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FILAMS DEMANDS FULL RECOGNITION AND EQUITY

by JFAV Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at 12:53 PM
jfav_us@@yahoo.com 213-241-0995 1610 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

The Filipino American community marked the 63rd Anniversary of the unjust Recission Act of 1946 last Feb 18, 2009 with different kinds of protests all over the United States. The protests is in contrasts to other organizations like the ACFV and NAFFAA who called for celebrations and gratitude to the US and Philippine governments for the long delayed benefits. * In San Francisco, two hundred vets, students, widows, teachers and activists gathered in two separate events on Feb. 17 and Feb 18 to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Rescission Act with protest, amidst celebration by the mendicant Philippine government and some pro- lump sum organizations in the US. * In Los Angeles, more than a hundred veterans, widows and advocates gathered at the Veterans Memorial monument at Lake Street Park n February 18th.

FILAMS DEMANDS FULL ...
fists_up.jpg, image/jpeg, 2816x2112

Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV)
E-mail: besangpass@gmail.com
Press Statement
Feb. 20, 2009

On the 63rd Anniversary of the Rescission Act of 1946
Fil-Ams Demands Full Recognition and Genuine Equity

Los Angeles— The Filipino American community marked the 63rd Anniversary of the unjust Recission Act of 1946 last Feb 18, 2009 with different kinds of protests all over the United States.

The protests is in contrasts to other organizations like the ACFV and NAFFAA who called for celebrations and gratitude to the US and Philippine governments for the long delayed benefits.

* In San Francisco, two hundred vets, students, widows, teachers and activists gathered in two separate events on Feb. 17 and Feb 18 to mark the 63rd anniversary of the Rescission Act with protest, amidst celebration by the mendicant Philippine government and some pro- lump sum organizations in the US.

* In Los Angeles, more than a hundred veterans, widows and advocates gathered at the Veterans Memorial monument at Lake Street Park n February 18th.

The event was led by several veterans organizations of Los Angeles like the Society of Guerillas and Scouts (SGS), United Filipino American Veterans (UFAV), AWARE and other groups.

JFAV Senior Coordinator Peping Baclig said: “ We (veterans) will take what the US Congress gave us even it is not what we asked for. We will continue with the struggle for equity and justice”.

AWARE President Lulu Astilla exclaimed: “ Widows suffered more than the veterans and should also be given benefits. There are three times the number of poor widows than the veterans because most of the veterans passed away."

Meanwhile, Society of Guerillas and Scouts (SGS) Chair, Jack Vergara said: “ We are not happy that most of the widows that constitute the majority of the World War II survivors were left out in the Stimulus package”. Similar protests were held in Chicago, New York and San Diego, California.

“To date, our military service and courage in defending the US during World War 2 have never been fully recognized, so there is a reason for us to continue the fight!,” said Philippine Scout Gomer Bondad during a forum held at the Rosenberg Library of the City College of San Francisco.

The Unjust Recission Act of 1946

In 1946, the US Congress took back all the rights and privileges of Filipino soldiers promised to them when 250,000 soldiers were commissioned by then US President Franklin Roosevelt to defend the Philippines—a US territory when war broke out. At least 66 nationalities served the US Flag during the war. The Filipinos were singled not to be recognized as American veterans.

President Barack Obama ,yesterday, signed into law the lump sum for Filipino vets included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009--$15,000 for US citizens and $9,000 for non-US citizens. Widows before the enactment of the law will not receive anything. The Philippine Consulate in DC and the Philippine Foreign Affairs hailed this law as a victory for veterans and thanked their supporters in the US Congress.

“The fact that there is a difference in the lump sum for citizens and non-citizens is a prima facie evidence of racial discrimination and may run contrary to the equal protection provision of the Constitution. The veterans must be recognized and compensated based on their US military service and not on nationality,” said Atty. Arnedo Valera, legal counsel of the Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV) based in Washington, DC.

The veterans said that they were demanding lifetime pension benefit and full recognition of their military service with no conditions attached. The text of the lump indicates that the US government is compensating them for “human suffering” and not for military service. Recognition mentioned in the text was highly restrictive to the issue of lump sum alone.

Mrs. Beatrice Bellaiz, widow of a veteran, said during the forum that she is really saddened by the fact that widows who have equally sacrificed during and after the war are not being compensated.

“We lost a husband who fought as bravely as the surviving veterans. Since they are gone, we must be getting something in their behalf… This is not fair!” she said in front of Philippine Studies College students.

In light of the plight of the widows, the Justice for Filipino-American Veterans (JFAV) will formally launch the Alliance for Widows and Relatives for Equity (AWARE) on Mar. 8th, in time for International Women’s Day.

In Los Angeles, JFAV will have a community forum on March 4 and a women's rally led by AWARE on or before March 8. This aims to provide education and at the same time raise funds for genuine equity campaign. Both groups will also form a contingent on Mar. 21st 6th Anniversary of the war on Iraq march and rally with the battle cry “Money for Vets, Not for War.”

for more information contact jfav or AWARe at (213)241-0995 or emailat jfav_us@yahoo.com

They aim to expand the awareness of the issue of racism and injustice to non-Filipinos and mainstream progressive politics in the San Francisco Bay Area.







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Feb 17 Forum with SF Veterans

by JFAV Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 at 12:53 PM
jfav_us@@yahoo.com 213-241-0995 1610 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026

Feb 17 Forum with SF...
art_garcia_with_vets.jpgzomdo1.jpg, image/jpeg, 2816x2112

JFAV Senior Coordinator Peping Baclig said: “ We (veterans) will take what the US Congress gave us even it is not what we asked for. We will continue with the struggle for equity and justice”.

AWARE President Lulu Astilla exclaimed: “ Widows suffered more than the veterans and should also be given benefits. There are three times the number of poor widows than the veterans because most of the veterans passed away."

Meanwhile, Society of Guerillas and Scouts (SGS) Chair, Jack Vergara said: “ We are not happy that most of the widows that constitute the majority of the World War II survivors were left out in the Stimulus package”. Similar protests were held in Chicago, New York and San Diego, California.

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