Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV)- SF/Bay Area
October 30, 2008
Cong. Filner and Assembly Member Leno sign Filipino WW2 vets’ petition for recognition of wartime service and junking of lump-sum
SAN FRANCISCO—After an interview with Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and chief sponsor of HR 6897, by a local news reporter, Filipino World War 2 Veterans confronted Filner in the war memorial building and aired their demands for US Congress to immediately call a joint conference committee to reconcile Filipino Veterans bills, restore Section 4 of S1315 and junk HR 6897- the quit claim bill.
Veteran Simplicio Yoma in front of the camera asked Filner, “Will you sign this, Sir?’ Inspite of hesitation claiming that he still has to talk with senators and other congress leaders, Filner signed the petition.
The US Congress recently passed S1315, approved unanimously 96-1 in the Senate and was sponsored by Sen. Akaka. Filipino veterans were highly disappointed upon learning that the section 4 that seeks to recognize their wartime services was deleted.
Adding insult to the pain, HB 6897 was passed in Congress that seeks to grant lump-sum of ,000 to veterans in the US and ,000 to those in the Philippines with a condition that all veterans will release their claims for benefits including monthly pension.
Mr. Filemon Mordeno, president of the Filipino Veterans in San Francisco said that they need to articulate their demands clearly to politicians. “We demand recognition and benefits, not lump-sum!,” he said.
Earlier in the program sponsored partly by Veterans for Peace, Filner praised the heroic role of the Filipino veterans in defending the Philippines, a US territory back in 1941, against Japanese invasion.
He promised to exert utmost effort to push for the inclusion of the Filipino veterans bills during the lame duck session on Nov. 17 or make them top priority during the Congressional session in 2009. To quote his last statement: “Your struggle is our struggle.”
As a gesture of support, Assembly Member Mark Leno of 13th Assembly District, signed the petition together with other international participants in the program that talked about Agent Orange and its catastrophic effects on the Vietnamese people and American veterans.
The Filipino veterans, widows, daughters, sons, friends, students and supporters vow to intensify their campaign culminating on a protest parade during the Veterans Day on Nov. 11. Mr. Franco Arcebal, vice-president for membership of the American Coalition of Filipino Veterans (ACFV) and Art Garcia, National Coordinator of JFAV will arrive from Los Angeles to join local contingent.
Contact: Violy Reyes, R.N.
Cell: 206- 965-0129