fix articles 158722, gaa
Don’t tie aid to RP record, US urged (tags)
The administration has asked lawmakers in the United States not to peg the amount of Washington’s military assistance to the Philippines on the latter’s human rights record, arguing that the two were distinct from each other and must be addressed separately. “I told the legislators that the issue of US foreign military assistance and reports about extrajudicial killings in the Philippines should be treated separately,” Ambassador to Washington Willy Gaa told the Inquirer shortly before he flew back to the US on Friday. Gaa admitted that American legislators were greatly concerned about the persistent reports of human rights violations allegedly committed by the Philippine military and police. He, however, said the move of the administration of President George W. Bush to cut by 50 percent the proposed US foreign military assistance to the Philippines from the $30 million in 2007 in the 2008 federal budget was “expected.”
Pinoy war vets win pension battle in US Senate (tags)
The US Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs voted on Wednesday to give monthly pensions of up to $375 for Filipino World War II veterans and their widows for their service to Uncle Sam more than 60 years ago. “Today marks a special and historic occasion in our long-standing quest for justice and equity for our brave and courageous veterans,” said Philippine Ambassador to Washington Willy Gaa after the committee, at a mark-up hearing, approved an omnibus benefits bill providing for a special set of benefits for men and women who have fought under the US flag. The measure provides a monthly pension of $300 for Filipino veterans who are single, $375 for married veterans and $200 for widows.
JFAV Questions RP Embassy Data that Only 18,155 Filipino war vets are to benefit from US (tags)
The Justice for Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) adamantly questions the number of Filipino World War II veterans are expected to benefit from the equity bills awaiting action in both houses of the United States Congress, as reported in major newspapers. Newspapers quoted the report of Philippine Ambassador to the US Willy Gaa that only 18,155 of this number remain alive, according to Gaa.?"After the US Army left in 1948 with its list of Filipino WWII veterans, the Armed Forces of the Philippines continued to list late registrants," But for JFAV, a community-veterans alliance based in California; “ the crux of the problem is that the main stream newspapers report did not report the other half of what Gaa reported that PVAO reported that figures of 33, 571 living veterans in the Philippines as of May 2007. PVAO also reported 54,000 living Filipino veterans in the Philippines in 2002.”
Filipino Ambassador to US besieged by questions on ‘human rights’ during talk In Seattle (tags)
The Honorable Willie Gaa, Philippine Ambassador to the US wrestled with claims of illegal arrest and detention of Congressman and labor leader Crispin Beltran and United Church of Christ Berlin Guerrero, the unabated political killings of unarmed social activists—at least 850 since Pres. Arroyo took power, and the involvement of the death squads affiliated with the Armed Forces of the Philippines, during an open discussion at the Filipino Community Center last Saturday, June 16th. A member of the Ecumenical Fellowship for Justice and Peace, a church-based human rights group, presented the full page advertisement of the ‘statement of concern’ of the church and labor community, demanding among other things an immediate end to state sponsored political violence and the release of all political prisoners in the Philippines.
Filipino World War II Veterans dwindling in US Army roster (tags)
Only 18,155 Filipino World War II veterans are still alive out of 260,143 veterans listed in the US Army roster immediately after the war, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy Gaa said. He said this “accurate count of surviving Filipino World War II veterans” came from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) which maintains a list of survivors, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) which has a roster of Filipino WWII veterans.