MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines‘ oldest World War II veteran has passed away at the age of 111, just a few months after finally receiving recognition for his wartime service, a veterans’ official said Wednesday.
Alfonso Fabros, who fought with US and Filipino forces against the Japanese in Bataan, died a little over two weeks ago, reportedly due to pneumonia, said government veterans’ affairs chief Ernesto Carolina.
“We gave him an award, a plaque of recognition, last April on veterans’ week. He was still healthy. He looked very old and he could not hear any more but he could still walk on his own,” Carolina told AFP.
“In fact, he was the one who personally collected his pension every month,” he added.
Fabros had been a private among the Philippine and American soldiers in the doomed defence of the Bataan peninsula against Japanese forces in 1942, he said.
An account in the Inquirer newspaper earlier this year, said Fabros, born in 1901, was recruited into the military at the age of 41.
“I was given a rifle and ammunition to help defend Bataan,” Fabros was quoted as saying.
He managed to escape the Japanese as they overran Bataan and fought on as a guerrilla for three years until the Japanese surrendered, the report added.
Fabros went on to live a quiet life on a farm in the northern Philippines after the war, while receiving pensions from both the US and Philippine governments, the newspaper said. – Agence-France Presse
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