Filipino war veterans would describe it life under the Japanese was anything but peaceful. Thousands of them stood witness to oppression and suffering through the years of colonial occupation under Japan. All their stories were spoken against a backdrop of violent subjugations, each one bringing back old wounds and reliving some of their worst nightmares. For most Filipinos, it was a harsh and fearsome reality filled with terror and abuse. Never in the history of the Philippines had such brutality been committed against the dignity of the human person. For this very reason, the Japanese Occupation is another essential facet that must be examined through the lens of Human Rights.
The bombing of Manila on December
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In all these instances, old men, women, children and infants alike were not spared of brutality. The Japanese soldiers’ only justification was that these Filipinos were guerillas. It was alarming and at the same time upsetting as they labeled practically everyone as Huks and Guerillas. This, they believe, gave them the right to suppress and kill just about anyone, even innocent people. There were those extreme cases of atrocities where suspected guerillas were blindfolded and made to kneel before their graves. An even more sadistic case was when a condemned man would often be made to dig his own grave. No wonder, even decades after, Japanese soldiers are plagued with nightmares of the crimes they committed. However, this wasn’t the case for all of them. Some claimed that they were not responsible for the victims of the war in the Philippines. These soldiers refuse to apologize because, for them, the guerillas were the enemy of the Japanese army who fought on equal terms. What is most saddening about this issue was that these soldiers, like any human being, at first found it hard to kill. But as their “duty” called for it, eventually they got used to killing and felt no guilt, at all.
The guerilla subjugation was another significant aspect of the Japanese Occupation for it brings to mind how life gradually became worthless. People were no longer entitled to