Oldest living Filipino war vet dies at 107 Jun 30, 2015 14:54:00 GMT -5
Post by VeeVee on Jun 30, 2015 14:54:00 GMT -5
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Engineer Fernando Perez Javier, who held the distinction as the country's oldest living Filipino World War II veteran and the University of the Philippines' oldest living alumnus, died on Monday (June 29). He was 107 years old.
According to the Philippine Veteran Affairs Office (PVAO), Javier died in Baguio City due to illness Monday morning. His remains were cremated in the afternoon.
Born on December 22, 1907 in Ilocos Norte, Javier was among the survivors of the infamous Bataan Death March who trekked about 100 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga in 1942.
Aside from his war honors, Javier also earned the distinction of being one of UP's first graduates of civil engineering and was the university's "Century Man," who lit the first of 100 torches during UP's centennial celebration.
Meanwhile, a statement released by Malacañan on Monday also mourned Javier's death.
In a two-page statement, Secretary Edwin Lacierda, presidential spokesperson, said: "The nation joins the Armed Forces and the University of the Philippines (UP) community in mourning the passing of Engr. Fernando Perez Javier. At 107 years old, Engr. Javier was the Philippines’ oldest World War II veteran and UP’s oldest alumnus, the Centennial Man during the university’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2008.
"We remember Engr. Perez’s service during the war, and the valor and dedication with which he carried out his duty. The nation owes much to the service of patriots like him. May his life of service inspire today’s generation to serve their country with his loyalty, dignity, and steadfastness. In this time of grief, we extend our deepest condolences to his family."
The PVAO offered an interment with full military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani for Javier, fitting his stature as a hero, but his bereaved family has yet to decide on the matter.