, the barrio of Banaba that is between Bauan and Batangas, Batangas.
A I had my intelligence operatives go as far as that place.
Q Were you even wounded while in the guerrillas?
A I was never wounded, sir.
Q Were any members of your command wounded?
A No member, no, sir.
Q So you had a peaceful time in the guerrillas?
A No, sir, but my men during the Japanese time, I tell you frankly that the Japanese occupation in the Philippines, during that time, there were several hundred thousand put in a strategic place and during that time, my men could fight.
Q Could your men fight effectively by intelligence reports many months before the Americans came?
A Yes, sir.
Q Did your men at any time prior to March 1945 attempt to disrupt Japanese communications or steal or damage or destroy Japanese supplies?
MR. MORRISON: If the Commission, please, this witness testified that his operatives were there for intelligence purposes only. I want to bring out the fact these large guerrilla forces did not simply furnish
MR. GUTHRIE: No, sir.
COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.
COLONEL POBLETE: Objection overruled, the witness may answer.
A The members of my command, sir, cut some communication wires in Batangas, Batangas and made some sabotage work in Batangas, Batangas.
Q In the city of Batangas or in the barrios outside of Batangas?
A The location of the Japanese was in towns and barrios. Some were in towns and some were in barrios.
Q And did they try to steal any Japanese supplies prior to March 1945?
A Prior to March 1945, none of my men were able to steal supplies because upon the landing of the Americans
Q Did your men attempt to steal or destroy Japanese supplies which were guarded by the Japanese?
A My men, I never ordered my men to attempt to steal supplies because it was futile due to the heavily guarded areas of the Japanese in the barrios.
Q If they were not heavily guarded, would you have permitted them to steal Japanese supplies?
MR. MORRISON: If it were not for the fact that these supplies were heavily guarded, they might have attacked them and destroyed them.
COLONEL HAMBY: The Law Member will rule.
COLONEL POBLETE: Objection sustained.
A I permitted my men to cut the communication wires which were far from the Japanese garrisons.
Q Did any of your men prior to March 1945 inflict any damage on the Japanese equipment other than communication wires?
A When it came to supplies, of armed Japanese supplies, none of my men ever attempted to get any supplies.
Q Do you know of any Japanese weapons being stolen prior to March 1945?
A No, sir, I do not.
A I will tell you. I had my headquarters in Mt. Conde, Batangas, I had twenty men stationed there as intelligence operatives and all our reports went to the general headquarters which were forwarded to six military stations at Batangas.
Q Would you say about thirty men were engaged in those reports, in making up those reports?
A I did not say thirty men but there were twenty men almost every month.
Q What happened to the other 650 men, what did they do?
A The 650 men that were actual members of my command, we had a roster in such a way because during that time, due to the scarcity of arms, we could not fight the Japanese with intelligence reports.
Q How many of your men were armed of the 700, how many had weapons?
A You know, we had our combat troops and they were somewhere in the mountains.
Q How many of your men were combat troops?
A During the American landings, sir —
Q No, let’s forget the American landings and tell me about how many men were combat troops.
A Almost a regiment.
Q They were under arms in February 1945?
A No, sir.
Q How many were under arms in February 1945?
Q How long a time did those men carry weapons?
A Since they became members of my headquarters, I can’t remember.
Q Approximately how long?
A Induction of those men, I cannot remember and I had my own adjutant.
Q Would you say that several hundred men under your command were armed with weapons for several months prior to March 1945?
A No, sir.
Q You stated that approximately a regiment of your men —
A No, not men, sir, of our unit.
Q How many men under your command were armed with weapons in February 1945?
A Under my command, I can’t remember, sir.
A I had fourteen men.
Q Fourteen out of 700 men in February 1945 were under arms?
A Yes, sir.
Q Were you under arms?
A I, sir?
A Yes, I had been armed, sir.
Q For how long?
COLONEL HAMBY: The Commission will take a short recess.
MR. GUTHRIE: Sir, there is no cross-examination of the last witness.
COLONEL HAMBY: Any questions by the Commission?
Q When did you say the American force landed in Nasugbu?
A January 31, 1945, sir.
Q Did you join the American forces, then?
A I joined the American forces, sir, in March 6, 1945.
Q Did you know where the American forces were from February 16 to February 18 of 1945?
A The American forces were in Nasugbu, going to Tagaytay. From there, they were clearing the way from Nasugbu and then they were going to the city of Manila.
Q Did they pass Taal on their way to the city of Manila from Nasugbu?
A No, sir, they passed through Tagaytay, sir.
A Do you mean the regimental commander or the overall commander?
Q Your immediate commander.
A Colonel Amado Ilagan.
Q Where was his headquarters located in February 1945?
A In February, 1945, sir, his headquarters, sir, was
Q Will you indicate on the map?
A (Witness indicated on the wall map.) Somewhere in here, sir.
Q Will you spell it for the reporters?
A The headquarters, during that time, was being transferred from place to place because during the landing of the Americans in Nasugbu, in January, 1945, the Japanese were very active in the liberated areas. That was why the headquarters was being transferred from place to place. I was stationed, during that time, in Batangas, Batangas. I still remember that at one time, I do not know what date, their headquarters happened to be here in San Carlos. I think it was somewhere in – I can’t remember, sir, because my operatives were the ones who went to the regimental headquarters and made reports, while I stayed in my headquarters in Batangas, Batangas.
Q Did you receive any reports of guerrilla activity in the peninsula at the bottom, lower left of the map there?
A Yes, sir, we had [the] headquarters, sir, of the Blue Eagle and the ROTC there during the Nasugbu landings.
|Photo taken during the war crimes trials in Manila. Image credit: U.S. National Archives.
1 “Transcription of the Testimony of Valentin Mayuga 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.