Diary of Juan Labrador, O.P.

June 24, 1942

Major H. visited us. He related that within a few days after the Japanese entry, he was arrested and imprisoned in Fort Santiago. One day, a Japanese officer asked him, “What is the last favor you would like to ask before dying?”

“That a Catholic priest be called,” he said.

“Which priest would you like?”

“Whichever priest,” he answered. “Even a Japanese. Among us Catholics, nationality does not matter.”

The officer took out a crucifix from his uniform and said, “I, too, am a Catholic. You have been frank and brave, and from now on I shall work for your freedom.”

The case was elevated to Vargas and Aquino for review and reconsideration, showing that, contrary to the accusation against him, he had never been in Bataan.

Within a few days, the same Japanese officer fetched him in his car and turned him over to his wife and children.