Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans Fight 4 Equity

S. 1315 & S.A. 4572
Filing of FVEC Claims thru the VA
Advocacy for FVEC
FVEC, Equity or Not Equity?
Ongoing Lobby post FVEC
Filvets Excluded from "Missouri List"
Sgt Realuyo: Bury Me @ Arlington
FVEC in the Media
H.R. 1 & S. 366
Lobby for S.366
H.R. 2638
Other Bills Enacted to Law
Pending Bills
Legislation GRAVEYARD
H.R. 6897
S. 1315 & S.A. 4572
S. 1315: the Democrats & the Republicans
The American Legion & Other Oppositionists
Senate & House Honoring Filvets
Legislative Reports
Legislative Testimonies
Supporters 4 Filvets
In Their Own Words
PhilAm Organizations & Activists
Immigration & Nationality Act
Hibi & Other Court Cases
Gregorio Rivera's Citizenship
Rescission Acts of 1946
U.S. Presidents & the Filvets
A Plea for U.S. Apology
Philippine Presidents & the Filvets
Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans Name List A-Z
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2002
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2003
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2004
Balitang Beterano by Col Quesada 2005-2007
Ordeal in War's Hell by Col Quesada
Freedom @ Dawn by Col Quesada
Col Frank Quesada, RIP

S.1315  Passed 96-1
Sponsor Sen Daniel Akaka (D)
Co-Sponsor Sen Kenneth "Ken" Salazar (D)
Voted Yes (96):  Democratic (48)  Republican (46) Independent (2)
Voted No (1) Sen David Vitter (R) Louisiana
Did not Vote (3)- Sen. Barack Obama (D) Sen. John Mccain (R), Sen Jim DeMitt (R)
Voting YES in S.1315 is FAVORABLE to Filipino WW11 U.S. Veterans (Notes by M.E. Embry)

In Their Own Words:

   (excerpt) 4/28/2008 S.1315 Hon Akaka: pleased…S. 1315…finally passed in the Senate… the provisions in S. 1315 would be paid for by an offset that restores the original intent of Congress, which was wrongly interpreted in a recent court decision, to provide certain VA benefits on the basis of disability and not age. Some of the opposition to S. 1315 has centered on a misunderstanding of this provision. Aged veterans who are seriously disabled would not be deprived of special benefits, but would continue to be eligible for them under the same conditions as applied to younger veterans…The sole point of controversy in S. 1315 is a pension benefit for Filipino veterans who served under U.S. command during World War II and who live in the Philippines… The unique relationship between the Philippines and the United States made the Philippine islands particularly susceptible to Japanese aggression during the war. Historians agree that the Japanese strategy was based upon a plan to destroy or neutralize the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, and to deprive the United States of its base in the Philippines. Were it not for the U.S. presence, the Philippines would not have presented the Japanese with a strategic threat and turned into a battlefield…Unlike other World War II veterans, these veterans have been denied pension benefits for over 60 years. It is also important to note that these benefits are not retroactive. The pension proposed for Filipino veterans is less than one-third of the basic amount provided to veterans living in the United States, in recognition of the lower cost of living in the Philippines …  In 1946, President Truman made a statement concerning provisions in a bill affecting Philippine Army veterans--At issue was a legislative rider attached to the transfer of $200 million for the pay of the Army of the Philippines. President Truman said, “The effect of this rider is to bar Philippine Army veterans from all the benefits under the G.I. Bill of Rights with the exception of disability and death benefits which are made payable on the basis of one peso for every dollar of eligible benefits. I realize, however, that certain practical difficulties exist in applying the G.I. Bill of Rights to the Philippines.''President Truman went on to state, “the passage and approval of this legislation does not release the United States from its moral obligation to provide for the heroic Philippine veterans who sacrificed so much for the common cause during the war ..... I consider it a moral obligation of the United States to look after the welfare of the Philippine Army veterans.'' (end of quote)…I thank my colleagues for standing with me, my World War II colleagues Senators INOUYE and STEVENS, and a majority of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, and not accepting the amendment of the Senator from North Carolina



(excerpt) Sen Durbin “In a letter sent to me earlier this year, Mr. Teleforo Yague, former Commander of American Legion Post 509 in Chicago, expressed to me the importance of this issue to the World War II Filipino-American veterans,” Durbin said in a statement to his colleagues on the Senate floor.  “This provision honors the remaining men and women who served America with loyalty during World War II.”…(Sen. Durbin) also discussed his frustration with the delays that previously postponed consideration of the bill.  More than five months ago, Durbin asked the Senate for unanimous consent with respect to the legislation.  There was an objection, and the bill was tabled until today (4/22/2008)

(excerpt) 4/13/2008 Sen. Ken Salazar [D-CO]: Re: Pres. Roosevelt 7/26/1941

There being no objection, the material was ordered to be printed in the RECORD, as follows:

Military Order Placing Land and Sea Forces of Philippines Under United States Commands, July 26, 1941

Under and by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution of the United States, by section 2(a)(12) of the Philippine Independence Act of March 24, 1934 (48 Stat. 457), and by the corresponding provision of the Ordinance appended to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, and as Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, I hereby call and order into the service of the armed forces of the United States for the period of the existing emergency, and place under the command of a General Officer, United States Army, to be designated by the Secretary of War from time to time, all of the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines: Provided, that all naval components thereof shall be placed under the command of the Commandant of the Sixteenth Naval District, United States Navy.

This order shall take effect with relation to all units and personnel of the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, from and after the dates and hours, respectively, indicated in orders to be issued from time to time by the General Officer, United States Army, designated by the Secretary of War.

(excerpt; support) Sen Daniel K. Akaka 11/13/2007… address a 60-year wrong... since the end of (WWII)…Filipino veterans and their advocates, esp. Sen. Inouye, have worked tirelessly to secure these veterans the status they were promised when they agreed to fight under U.S. command in defense of their homeland and to protect U.S. interests in the region.

(excerpt) Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]:…support  S. 1315…But, for 8 months now, members of the minority party have kept the Senate from even debating S. 1315 because they oppose a provision in the bill that would extend certain VA benefits to elderly Filipino veterans, residing in the Philippines…Restoration of that status rights a wrong committed decades ago. And it is a correction we don't have many more years to make. We should grant these former soldiers full status and the limited pension rights contained in this bill so that they can live out their remaining years in dignity and peace

(excerpt) support by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)..." Republican filibustering has led to the inactivity ...66 times Republicans have filibustered...I think it’s long overdue that the United States Senate recognizes the contributions made by so many Filipinos in WWII that led to the success of our war efforts...They fought so gallantly and courageously by our troops when we needed desperately their help...This bill had a positive vote out of committee... The Republican minority rejected bringing it up… initiated a filibuster trying to stop us from bringing this bill forward … There was no need for a filibuster except the fact that this is the strategy of the Republicans… They object to the idea of giving them $300 a month but won’t come to the floor for a motion to strike [the bill down] but [rather] drag these out months at a time. It’s not fair to our veterans and especially Filipino veterans.”

 Historic Debate on Filvets Bill Up Before Full Senate by Joseph Lariosa (Special to the Asian Journal)

(excerpt) Last Nov. 8, Sen. Dick Durbin (Dem.-IL), Assistant Majority Leader, “propounded unanimous consent agreements” on two bills reported by the Veterans Affairs Committee -- S. 1233, the proposed “Veterans Traumatic Brain Injury and other Health Programs Improvement Act of 2007” and S. 1315, the proposed “Veterans Benefits Enhancement Act of 2007,” the Senate version of the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill. The only senator opposed to the passage of “both unanimous consent agreements,” according to Sen. Akaka, is Idaho Sen. Larry E. Craig (R-Idaho.). He expressed the view that some provisions in the two bills are “controversial enough to merit considerable debate.” Although, he considers Senator’s Craig’s amendments “relevant,” Sen. Akaka is hopeful the debate on the bills on the floor will “go forward.” If the Senate passes the bill, it will be sent to a conference committee, where it awaits the House of Representatives version that will be crafted by Rep. Bob Filner (Dem.-CA), House Veterans Committee Chair. Rep. Filner should also make sure to calendar the bill and have it passed by the House of Representatives. If Akaka’s and Filner’s bills do not pass both chambers before this year’s end, the Filipino Veterans Bill will be considered dead in this 110th Congress.

(excerpt) 11/8/2007 Sen Larry Craig 
I vigorously oppose…is the sole reason for my unwillingness to support the bill…special pension benefits for non-U.S. citizens and non-U.S. resident Filipino veterans and surviving spouses goes beyond the intent of veterans benefits…I do not believe such a provision would have the support of the American people…Pension benefits for veterans in the United States are paid at a maximum annual rate of $10,929 for those with no dependents, $14,313 for those with dependents, and $7,329 for a surviving spouse. The maximum VA pension represents somewhere between 16 percent and 31 percent of the annual U.S. household income of $46,000. Contrast that with the average Philippines household income of $2,800. The special pension for Filipino veterans in S. 1315 would amount to an astounding 86 %- 161% of the Philippines household income… vast discrepancy between the standard of living (U.S. & Phil).. By refusing to look at the purchasing power of the benefits being provided here, this legislation would pay veterans in the Philippines far more in benefits and pension than we pay our own veterans. It is especially ironic that a bill intending to treat Filipino veterans equitably would create such a dramatic inequity for our U.S. veterans…offset that S. 1315 …reducing pension amounts to elderly, poor, and disabled veterans predominantly residing (U.S.)


S.A. 4572 proposed amendment to S. 1315

(voting NO in S.A. 4572 is FAVORABLE to the Filipino WW11 Veterans-notes by M.E. Embry)

S.A.  4572- (Sponsors- Republican Senators Burr, Craig, Vitter,Isakson)

Result: Rejected

In their own words:  about Sen Burr S.A. 4572, had it passed would had been disadvantageous to the Filipino WW11 veterans. The 56 (50 Democrats; 6 Republicans) Senators who voted against it saved the day for us. Read the glowing tributes of Senators Akaka, Inouye, Stevens, Murray, Menendez & Nelson supporting the Filipino WW11 veterans



Voted NO Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska: “I do not get excited too many times on this floor,” said Stevens, who served in the Army Air Corps in World War II flying transport aircraft in China. “This bill excites me.” (one of the strongest advocates and one of five World War II veterans Senators-Sen Akaka, Inouye, Lautenberg & Warner).


Voted Yes Sen. Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said he has “profound respect for the World War II service by Filipino veterans” but does not think such payments are “the right priority in time of war when the needs of our men and women serving in Iraq and Afghanistan are so great.”


Evan Bayh (D-Ind) Voted YES on cutting $221M in benefits to Filipinos who served in WWII US Army.

Opponents argument for voting NO:Sen. INOUYE. From the Spanish-American War in 1898, until the end of World War II, we exercised jurisdiction over the Philippines like a colonial power. In July 1941, we called upon the Filipinos to volunteer to serve the US under American command, and 470,000 Filipinos volunteered. An Executive Order in 1941 promised Filipinos if they fought for us, they could become citizens of the US and get all of the veterans' benefits. But in 1946, the Congress rescinded the 1941 act. Well, this veterans bill has a provision in it--a provision of honor--in which, finally, after six decades, we will restore our honor and tell the Filipinos: It is late, but please forgive us. Proponents argument for voting (YES):Sen. BURR. This bill is so much more than just a pension for Philippine veterans. It is $332 million in Philippine benefits, of which $221 million is devoted to a new special pension that does not exist [previously. Only that $221M would be cut]. Regardless of the outcome of my amendment, I support final passage of this bill. But we do have a difference as it relates to the pensions. I believe that there was not a promise made. We did not imply it.*Those who made the decision on the 1946 Rescissions Act, they looked at the history very well.

(YES) Sen. CORNYN. The problem I have with this bill is that the US Treasury is not bottomless, and the funding that is being provided to create this new pension would literally be at the expense of US veterans. The $221 million that is addressed by Sen. Burr's amendment would actually go back in to supplement benefits for US veterans. And while we appreciate and honor all of our allies who fought alongside of us in WWII, certainly that doesn't mean we are going to grant pension benefits to all of our allies, [like] the British or the Australians. Vote for the Burr Amendment because certainly our American veterans should be our priority.**

* It is more than a promise. It is the RESPONSIBILITY of the United States to defend Philippines, her colonial possession.

**Unlike Filipinos, the British & Australians were not drafted  by President Roosevelt.

With all due respect to Senators Burr & Cornyn, they really need to go back & study U.S. History (101), then perhaps they will understand the difference between responsibility, promise, allies & subjects, etc.-Notes by Maria Elizabeth Embry



Voted No 56= Democratic 47   Republican 7  Independent 2

Voted Yes 41= Democratic 1   Republican 40

Did not Vote 3 = Democratic 1 Republican 2

Date/time: April 24, 2008, 12:16 p.m.

Democratic Party

Barack Obama-DID NOT VOTE


Evan Bayh-Voted Yes

The ff. Senators Voted No:

Daniel Akaka, Max Baucus, Joseph Biden, Jeff Bingaman, Barbara Boxer, Sherrod Brown, Robert Byrd, Maria Cantwell, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Bob Casey, Hillary Clinton, Kent Conrad, Christopher Dodd, Byron Dorgan, Dick Durbin, Russell Feingold, Dianne Feinstein, Tom Harkin, Daniel Inouye, Tim Johnson, Edward Kennedy, John Kerry, Amy Klobuchar, Herb Kohl, Mary Landrieu, Frank Lautenberg, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, Blanche Lincoln, Claire McCaskill, Robert Menendez, Barbara Mikulski, Patty Murray, Ben Nelson, Bill Nelson, Mark Pryor, Jack Reed, Harry Reid, Jay Rockefeller, Kenneth Salazar, Chuck Schumer, Debbie Stabenow, Jon Tester, Jim Webb, Sheldon Whitehouse, Ron Wyden



Republican Party


Voted No- Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar, Lisa Murkowski, Arlen Specter, Ted Stevens, George Voinovich, John Warner


 John McCain-DID NOT VOTE-Jim DeMint  


Voted Yes

Lamar Alexander, Wayne Allard, John Barrasso, Robert Bennett, Kit Bond, Sam Brownback, Jim Bunning, Richard Burr, Saxby Chambliss, Tom Coburn, Thad Cochran, Norm Coleman, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, John Cornyn, Larry Craig, Michael Crapo, Elizabeth Dole, Pete Domenici, John Ensign, Michael Enzi, Lindsey Graham, Charles Grassley, Judd Gregg, Orrin Hatch, Kay Bailey Hutchison, James Inhofe, Johnny Isakson, Jon Kyl, Mel Martinez, Mitch McConnell, Pat Roberts, Jeff Sessions, Richard Shelby, Gordon Smith, Olympia Snowe, John Sununu, John Thune, David Vitter, Roger Wicker

Independent    Joseph Lieberman   Bernard Sanders Voted No

S.1315 (sponsored by Senator Akaka); passed 96-1 in the Senate


S. 1315 was passed by the House of Representatives on 9/22/2008 after removal of the Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans provision.


Pls. click @ 


H.R. 6897  sponsored by Rep. Bob Filner on 9/15/2008 & PASSED 9/23/2008 by the U.S. House of Representatives  

More on S-1315 in the House of Representatives:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not include the Filvets provision in the
 S.1315 since it met resistance from The American Legion & the following  representatives
* 162 Republicans
      (like Rep. Steve  Buyer R-Indiana allied w/ the 
       American  Legion, Wash D.C.)
* 93 Democrats
     (like members facing re-elections & some "Blue Dogs" )

Useful websites for additional info:

“Where’s Pelosi” by Johnny M. Pecayo, Manila-U.S. Times 8/4-8/10/2008 issue, an insightful article about S-1315.

 Mr Pelayo, the publisher described the meeting that took place in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Wash D.C. office that Mr. Pelayo had attended in his capacity as the Co-Chair for Public Relation of the Filipino American Leadership Council (FALCON) with other Filipino political leaders & activists, as well as four of our WW11 Filipino U.S. veterans on 7/17/2008. Source:

other website:  by Atty. Rodel Rodis
 by Joseph Lariosa Website for the Veterans Equity Center of SF Ca website listing Democrats running for ( re)election; many are incumbents.(I could not locate a similar list for the Republicans; I sent an e-mail to the GOP requesting for the list).

Website Under Construction