(This account of the wholesale destruction of Manila and its people is based on affidavits of victims and eyewitnesses of Japanese atrocities. Their testimony was collected by U. S. forces which liberated Manila. The affidavits were contained in a report made to the War Department by the Commander-in-Chief of the Southwest Pacific Area. For the sake of brevity, the actual wording of the original affidavits has been in most cases condensed, but the stark facts are exactly as related under oath. For security reasons, many of the persons making affidavits must remain unidentified.)
Manila has been destroyed. The once proud city of the Far East is dead. Its churches, convents, and universities are piles of rubble, bombed and burned beyond recognition. Its civilian population have been raped and burned, starved and murdered, its women mutilated, its babies bayoneted.
The order that brought this about came directly from Tokyo. Reliable evidence based on interrogation of prisoners of war, military personnel, Philippine officials and civilians, and Japanese documents reveals the staggering fact that the Sack of Manila and its attendant horrors were not the act of a crazed garrison in a last-ditch, berserk defense, but the coldly planned purpose of the Japanese high command.
Early in December, 1944, the puppet President Laurel, made a futile attempt to have Manila declared an open city. General Yamashita made a vague promise and even drafted plans for that possibility, then flew to Tokyo. But on his return, he moved his headquarters and the puppet government to Baguio. From that date, accelerated defense preparations in Manila forecasted its doom.