DAGUPAN CITY — Former Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Alipio Fernandez Jr. died Thursday morning after more than a year of battle against cancer.
“He returned to our Lord at 3 a.m. while in a hospital in Manila,” his son Alvin Fernandez said in a radio interview.
Alvin said his father was diagnosed with stage-four cancer on June 2017.
“He had been in and out of the hospital few months before his death. He had not been eating well and he had an oxygen tank with him 24 hours a day because he had difficulty in breathing,” he said.
Fernandez served as mayor of Dagupan City between 1992 and 2010; Undersecretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government from 2009 to 2011; and Commissioner of Immigration from 2004 to 2007.
“He asked us (his family) to continue to love one another and for us to write on his obituary how much he loved Dagupan City,” Alvin said.
Many netizens also expressed their grief with the passing of Fernandez, who was known as the “father of Dagupan City”.
“We will surely miss you Mayor Al. Salamat sa lahat ng tulong. Salamat sa pagmamahal. Naglulukha ang buong lungsod ng Dagupan. (Thank you for all your help. Thank you for your love. The entire Dagupan City mourns for your death),” posted Rhoderick Dawis of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) San Fernando City, La Union. Dawis was formerly from DILG Dagupan City.
Glenn Munoz Lopez of the Junior Chamber International also posted: “A very sad day for the City of Dagupan. We lost a good father, a good mentor and a great leader.”
A public viewing of Fernandez’s wake will be held at Casa Fernandez here, within the compound of the Ciudad Elmina restaurant, which is owned by the family, on Thursday at 6 p.m. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com