My name is Adam Stone and
I work on Veterans Affairs issues for Senator Feinstein. I want to
inform you that we have forwarded the inquiry you sent the Senator on August, 19, 2009, to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). They
have assured us that this inquiry will be brought to their staff’s attention in Manila. I will forward any reply
we receive from the VA regarding this matter, directly to you.
Should you have any further
questions, please feel free to contact me.
Dear Senator Feinstein:
On August 14,
2009 I received your letter dated May 4, 2009. Please accept my heartfelt gratitude, not only for your response, but most
important for taking action on my request when your staff contacted the Senate Committee on Veteran
Affairs. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your staff on the consistent assistance rendered
to the Filipino WW11 U.S. veterans in their search for equity.
Allow me to inform
your Honor that the response your staff had received from the Senate Committee is very disconcerting because of the following
claims are initially processed in Manila , since it must be first determined
that the claimant did not work with the Japanese during World War 11”
Claimants who are called the “new Philippine
Scouts” are natives of the Philippines , nationals of the
United States who were recruited to serve in U.S. occupied territories in the Pacific beginning October 6, 1945. As we already
formally and unconditionally surrendered on September 2, 1945, thus discounting the possibility that any of these claimants
worked with the Japanese. Incidentally these soldiers continued to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces
even after they had become citizens of the Philippines when she became
independent from the United States on
July 4, 1946
who were granted citizenship by virtue of their military service when former President George H.W.
Bush signed the 1990 Immigration bill were already determined not to have worked for the Japanese under presumption
of law. This situation also applies to all claimants who were previously granted health and other benefits by the U.S. Veterans Administration (USVA) and were already found eligible based upon their status as U.S. veterans
of the Philippines soldiers were drafted by President
Roosevelt to the United States Army Forces Far East (USAFFE) on July 26, 1941 and all
were formally surrendered by the United States
to the Japanese Imperial forces in May 1942. Many became POWs of the Japanese Imperial forces
who subsequently paroled them on the condition that they will not bear arms against the Japanese occupying forces. These soldiers
although surrendered, did not surrender and although paroled did not go on parole, many becoming the guerillas who continued
fighting, so we may have the freedom we all enjoy in the free world today. Postwar, they were subjected to loyalty investigations
by the United States military.
Names of all Guerillas
listed in the Reconstructed Revised Guerilla Roster, (RRGR) 1948 list was submitted solely by the U.S.
command who had already determined that they had not worked with the Japanese, otherwise their names will not be kept by the
U.S. military all these past sixty years. Significantly excluded from the above mentioned list are the
names of those who fought against the Japanese, but differed politically from the U.S. command like the socialist Hukbalahaps.
already undergone numerous investigations. USVA do not need to reinvent the wheel every time, especially during this period
of public anxiety regarding waste of taxpayer’s resources.
Should there any
claimants left remaining to be determined if they ever worked for the Japanese after all the facts I had mentioned, may the
USVA kindly enlightened us how they are proceeding with the process? Japan
and the Philippines are the only two other
parties possessing information that USVA needed to determine who among the claimants worked for the Japanese. Since USVA would
not trust the lists coming from Japan and the Philippines and has to rely on the RRGR 1948 list on the custody of the Missouri military office which is the same RRGR 1948 available to USVA based in Manila and USVA based
in the United States, therefore there is no reasonable explanation that prevents USVA based in the United States to process
claims for those residing in the United States that will unclog the bottle neck currently experienced in claim processing
solely in USVA Manila. Additionally, since payment of the claim differs for U.S.
citizens and non-U.S. citizens would it be unreasonable to expect that the processing of claims is less problematic for those
who file in their own domicile?
the other explanation that:
step of the process requires verification of qualifying service, which is determined by the NationalPersonnelRecordsCenter . Currently,
only one person at the Center is qualified to verify these records, and the committee is encouraging the center to increase
the staffing level”
I found very discouraging
since news report consistently claimed that there is simply shortage of staff, it is ironic to find out that the problem is
more acute and there is only one brave soul performing this job.
The delay in processing
has been unreasonable and many claimants had died while their claims are pending. On March 8, 2009 I had communicated my concerns
to U.S. Ambassador Kenney. I actually had invoked the Katrina flood disaster as an example of what could happen to the processing
of the claims. I requested Ambassador Kenney to triage cases like the 100 year old Ifugao who would later die in April 21
with his claim dying with him since he was a widower and benefits are only paid to widows, notwithstanding the fact that he
filed his claim with a will leaving his estate to his children. This soldier served in the area where Gen Yamashita of the
Imperial Japanese forces surrendered to the U.S.
Last month, I
attended the funeral of one of your constituents in OrangeCounty who died before his claim could be paid
and while USVA Manila was processing his claim, proving his service. Significantly, this naval officer was awarded the Silver Star for being instrumental in avoiding the capture of Gen. MacArthur and Philippine President
Quezon by the Japanese Imperial forces.
Madam, your assistance
has never been more important to me than at the present time. The position of former Rep Tauscher
is currently vacant. Since I am actively involve in the campaign for her replacement, I am realistic that the September primary
will not cure the vacancy and that we remain without representation until the November election. Additionally, I have
never received any response from Senator Boxer to my pleadings, except for her habitual auto
Under these circumstances,
I would like to request that your Honor conduct a formal inquiry directed to the Secretary of USVA. Should there be a need
to forward my letters to any parties concerned, please feel free to do so, as I waive my rights to privacy without reservations.
Allow me also to share your letter with members of the Filipino community who are understandably concerned about this matter.
The USVA Secretary
may even appreciate that your Honor will bring this problematic situation to his attention given the fact that Public Law
115-5 specifically requires him to make report with detailed information to the Congress each fiscal year.
accept my gratitude for your attention to this matter.
Thank you for writing to share your concerns about the benefit claim process for Filipino Veterans.Your correspondence is important to me, and I apologize for the delay in my response.
Filipinos made invaluable contributions and sacrifices during World War II.I
believe that Filipino Veterans should be adequately compensated for their noble service during that time.I share your belief that the compensation system should authorized in the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-5) be carried out swiftly to ensure that qualifying individuals receive their long overdue compensation.
After receiving your message, I directed a member of my staff to inquire with the Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs
about your concerns.My staff was informed that all claims are initially processed
in Manila, since it must first be determined that the claimant
did not work with the Japanese during World War II.The second step of the process
requires verification of qualifying service, which is determined by the NationalPersonnelRecordsCenter.Currently, only one person at the Center is qualified to verify these records, and
the committee is encouraging the center to increase the staffing level.
Please know that I appreciate hearing your concerns about this new process.I
have been assured that the Committee is monitoring the implementation of this law very closely.Please know that I will continue to monitor this situation to ensure that Filipino Veterans are treated
If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office in WashingtonD.C. again, or you may wish to contact the Chairman
of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)
I visited your
website & filled out the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) form
to complain about the waste of taxpayer's money by USVA in processing of the claims from the Filipino WW11 U.S. veterans who
are beneficiaries of this Act.
After I completed
aforementioned form it was rejected for online submission. I was advised by your personnel "Eric" (1800
877-4328) to submit my information to you.
Please contact the VA Network and SecurityOperationsCenter
or email VANSOC@va.gov, if you feel this is in error.
support ID is: 8436287608778035170 Appliance name: rpxsac2
Your Contact Information
my letter to Sen Feinstein explains in detail the situation I am complaining about:
Source: various news reports
The following Filvets had died after filing their claims:
from Taguig born 1922 died 3/2009
Francisco Agmalew from Benguet
died 6/25/2009 from Orange County (Ret. Commodore, Phil Navy)
Balosdan Alcido from Benguet
Tranquilino Andres from Baguio born 1920 died 3/25/2009 from
pneumoniamilitary nurse in the 66th Infantry Battalion in Mt.Province
Vicente Ballitoc, 100 yr old from Ifugao
Mauro Bambico from Baguio
Felipe Ban-ang from MountainProvince
Peregrino Cachero from Aringay, La Union.
Felimon de la Rosa from Baguio
Julio Diaz from Baguio
Perez Dinangwatan from Benguet
Cecilio Espejo from Baguio
Gabriel Fabian from Benguet
Maximo Lagiman from Benguet
Ponciano Lawaguey from Benguet
Martin Liampo from Benguet
from Stockton Ca; born 1920; died 3/2009
Emilio Nacatab from Tadian MountainProvince
Jose Pagcaliwagan died 7/23/2009 from Syracuse NY
Amado Ventura from Baguio
Leon Wacay from Benguet
Response (Department of Veterans Affairs)
Thank you for taking the time to share your ideas with us. We welcome all comments and suggestions
from the public. You can be sure we will have someone look at the issue who is in a position to give a thoughtful and
Department of Veterans Affairs - Response to your Suggestion [Inquiry: 090530-000104]
Saturday, May 30, 2009 8:49 AM
"Dept of Veterans Affairs" <email@example.com>
Your 'Suggestion' has been routed to the 'VA Web Operations Team' group.
I request that you
make correction to your erroneous entry in your following webpage since it is not supported by historical facts:
Filipino World War
In February, VA announced that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorized a new benefit for
Filipino Veterans who aided American troops during World War II. The VA
Regional Office in Manila
is now accepting claims for this one-time payment of $9,000 for non-U.S. citizens and $15,000 for Filipino Veterans with U.S. citizenship. Claims need to be received no later
than Feb. 16, 2010
Please note your
choice of word & spin of reality by stating that "Filipinos, who aided American troops during World War II"
Fact is: the Filipinos
are the American troops, period. Filipinos are not simply allies. The Philippines is a U.S. possession during WW2, otherwise
Filipinos can never be drafted by any U.S. Presidentsinto the U.S. Armed Forces
as we all know has been done during WW2.
Before and during
WW2 Filipinos were drafted or enlisted before being drafted or were already members of the U.S. Armed Forces (Old Scouts)
or were absorbed to the U.S. Armed Forces (Commonwealth).
After U.S. formally surrendered U.S. Armed Forces to the Japanese military Filipinos organized among
themselves or joined U.S. recognized guerilla
movement that fought for a hard won victory.
After the liberation
of the Philippines from the enemy forces many Filipinos enlisted (New Scouts)
to the U.S. Armed Forces for the massive reconstruction underway in Okinawa and other U.S. territorial possessions. The New Scouts served from 10/6/1945 to 6/30/1947
significantly even after the Philippines
became an independent country on 7/4/1946.
Thank you for your
attention to this matter
Please select the specific nature of your submission below:
The term “Commonwealth Army veterans” refers to persons who served before July 1, 1946, in the organized military
forces of the Government of the Philippines. These Filipino forces were made a part of the U.S. Armed Forces by a military
order of the President dated July 26, 1941. Finally these veterans were discharged or released from this period of service
under conditions other than dishonorable.