The next morning the Japanese continued separating the men into groups of 300. Finally the decision to move the prisoners was made. They were to be moved north to Balanga. No provisions for transportation had been made. The prisoners were to walk. Neither were there plans made to feed the prisoners until they reached their destination. Then two columns were formed. POWs on the left and civilians on the right, with Jap guards strutting up and down the middle.
Throughout the morning, dozens of Japanese tank commanders and hundreds of cavalrymen attempted to organize the march. By noon, it had been twenty-four hours since the men had received food or water. Suffering from heat exhaustion, they began to fall like flies. Any man who could not stand on his feet was promptly bayoneted.
It was apparent that the Japanese had no intention of following either the Hague or the Geneva conventions governing the POW’s.
The columns moved north out of Mariveles toward little Baguio. Unsure of their destination and knowing many would not survive, the prisoners marched. Japanese planes, keeping constant surveillance on the march, flew back and forth over the lines.
All along the road were abandoned packs, helmets, blankets
and canteens littering the ditches. The further they marched the
more the castoffs increased.
To amuse themselves, the Japanese guards would push prisoners over cliffs. Their screams ended only when they hit jagged rocks below. The Filipinos fared even worse. Young girls were pulled out of ranks and raped repeatedly. Anyone who resisted was shot. Frightened mothers would rub human dung on their daughters' faces to make them unattractive to the guards.
Conditions continued to deteriorate. "Speedo! Speedo!" yelled the guards and trotting began at double time up the steep slope. Men dropped everywhere and were quickly bayoneted. Anyone who tried to help them was shot. All semblance of order ceased. The prisoners stumbled over their own comrades. Filipino women and children suffering from starvation, dysentery and exhaustion, fell to the ground.
Night settled slowly but still they marched. The blistering sun had disappeared but the gnawing hunger and searing thirst remained. Then another tormentor, the malaria-carrying mosquito began to bite on their exposed bodies.
As morning came, along side the road they could hear cooling springs but if they tried to reach one they were killed. Some of the prisoners, suffering from cerebral malaria, went insane. Waves of heat rose from the road. Big tractors pulling 250 millimeter guns toward the bay for the continuing attack on Corregidor, rolled over the bodies of the dead and dying along the road.