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April 20, 1942


Capas, Tarlac

Found a good friend, Toots Rivera. He is in charge of one of the kitchens. He gave me two “camotes.” It was a feast.

We talked about the long walk from Bataan to this place. He estimates that about 18,000 perished in that bloody march. Someday I intend to write about it, if I don’t die here myself.

Heard from him about the cruel death of Martin de Veyra. A squad of Japs stopped de Veyra and asked him to give them his pocketbook. watch. and ring, according to Rivera. “Then one of the Japs,” explained Rivera, “started to shout at de Veyra.” Apparently, de Veyra did not want to give his ring, for sentimental reasons, said Rivera. The Jap got angry, he fixed his bayonet and thust it on top of de Veyra’s right eye. De Veyra dropped on the Japs feet, and he was left on the ground. No one was allowed to lift him.

I told Rivera that one of the sights I never forget was a dreadful hole about the size of a small well, near Lubao, Pampanga. There, the bodies of American prisoners, who dropped on the ground because they were too weak to walk, were piled high. Others were bayoneted when they refused to stand because their legs could no longer lift their haggard bodies. Inside the “hole” were many snakes crawling over the bleeding bodies of the Americans. I noticed three or four were still alive…

I also saw one American Major shout in desperation: “Hell, you damn Japs, go ahead and kill me, KILL ME! KILL ME! I CAN’T WALK ANYMORE– KILL ME!” The Jap killed him with a cruel blow that smashed the American’s cranium.