Last week, a series of articles describing the barbarity of the Japanese in their vain attempt to keep Manila left me with a sense of hatred for those slit-eyed buck-toothed race. Not that I hate them or their culture, I hate what they did during the war. It was no excuse. Just like the Nazis, the Japanese marines became bestial monsters killing all those refugees and civilians.
To set an example, PDI columnist Ramon Farolan wrote,
In the afternoon of Feb. 10, my father was at his desk at the PNRC offices on Isaac Peral (now UN Avenue) when Japanese marines with fixed bayonets burst into the building. A volunteer surgeon, Dr. German de Venecia, who was preparing two patients for surgery, was shot twice and died instantly. The two patients were bayoneted to death. The attending nurses were also attacked, but they survived the bayonet thrusts. On hearing the first shots, my father dove under his desk. A marine fired two shots at him; fortunately both missed their target. The attacker then turned on Mrs. Juan P. Juan, her daughter and a 10-day-old granddaughter. All three died. Believing he had accounted for everyone in the room, the marine left. This procedure was repeated throughout the building, room by room. My father would later testify, "From where we were, we could hear the victims in their death agony, the shrill cries of children and the sobs of dying mothers and girls."I can just imagine myself in that room helpless and scared shitless hearing the cries and moans of people being killed from room to room. (When I read the article, my chest became heavy and my heart began to beat so fast as if I was reliving that horrible scene.) I can't imagine what has happened inside the convents where nuns were decapitated or in hospitals wherein patients were bayonetted in their beds. It's a scary thought, but like the Holocaust, these things must never be forgotten. These should be our reminders that these barbaric acts should never be repeated again.
On another light, one must read Iris Chang's book "The Rape of Nanking" where every inconceivable act of inhumanity was inflicted by the Japanese soldiers on the civilian population of Nanking during a 6-week period in 1937. An estimated 300,000 civilians were brutally butchered compared to our 100,000 dead. This is to show that Japanese agression was not limited to the Battle of Manila, but is also common throughout their occupation in east Asia. Can I say that their acts are not a fluke but rather an inherent trait for slaughter, gore and bestial monstrosity? I don't think so. Perhaps it's a trait shared by all human beings. Take for example our army's treatment for suspected NPA guerilla, or the fate of desaparecidos. Even during the Vietnam War, Cambodian genocide and Bosnia genocide, such acts keep repeating themselves over and over. I still remember a segment in National Geographic wherein they retold the story of the massacres in Bosnia wherein Muslim girls and mothers were herded into an abandoned warehouse and were killed when Serbian soldiers threw grenades in their direction. These equally brutal and heartless executions were not made by yellow-skinned slit-eyed pygmys but Filipinos, Serbs, Cambodians, etc. So, the only difference with us and the Japanese is the level of creativity and barbarity that these acts of murder were done.
Let these events be our reminders that history must not repeat itself.