Universal crime, particular punishment : trying the atrocities of the Japanese occupation as treason in the Philippines, 1947-1953
Title: Universal crime, particular punishment : trying the atrocities of the Japanese occupation as treason in the Philippines, 1947-1953
Author: LAWSON, Konrad M.
Series/Number: EUI MWP; 2013/06
Trials against both war crimes and treason were held in the Philippines after the end of the Japanese occupation in 1945. In the former, a universalistic category of crimes were punished, while in the latter, the crime was primarily one of betrayal, and its victim was the nation. In January, 1948 a presidential amnesty was proclaimed by Manuel Roxas for all those accused of wartime treason except for military and police collaborators, spies, informers, or those accused of violent crimes. Most of the treason cases not covered by this amnesty were against those guilty of some of the same atrocities being treated as war crimes in trials against the Japanese. This article explores the process of trying atrocities and sexual violence of mostly military and constabulary collaborators in the postwar Philippines under its law of treason and argues that, if war crimes trials of the early postwar fell short in many ways, punishing the brutality of war as betrayal was a deeply troubled alternative.
Subject: Treason; War crimes; Retribution; Philippines; Japanese occupation
Type of Access: openAccess; openAccess