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LUMP SUM IS NOT EQUITY!

by Justice for Filipino American Veterans Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 at 4:24 PM
jfav_us@@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 1610 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The approved lump sum included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-- ,000 for the US citizens and ,000 for non-US citizens may provide temporary monetary relief for many. However, this is not a cause for celebration let alone thanksgiving. This is yet another piecemeal legislation that fails to address the grave injustices committed against the Filipinos when on February 18, 1946, the US Congress enacted the Rescission Act that deemed the US military services of the Filipinos inactive, thereby, denying them of their rights and privileges as American veterans. Of the at least 60 nationalities that served the US during World War 2, the Filipinos were singled out to receive unequal treatment as their American counterparts who fought side by side with them during the war.

LUMP SUM IS NOT EQUI...
1-2.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV)

E-mail: besangpass@gmail.com

Contact: Arturo P. Garcia

Phone/Text: 213-241-0906

Statement on the 63rd Anniversary of the Rescission Act of 1946 and the Lump Sum of 2009



LUMP SUM IS NOT EQUITY, FIGHT FOR TOTAL RECOGNITION AND JUSTICE!



The approved lump sum included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009-- ,000 for the US citizens and ,000 for non-US citizens may provide temporary monetary relief for many. However, this is not a cause for celebration let alone thanksgiving.

This is yet another piecemeal legislation that fails to address the grave injustices committed against the Filipinos when on February 18, 1946, the US Congress enacted the Rescission Act that deemed the US military services of the Filipinos inactive, thereby, denying them of their rights and privileges as American veterans. Of the at least 60 nationalities that served the US during World War 2, the Filipinos were singled out to receive unequal treatment as their American counterparts who fought side by side with them during the war.

The questions that beg for answers are: How has the lump sum addressed the historical and ongoing humiliation and injustices that are inflicted on the Filipino veterans for the last 63 years? How should the Filipino community and progressive communities move forward with the fight for genuine equity?

The Philippine government and some Filipino organizations in the US hail the lump sum as a victory for the veterans. They are rapidly throwing congratulatory remarks one after the other, with the "champions in Congress" at the top of the list, and providing the impression that the lump sum is the fulfillment of the long fought struggle for equity.

While JFAV waits to see the final language of the lump sum provision, it appears that the "quit claim"—a provision that indicates that upon acceptance of the lump sum, the veterans SHALL RELEASE future claims including lifetime pension, was kept intact. Average white American veterans have been receiving a monthly pension since 1946

So why would the US government deny the brown Filipinos the same benefit

and recognition? During the war, the Filipinos and their American counterparts endured the same bombings, starvation, disease, isolation and torture. Why would the Filipinos get anything less? The veterans in the Philippines got an even smaller benefit by virtue of their nationality and not of US military service. Is this equity?

The Rescission Act of 1946 took away the full recognition of the Filipinos' military services during the war. Where in the text of the lump sum can one find any attempt to amend or rescind this racist act? If not, then why would one equate lump sum with veterans' equity? Congressman Bob Filner attempted for the first time to introduce the lump sum in Congress in 2008. This was heavily opposed by veterans with whom Filner was forced to apologize later on, on the ground that a lump sum does not provide the dignity for veterans and actually in effect treats them as mercenaries. Why would a second attempt for a lump sum be treated otherwise?

In reality, the veterans never demanded for a lump sum. They have always demanded for full recognition, equity and lifetime pension benefit as embodied in S1314 approved 96-1 by the Senate in 2007 and later approved by Congress in 2008 but WITHOUT the Filipino provision.

The Filipino community in the US, through the ABS-CBN Balitang America Town Hall community meeting held in San Francisco, wrote a letter to President Barak Obama asking among other things, that Filipino veterans be granted full recognition and lifetime pension benefit. THE LUMP SUM IS CLEARLY NEITHER OF THEM.

We recognize the relief, albeit temporary, that the lump sum can provide especially to the impoverished veterans in the Philippines, who do not avail of the benefits like medical and SSI that Filipino veterans in the US enjoy. But a historical wrong cannot be rectified by another wrong that attempts to put closure on an unfinished fight.

We believe that at the root cause of the injustice and the unequal treatment of the Filipinos is racism. Until the Filipinos are treated equally and fully recognized as American veterans and as people worthy of respect and recognition, gross injustice will continually prevail. There will never be a closure of this dark chapter in the history of the world until Filipinos are treated as equals.

The fight for genuine equity encompasses not only the desire of the surviving 18,000 veterans but also the widows before the enactment of the law—who get nothing from the lump sum—and the collective memory of the 250, 000 Filipinos who fought a war not of their own and the 1,000,000 people who suffered and died because of a US war in a US territory.

In 1942, the Filipino soldiers and their American counterparts chose to follow US President Roosevelt's command to defend the Philippines with the complete understanding that the US territory was indefensible and that continued fighting would lead to many casualties. It was not pragmatic but the Filipino soldiers did what they thought was the right thing to do

Today, the lump sum appears to be popular among Filipino and US politicians. But for the sake of truth, it must be clearly stated that the lump sum is neither equity nor a tactical victory towards genuine equity and justice. We choose to be on the side of truth.

Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere. Outside of the lump sum, the Filipino veterans, the surviving widows, the sons, daughters and legal heirs, the political activists, the Filipino and American communities and the people at large who believe in racial equality and veterans' equity, shall continue to carry on an arduous struggle until justice is completely delivered.

Full and unconditional recognition for the Filipino veterans now!

Lifetime pension benefit now!

Bail out the veterans not the banks and corporations!

February 15, 2009





Report this post as:

RECOGNIZE THE FILIPINO VETERANS NOW! JUSTICE AND EQUITY, NOW!

by Justice for Filipino American Veterans Monday, Feb. 16, 2009 at 4:24 PM
jfav_us@@yahoo.com 213-241-0906 1610 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

RECOGNIZE THE FILIPI...
430685-r1-032-14a_008.jpg, image/jpeg, 1800x1215

In reality, the veterans never demanded for a lump sum. They have always demanded for full recognition, equity and lifetime pension benefit as embodied in S1314 approved 96-1 by the Senate in 2007 and later approved by Congress in 2008 but WITHOUT the Filipino provision.

The Filipino community in the US, through the ABS-CBN Balitang America Town Hall community meeting held in San Francisco, wrote a letter to President Barak Obama asking among other things, that Filipino veterans be granted full recognition and lifetime pension benefit. THE LUMP SUM IS CLEARLY NEITHER OF THEM.

Report this post as:

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