Daily Archives: March 1, 2017

Mysteries of the Manila massacres


March 01, 2017

Mysteries of the Manila massacresNHC

/ 03:00 AM February 27, 2017

Editor’s note: Excerpts from the author’s remarks during the 2017 Memorare Manila 1945.

Los Angeles--There has been nothing remotely approaching the Battle for Manila in terms of ruin, rape and death.

It was the greatest crime in Philippine history. Much of the damage was caused by sometimes excessive and indiscriminate shelling

But Memorare’s survey estimate is that 70 percent of the deaths were caused by Japanese action, and my own estimate, based on a sample in Antonio Perez de Olaguer’s “El Terror Amarillo en Filipinas,” puts Japanese killing at 85 percent of the total.

But the physical totals are almost irrelevant. The important thing is the moral responsibility: Who made Manila a battleground and a killing ground?

The answer is clear: the Japanese decision to give battle in Manila and to target civilian lives and property in the operation.

This could have been avoided if Manila had been declared an open city as MacArthur had done in December 1941.

But in Philip Buencamino’s memoirs, he recounts how Filipino officials pleaded with overall Japanese commander Gen. Tomoyuki Yamashita to declare Manila an open city and were already preparing the text of the proclamation to that effect, but Yamashita rejected their pleas. This could only mean that he was preparing Manila for battle.

Much is made of the Japanese Marines under Adm. Sanji Iwabuchi (the Butcher of Manila) who were blamed for most of the killing and destruction, but these 12,000 marines were joined by nearly 4,000 of Yamashita’s own army troops.

He claimed they were there to guard and remove military equipment and supplies, but, in fact, appear to have spent their time planting demolition charges in buildings in the business district, and in initiating the massacres on the north bank of the Pasig.

At his war crimes trial, he made some bare-faced lies. He claimed he could no longer contact the Manila garrison because communications were cut. This was incredible in the age of radio transmission.

One of his biographies relates   he was in radio contact from his Cordillera pocket in July with overall Southeast Asia ground commander Marshal Terauchi in Saigon. How could he not reach Manila from nearby Baguio?

The claim that the Japanese were moving out military supplies and equipment is belied by the six-months stock of supplies found in the Finance Building and by the artillery and machine guns that studded the walls of Intramuros and Luneta. One cannon can still be seen on Intramuros walls.

Persistent errorsValor Monument

Two persistent errors keep coming up in some writings. One is that there was aerial bombing during the battle. There was none, as it had been forbidden by MacArthur. As a survivor of the battle, I can testify to this.

The other one is that most of the killing was done by Koreans. But there were no Korean combat units in Manila; the Koreans present were dock workers who readily surrendered when American troops came.

Two mysteries linger. One is: What was the military objective of targeted civilian killing? The textbook answer is:   They   were delaying the eventual American invasion of Japan and killing as many Americans as possible.

In the end, they killed about 1,000 Americans and wounded 5,500, and delayed the campaign by about a month, losing 16,600 of their own troops but dragging 100,000 noncombatant civilians along them.

This was a purely tactical objective and the results were meager. And why was it necessary to kill so many civilians deliberately, not even collateral casualties, to attain the supposed military objectives ?

The strategic value of Manila was its bay and harbor, and the strategic objective should have been to deny—this to the Americans, as these had done to the Japanese for five months in 1942. It was necessary to block the entrance to Manila Bay by defending Bataan and Corregidor, as MacArthur had done in 1942.

But the Japanese barely defended Bataan, and Corregidor could not stand alone for long. The Manila garrison of 16,000 plus the Kembu force of 30,000 in the Zambales mountains, which were frittered away ineffectually, could have mounted a credible defense of Bataan.

The other mystery is: Who gave the order for the civilian massacres, and why? One tentative supposition is that it was done to punish the Filipinos for their fierce anti-Japanese resistance. They were the only ones in Southeast Asia to do so, according to General Muto, Yamashita’s chief of staff.

But then, why were neutrals (Swiss, Spanish) and Axis allies (Germans) also slaughtered?

Such orders would have come from Tokyo through Iwabuchi’s superior, Admiral Okochi, who accompanied Yamashita from Manila to Baguio in December 1944. So the latter knew and must have approved them.

Since two weeks elapsed between Japan’s surrender and the American occupation, copies of any such order may have been destroyed in that period.

Earlier General Muto had ordered his fellow captives never to admit that any Japanese officer had ordered the killing of civilians, although copies of field orders to that effect were found on the battlefield. Afterward, Japan had to pay indemnity to neutral civilians affected.


A major landmark in our history, the Battle for Manila should be present in the minds of modern Filipinos.

In California, the Bataan Legacy Historical Society has succeeded in specifically including in the 11th grade curriculum World War II in the Philippines, something that should also be done here. But we must make sure textbooks are written by reputable scholars and not by textbook hacks.

Equally important, Japan’s actions in Wold War II Philippines should be in the minds of modern Japanese, who have not been told about these atrocities and are shocked to tears when they learn about them.

It is they who are promoting the converging friendship between our two peoples, and we warmly welcome the representatives of Bridge of Peace. We are trade partners, recipients of substantial official development assistance and private investment, and growing allies in the face of new threats. —



February 28, 2017

PDUT POPULISM AND POPULIST LEADERS IN HISTORY13620168_1267189539973023_1546217399480246871_n

By Arturo P. Garcia

From now on i will refer to President Duterte as PDUT, not anymore PDU30 or Digong Duterte for clarity’s sake. PIDOT in Ilokano is to “pick up” It’s up to you to interpret what i mean.

Some people are wary of PDUT’s popularity. But they did not remember that dictator Ferdinand Marcos was popular until 1983 .

This turned when he made a mistake of ordering the assassination of former Senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr when he came back to the Philippines on August 21, 1983.

When you are a dictator and you control the mass media and have all government facilities at your control, it’s impossible if you will not be popular by ” image building” and media manipulations.

All dictators ruled by this style and way.


Hitler enjoys popularity from 1933 until 1944, a long period of 12 years even if he failed in Russia, Africa and in Italy when he lost his loyal ally, Benito Mussolini who even rescued and brought to Germany while in exile.13770342_10153859917897734_7440132913465371467_n

Hitler came to power as the Chancellor or Prime Minster of Germany in 1933 in an elections. He succeed President Hindenburg who died in office. He assumed the the tile Chancellor and President and summed a new title-HERR FURHER ( Our Leader) and asked the army to pledge loyalty to him and Germany.

Until the end, the German Army and some of of the German fought for his ” thousand years reich” that ended in the ruins of Berlin in May 1945.


Even Emperor Napoleon Bonapate of France was extremely popular until he was defeated at Waterllo, Belgium in 1815. Napoleon, another populist leader was well loved in France and in allied nations like Poland and many were ready to die for him.

Benito Mussollini was also popular in Italy. He called himself “IL DUCE” and made the trains run on time. Thus, the Italian people loved him and was extremely popular during his time. He was also elected like Hitler.

Actually Hitler’s idol was Mussolini. But later despised him because he failed to deliver his promises to Hitler and failed in his own war of conquest in Africa, Albania and Greece.Later he became a burden to Hitler.

Another popular leader was President Achmed Sukarno of Indonesia. He was a liberation leader and was extremely popular until he was ousted from office by a coup of his military in 1965. He was a philandering President and even had a FIlipina actress as a paramour.


Thus, I am not surprised that PDUT enjoys a level of popularity. He was elected because of his style that some people loved.

But like what happened to Marcos, Cory Aquino, Joseph Estrada and Noynoy Aquino III, his popularity will wear off and is not permanent.

He is in his eight month of his 6-year presidency. But look how many people demonstrated and reacted at social media and in the press on how he ruled.

His words are matched by iron-fist reminisce of Dictator Marcos he adored, loved and has been using as playbook on how to rule or declare martial law.

As time goes by, people will understand that they have elected a fake and a populist leader. Let us give PDUT enough rope to hang himself in the end.


At the 31st EDSA Anniversary on February 25, 2017, his “boys” or the DDS led a rally at Rizal Park to diminish the spirit of EDSA in a classic Marcos style. It was really a counter-EDSA Rally in essence.

IT is good that they are exposing themselves that they are anti-people although they are invoking the spirit of EDSA in 1986. Ilocs Norte Governor Imee Marcos took it one step too far. He called “EDSA i as Fake”

In Los Angeles, PDUT forces held a rally in LA on the 31st Anniversary of EDSA, We are expecting it and it came as no surprise to us. ITs a result of Andanrs visit to LA on January 2017.


All populist leader are swept to power by a promise of change. Marcos in 1966 said’ I will make this nation great again.” Estrada promised, “walang kamag-anak, walang kaibigan,…” yet he was ousted in EDSA 2 for graft and corruption in January 2001.

Hitler promised ” a thousand year reich” and greater Germany or “Leibenstrum”. Mussolini promised ” to bring back the glory of the Roman empire” but what hanged upside down by Italian partisan who caught him with his mistress at the Plaza of Milan, Italy.

I do not predict anything forPDUT. The Filipino people have their way of punishing dictators or wannabe dictators like EDSA 1 in February 1986 and EDSA 2 in January 2001.



For Immediate Release
March 01, 2017


Los Angeles– “Cowards die a thousands deaths”–Julius Ceasar

FAHRA-Los Angeles and the Coalition Against Death Penalty in the Philippines (CADPP)-USA called the House of Representatives (HOR) as a bunch of cowards and PDUT puppets!

FAHRA-LA and CADPP-USA condemned the the House of Representatives (JOR) of the PH Congress that passed on an Ash Wednesday, ( March 1 in the Philippines) the Death Penalty bill.

FAHRA also said, ” We can see how these Congress people were truly cowards when they did not do a nominal voting but by Viva Voce or Voice Vote

They did a voice vote or by acclamation so they can hide their names and cover themselves from the wrath of the people and the Catholic Church that opposed the re-imposition of death penalty.”

The Good News

But the good news is that it has to be passed by the Senate that is now divided among the pro-PDUT Senators and the new opposition bloc that was galvanized into action .

FAHRA-LA also hailed the action of detained Senator Leila De Lima who joined the new opposition block in the Senate after the reorganization and the consolidation of PDUT forces after they were called to Malacanang by PDUT himself.

FAHRA and CADPP said, ” PDUT deliberately imposed the death penalty and have used different kinds of threats and acts like a strongman


He uses variety of threats like “the drug list”, “list of corrupt officials”, declaration of martial law and the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus,

He even bragged about the declaration of a revolutionary government and even ” committing suicide” to dramatize his intention of doing a :new Marcos” type rule in the Philippines.

PDUT has no qualms of killing thousands of his countrymen to
rule as another strong man, a BAGONG MAKOY, mimicking his idol-dictator Ferdinand Marcos.