Contact; Arturo P. Garcia
April 9, 2012:
JFAV 70th Bataan Day Benefit Dance-Dinner at FACLA, April 9, 2012
Los Angeles – “Remember Bataan, Honor our Heroes!”
The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) and Seniors for Filipino American Community Empowerment (S4PACE) ,surviving the Filipino veterans especially the defenders of Bataan and their advocates will hold a commemoration of the 70th Bataan Day, on Monday, April 9, 2012 at FACLA Social Hall ,1740 W. Temple St. Los Angeles, CA 90026 at 5:00 PM.
The event dubbed as “ Gabi ng Kasaysayan at Kasiyahan”.—a dinner dance party is a fundraiser of JFAV for its delegation that will lobby at the US Congress from April 16-18, 2012 in Washington DC.
70th Fall of Bataan, April 9, 1942
Troops from the United States Armed Forces in the Far East composed of soldiers from the Philippines and the United States were forced to surrender after a 4 ˝ months of battle against 50,000 crack Japanese troops in Bataan on April 9, 1942.
They were taken prisoner and forced to march 65 miles without any food, water, or medical aid in what came to be known as the ‘Bataan Death March.’
During this forced march, more than 30,000 soldiers died, either from starvation, lack of medical care, sheer exhaustion, or abuse by their captors. Conditions at the prisoner of war camps were appalling, leading to increased disease and malnutrition among the prisoners.”
After the war, Filipino veterans had to undergo a longer "battle" — this time for the rights promised to more than 250,000 of them who signed up to fight for the US.
The Significance of the Battle of Bataan
If Bataan did not hold out for four months, it have not delayed the time table of the Japanese advance in the Pacific. The Japanese timetable of 50 days were turn back because of the heroic defense of the Filipino-American forces under the USAFFE from December 1941 to May 6, 1942.
This enabled General Macarthur and the allies to counter-attack and eventually defeat the Japanese forces from Australia.
But after the war ended, Filipino volunteers did not receive the same pension and recognition as well as all benefits as American soldiers after President Harry Truman signed the Recission Act in February 18, 1946. This act stripped Filipino veterans of the benefits stated in the GI Bill of Rights because “certain practical difficulties exist" in applying it to the Philippines, its former commonwealth.
The US government cited the $200 million it gave the Philippine Army after the war as its reason for stripping the benefits. “However, the passage and approval of this legislation do not release the United States from its moral obligation to provide for the heroic Philippine veterans who sacrificed so much for the common cause during the war," Truman said.
JFAV believes that it is true and self-evident that any US Congress Gold Medals for Bataan Defenders will have more meaning with the passage of HR 210 in the US Congress. Only with full recognition for Filipinos as American veterans can placate them for the bitterness of racial discrimination.
Only then can the process of healing and reconciliation can truly begin and the bitter wounds of racism, discrimination and injustice can be just a memory.
Justice and Equity, Now!
For more information please call (213) 241-0995 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org