In Their Own Words:
(7/26/1941) President Franklin Roosevelt "In
this great struggle of the Pacific the loyal Americans of the Philippine Island are called upon to play a crucial role .....
I count on every Philippine man, woman, and child to do his duty. We will
(when he signed the so-called Rescission Acts, even though he disagreed with part of it), " the passage
and approval of this legislation does not release the United
States from its moral obligation to provide for the heroic Filipino veterans who sacrificed
(1946), General Omar Bradley, U.S. Administrator of Veterans' Affairs, "the service of the Filipino Commonwealth Army in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II has met the definition
of a U.S. veteran"
mobilized, trained, and led an army which has received world acclaim for its gallant defense against a tremendous superiority
of enemy forces in men and arms…inspired his troops, galvanized the spirit of resistance of the Filipino people, Source:
Congressional Medal of Honor citation for Gen
Ambassador Albert Del Rosario before the Veterans’ Affairs Subcommitte on Heath 6/13/2002
prior to the passage of the Rescission Act of 1946, these
men proudly considered themselves, and were considered by the United States Government, as U.S.
soldiers. The shameful Rescission Act stated that service rendered by Filipino veterans “were not to be considered
service for the purpose of veterans’ benefits,” effectively stripping them of benefits under the GI Bill of 1944.
These benefits ranged from immigration privileges to healthcare and burial costs. Additionally, despite the fact that Filipino
veterans had already paid portions of their salaries towards veterans’ insurance and pensions, the Act stipulated that
they were to be paid such pensions at only half their value. As such, the Act did something even the Japanese could not
do. It insulted their worth as men. Although the Rescission Act has been amended several times, its basic provisions
still stand. Filipino veterans, even if they became US citizens, would still not be eligible for full benefits. Those who
have elected to remain in the Philippines
are at an even greater disadvantage…it was an Act of Congress that trivialized these veterans’ contributions and
deprived them of their due. It is appropriate therefore that Congress act to address this injustice.
Honorable Jerry Moran
Chairman, Subcommittee on Health
Committee on Veterans’ Affairs
…the Philippine Islands, then a US possession, our military forces experienced devastation
and surrender -- but eventually they achieved victory, and that victory was aided immeasurably by tens of thousands of Philippine people who fought with us, who protected our troops, suffered alongside
them, and who, as much as anyone, helped earn the Allied victory over the Japanese celebrated on August 15, 1945
I believe we can do something to repay their patriotism and sacrifice to freedom by enacting
a bill that my colleague Mr. Filner introduced with my co-sponsorship,
H. R. 4904… this is the first time an ambassador of a foreign nation has testified before this Subcommittee, and we are honored
to have His Excellency, Ambassador Albert del Rosario here to represent his nation before our
Primary Source: Congressional
(excerpt) 4/23/2007 Re: S. 57 Sen. Daniel Akaka [D-HI]: Veterans' Affairs Committee…received testimony from Filipino veterans who spoke of their service
under U.S. military command and their difficulties with a VA system that doesn't recognize them as veterans…In 1946,
Congress limited veterans' benefits to only a portion of Filipinos who served in World War II. While some of the inequity
has been corrected in recent years, this injustice still remains. Filipino veterans of the U.S. military do not have equal
access to the health care and benefits they have earned through service…Some who oppose S.
57 say we cannot afford it…fiscal responsibility is not the only kind of responsibility there is. Our country has a deeper
responsibility to the men and women who have served in our military, whether they were born in America or the Philippines…Many of the brothers-in-arms
of those who testified at our hearing have since passed away, never having been recognized by the United States for their service. I find that shameful. Source:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record
(excerpt) 1/4/2007 Re: S.57 Sen.
Daniel Inouye [D-HI): I believe the treatment of Filipino World War II veterans is bleak and shameful…
(U.S) Congress enacted the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945 for the purpose of sending Filipino troops to occupy
enemy lands, and to oversee military installations at various overseas locations…Despite all of their sacrifices, on
the Congress passed the Rescission Act of 1946 (Section 107 of Title 38 U.S. Code)…deemed
that the service performed by these Filipino veterans would not be recognized as "active service" for the purpose of any U.S.
law conferring "rights, privileges, or benefits." … denied Filipino veterans access to health care, particularly for
non-service-connected disabilities, and pension benefits…also limited service-connected disability and death compensation
for Filipino veterans to 50 percent of what their American counterparts receive…On
5/27/1946, Congress Second Supplemental Surplus Appropriations Rescission Act,
duplicated the language that had eliminated Filipino veterans' benefits under the First Rescission Act. Thus, Filipino veterans
who fought in the service of the United States during World War II have been precluded from receiving most of the veterans'
benefits that had been available to them before 1946, and that are available to all other veterans of our armed forces regardless
of race, national origin, or citizenship status…Throughout the years, I have sponsored several measures to rectify the
lack of appreciation America has shown to these gallant men and women... Source:http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record
House of Representatives
Carolyn B. Maloney (NY)… I rise to pay
recognition to the Filipino veterans who so bravely served under the U.S.
flag during World War II…The average age of these heroes is 84. Congress has a moral obligation to provide for the Filipino veterans who fought as part of the United States during World War II before it is too late. We must
restore dignity and honor to these proud veterans.
Jackie Speir brave men who defended our country
during World War II but have been neglected in their old age. I refer to the Filipino nationals who fought with American soldiers
as part of the Recognized Guerilla Forces…sacrifice and suffering well-documented…Filipino nationals swore allegiance to the United States of America with the same oath each of us took when
we became Members of this body… suffered casualties at a far higher rate than native-born American forces…But
the Rescission Acts of 1946 changed that. As happens all too often in the halls of power, short-sighted political expediency
won out over fairness and common decency. Faced with massive war debts, Congress
excluded a class of veteran that had no voice and no vote. Since then, piecemeal attempts have been made to
rectify the inequities of The Rescission Acts, but time is clearly working against us…I am not asking for special consideration.
I am not seeking an earmark or a windfall or a handout. I am simply asking that we, as a nation, honor the promise we made
to the brave souls who put their very lives on the line for the sake of America
and all it stands for.
11/7/2007 Hon. ABERCROMBIE my deep support for H.R. 760 …treatment…a
dark chapter in American history… After the surrender of Japan, Congress required the Philippine
Forces to continue their service. Many helped occupy lands, many oversaw military operations, and many made the ultimate sacrifice
to secure our victory in World War II. .Congress passed the “Recession Act'' in February 1946, to the objection of many,
including General Macarthur… No other group of veterans has been systematically
denied these benefits…by 2010, VA estimates that their population will dwindle to just 20,000, because of their advanced
age. Many argue… because they are not U.S. citizens, and that
the PAYGO offsets takes money away from Americans…fails to recognize
that Filipino veterans served not merely as allies, but as U.S.
(excerpt) 11/7/2007 Hon. HONDA… urge Congress to support the Filipino
Veterans Equity Act..Faustino “Peping'' Baclig… Bataan Death March…survived…Peping, “They pay us to die, but they cannot pay us to live.''
(excerpt) support 11/7/2007 Hon. HIRONO…proud to be an original cosponsor of H.R. 760, the Filipino Veterans Equity Act…makes good
on the promise that our government made to these brave men over 60 years ago…are in the twilight of their lives.. As we honor our veterans all across the country this Veterans Day, let us include
those Filipino veterans who still await a promise unfulfilled.
11/8/2007 Hon. BORDALLO…in honor of Veterans Day I rise to recognize a special group
of veterans whose story and service this Congress must honor…Ironically, the very democracy that these veterans fought
to defend was used to take away the recognition of their service. We have
a duty to fulfill what President Truman called a ``moral obligation'' to take care of these veterans… There
are 18,000 still with us today. Let us make this right. Support the Filipino Veterans Equity Act.
HR 1287 3/7/2007 Hon. Mazie K. Hirono
(HI) …submit into the Congressional
Record…Washington Post 3/4/2007 HOPE FOR AMENDS TO FILIPINO IMMIGRANTS by N.C. Aizenman…(Filipino veterans) many have died while waiting to be reunited with their families. About
5,000 veterans in the United States would
stand to benefit from a change in immigration provisions
(excerpt) 3/1/2007 Hon. Mazie K. HIRONO FilipinoVeterans Family Reunification Act… which will
provide for the expedited reunification of the families of our Filipino World War II veterans…(co-sponsors) Rep. NEIL
ABERCROMBIE, BOB FILNER, MICHAEL HONDA, MADELEINE BORDALLO, ROBERT ``BOBBY'' SCOTT, JIM MCDERMOTT, DARRELL ISSA, SAM FARR,
AL GREEN, RAŚL GRIJALVA, and PHIL HARE. In 1990, the Congress Filipino World War II veterans by providing them
with a waiver from certain naturalization requirements However, allowances were not made for their children and many have
been waiting decades for petition approval. Filipino veterans, who fought alongside U.S. troops during World War II,
have waited far too long--more than 60 years--to get what's due them. While they still seek full pension benefits
from Congress, another key measure would give them something that could be more important in their senior years: family reunification.
Website Under Construction