Filipino WW2 U.S. Veterans Fight 4 Equity

Advocacy for FVEC
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

A message from the Office of Senator Feinstein

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 10:24 AM
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Ms. Embry,

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.

Thank you,

Adam Stone

Legislative Correspondent

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 reasons:


“that all 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

Facts are:


Fact #1

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 know, Japan 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


Fact #2

All claimants 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


Fact #3

The Commonwealth 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.


Fact #4

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.


Fact #5

Claimants had 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?


Now, regarding the other explanation that:


“the second step of the process requires verification of qualifying service, which is determined by the National Personnel Records Center . 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. forces


Last month, I attended the funeral of one of your constituents in Orange County 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 reply.


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.


Again, please accept my gratitude for your attention to this matter.



Maria Elizabeth Embry

xxxx Hamlin Court

Antioch Ca 94509

Telephone xxxxx













                              United States Senate

                                 Washington, D.C. 20510-0504



                                      May 4, 2009


Ms. Maria Embry

xxxxHamlin Court

Antioch Ca 94509


Dear Ms. Embry:


     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 National Personnel Records Center.  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 fairly.


     If you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to contact my office in Washington D.C. again, or you may wish to contact the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Senator Daniel Akaka (D-HI)

                     Senator Daniel K. Akaka


                U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

                     412 Russell Senate Bldg.

                     Washington D.C. 20510

                     Phone: XXXXX


     Once again, thank you for writing.  Best regards.




                             Dianne Feinstein

                             United States Senator





Your report has been submitted.

An email with the following information has been sent to the VA OIG Hotline at 8/23/2009 9:02:42 PM Eastern Time

RE: Rejection of Complaint

Sunday, August 23, 2009 3:20 PM



Message contains attachments

smime.p7s (6KB)

Mrs. Embry,


You should be able to access the  site now.


Sorry for the inconvenience.


Hatim Guennouni
VA Network & Security Operations Center
Voice: xxxxx
Cell: xxxxxx


Friday, August 21, 2009 10:39 AM




Dear Sir/Madam:


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.


Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.



Maria Elizabeth Embry

xxxxx Hamlin Court

Antioch Ca 94509



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from Sen. Dianne Feinstein letter sent to me as a response to my complaint regarding processing of Filipino WW2 U.S. veterans payment from Public Law 111-5 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009


USVA main Office & USVA Manila, Philippines office


Identify the products and/or services involved in the incident*:

processing of payments under Public Law 111-5 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009



involves negligence & waste of taxpayers funds in not processing the payments in a prompt & efficient manner as required by the

Public Law 111-5 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009



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:


Napoleon Adeva from Taguig born 1922 died 3/2009


Francisco Agmalew from Benguet


Ramon Alcaraz 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 pneumonia military nurse in the 66th Infantry Battalion in Mt. Province


Vicente Ballitoc, 100 yr old from Ifugao


Mauro Bambico from Baguio


Felipe Ban-ang from Mountain Province


Peregrino Cachero from Aringay, La Union.


Felimon de la Rosa from Baguio


Julio Diaz from Baguio


Perez Dinangwatan from Benguet


Benito Dumaguit, 84y


Cecilio Espejo from Baguio


Gabriel Fabian from Benguet


Maximo Lagiman from Benguet


Ponciano Lawaguey from Benguet


Martin Liampo from Benguet


Melecio Mabalot from Stockton Ca; born 1920; died 3/2009


Emilio Nacatab from Tadian Mountain Province


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 thorough review.

Department of Veterans Affairs - Response to your Suggestion [Inquiry: 090530-000104]

Saturday, May 30, 2009 8:49 AM

Your 'Suggestion' has been routed to the 'VA Web Operations Team' group.

Dear Sir/Madam:


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 II Veterans  


  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. Presidents  into 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



Maria Elizabeth Embry

Please select the specific nature of your submission below:

Commonwealth Army Veterans
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.

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