We are the members of Malaya Lolas, the organization of surviving victims of mass rape by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army in Mapanique, Candaba, Pampanga in the Philippines. Our harrowing experience happened as part of a completely planned attack at our barrio (village) on November 23, 1944.
Presently, we are 61 old and sickly women as the rest of about a hundred of us have already died. We are in the twilight of our years and it pains to die without seeing justice.
We are aware that for several times, some councilors had sponsored a bill asking the Japanese government to take historical responsibility, to apologize publicly for the comfort women system as a war crime; to mention this in Japan’s history books; and to compensate the victims.
Although that bill did not cover our case, we are dismayed nonetheless that the House of Councilors never passed that bill into law.
We understand that Japan’s definition of comfort women exclude us from being considered as such. We cannot argue with Japan’s historical and social circumstances that defined what a comfort woman is. But we would like to tell the Honorable members of the House that our sufferings were not any degree lighter simply because the Japanese soldiers did not bring us to brothels.
read full text