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by Echo Park Community Coalition (EPCC)
Wednesday, Mar. 03, 2010 at 1:24 PM
email@example.com 818-749-0272 1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, Ca 90026
We write to you on the 64th anniversary of the Rescission Act—that took away for the first time, the full recognition of the US military services of the Filipino World War II veterans who fought in defense of an American territory in Asia. The timing also marks the first year after the “lump sum” was granted after the approval of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and the denial of 41,000 applicants as reported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA). Though the “lump sum” of ,000 for American citizens and ,000 for non-citizens fell short of the lifetime monthly pension and lifetime benefits granted to all American veterans, it did provide a temporary monetary relief to many impoverished veterans.
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March 2, 2010
JFAV LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
Feb. 22, 2010
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President:
We write to you on the 64th anniversary of the Rescission Act—that took away for the first time, the full recognition of the US military services of the Filipino World War II veterans who fought in defense of an American territory in Asia. The timing also marks the first year after the “lump sum” was granted after the approval of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, and the denial of 41,000 applicants as reported by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).
Though the “lump sum” of ,000 for American citizens and ,000 for non-citizens fell short of the lifetime monthly pension and lifetime benefits granted to all American veterans, it did provide a temporary monetary relief to many impoverished veterans.
It is very unfortunate that after one year, only 11, 000 received the lump sum due to lack of supporting documents to prove that they were legitimate veterans. Why wouldn’t the DVA accept secondary evidences to supersede any official list like the “Missouri list” by the US?
The famous Carlos Romulo, himself a WW II veteran who landed together with General Douglas Macarthur in Leyte, and who later became Secretary-General of the UN was never part of the “Missouri list”. If he were alive today, he would have been one of those denied applicants.
The burden of proof does not lie on the backs of the veterans. The DVA as an institution has the duty of facilitating the delivery of overdue benefits.
Outside of the “lump sum” is the long sought fight for FULL RECOGNITION. The US Congress has actually committed a second Rescission Act when it approved the GI Bill of 2008, which erased the section that restores full recognition of the US military services of the Filipinos. Instead, what was granted was a “lump sum” with a clause that “upon acceptance” will prohibit any claim for future benefits.
Mr. President, justice delayed is justice denied. The Filipinos were the first line of US defense in Asia and have courageously fought for the values of democracy and equality. With old age and poor health, they are dying today at an accelerated rate without seeing any sign of relief from a government that they defended.
We appeal for your immediate action on the following demands:
1. Provide lump sum to the denied 16,000 applicants
2. Insert a provision in the GI Bill of 2008 that restores full recognition of the US military services of the Filipino World War II veterans.
3. Include the widows and the legal heirs as legal beneficiaries of the benefits of Filipino WW II veterans.
4. Expedite family reunification of the veterans and widows with their children in the Philippines.
We would greatly appreciate your support for full recognition and genuine equity. Thank you.
Very respectfully yours,
Arturo P. Garcia
For the Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV)
National Steering Committee
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