Colonel Segura, Cebuano war hero and author, dies
Col. Manuel F. Segura, a Cebuano World War II veteran who authored two books on the Japanese occupation in Cebu, died early Thursday morning at the age of 94.
Segura passed away at 3:30 a.m. in Manila where he fell ill while attending a conference. His remains will be brought back to Cebu to be buried alongside his wife’s at the Queen City Memorial Gardens.
His son, Ted, flew to Manila yesterday to meet his two sisters and arrange their father’s funeral.
“It happened so fast and right now we still don’t have the details of the arrangements. He was attending a veterans conference in Manila and he had pneumonia so he had to be admitted.”
“Complications developed and it could be because of his age that his system was not able to cope with the complications,” said the young Segura.
The war veteran is survived by his nine children, 25 grandchildren and over a dozen great-grandchildren.
Segura is known to many, especially local historians and veterans, as the author of two books on guerrilla resistance fighters in Cebu: Tabunan and The Koga Papers.
Segura and other Cebuano patriots fought against Japanese forces in World War II. They got the Koga Papers from a high-ranking Japanese officer whom they rescued from a plane crash in San Fernando. These papers were a source of information that helped the guerrillas in their clandestine fight against the Japanese colonizers.
The Koga Papers included critical information which included the identification of Leyte as the area where the Japanese had weak defenses. Col. James Cushing then relayed the information to the US forces prompting the decision to liberate the Philippines two months earlier than planned.
“Gen. Douglas MacArthur was supposed to come in December but because of the information that the guerillas got from the Koga Papers, he came in October 17, 1974 in Palo, Leyte which won us our freedom,” he said.
Segura joined the Philippine Constabulary after the war and retired in 1972.
He then started writing his first book Tabunan and published it in 1975.
The Koga Papers followed in 1992 and then his third book about his love story entitled, The Love and Lives of Manuel and Nenita.
Segura was to turn 95 on January 1.
“I guess with what happened, the family reunion will happen earlier,” said Ted.
Five of his children are based in the US. He has a son in Davao, two daughters in Manila while Ted lives in Cebu. Ted said everyone will be coming home to bid farewell to their father.
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