BALITANG BETERANO: PREPONDERANT VETERANS BACK ADEVOSO'S WORK
Nevada, USA, September 18, 2003 By Col.(Ret) Frank B.Quesada - Firstly, the good news is – that the correct direction of the official lobby for equity for Fil-Am WW-2 veterans claims for their rightful compensation for active and military services in the U.S. Army (1941-45) – was confirmed and defended in writing by Pres. G.M.Arroyo in her reply to Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo, President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP), and the Sons and Daughters of the VFP, Inc. originally organized by Mr. Jesus “Jerry” Adevoso, special Representative of Pres.Gl M Arroyo, and by former Rep. Eduardo Pilapil, current President of the Sons and Daughters, Inc.
Under the letter of Pres. Arroyo, dated Aug.27, 2003 – established the policy of the Philippine government pertinent to the long-drawn-out thorn in the Philippine-American relationship.
This aptly means – that from hereon efforts are to be extended by all government officials, not to leave out the RP Ambassador ( for his compliance) in implementing Pres. G.M. Arroyo’s order.
This also means that the official lobby for the Fil-Am WW-2 veterans, as reiterated, is principally tasked to the Office of Veterans Affairs (as it was originally mandated in creating the OVA). There should not be any duplication in such task in order to eliminate any confusion, and undue assumption or over-bearing conceit on the part of any government official that would hug the credit for the success of the lobby.
Let there be no mistake about this !
Pres. Arroyo’s mandate is the victory of all the Fil-Am WW-2 veterans over the disjointed lobby by arrogant and destitute-of-know-how in legislative affairs obtaining here in the U.S. The official lobby, therefore, includes all Fil-Am WW-2 veterans regardless of citizenship and residence.
Therefore, those posing as self-appointed advocates for and in behalf of only a small segment of the whole veterans population are nothing but opportunistic entrepreneurs reportedly victimizing the poor and indigent veterans merely subsisting under meager social security income. I need not mention names. This is known in the Fil-Am community.
The official lobby which has been set on a government-to-government level disqualifies those itinerant advocates bereft of technical and appropriate savvy to influence legislation that confuses congressmen and senators Therefore, those impostors are outside of the loop, thus must now stop who use the veterans as their whipping boys. This, includes associations, federations and what-have- you that uses the veterans cause for their own ends – that imperils bon-fide legislative measures of veterans.
The most effective lobbyist for the claims and benefits of Fil-Am WW-2 equity settlement is Pres. G.M. Arroyo who has the ear and attention of Pres. G.W.. Bush. Her direct eyes and ears in-so-far as the veteran’s lobby is concerned is the Office of Veterans Affairs, headed by Mr. Jesus “Jerry” Adevoso, her confidant.
No amount of undue pressure over Adevoso by persons arrogating undue vanity can dislodge Adevoso from his position as presidential appointee, whose term of office is co-terminus with the term of Pres. G.M.. Arroyo. Let this be clear with those who want to grab credit, impose jurisdiction and are trying to dislodge Adevoso.
I shall expose a corroding plot in due time (if necessary) in my syndicated column here and abroad. .
The on-going propitious relationship between Pres. G,M. Arroyo and Pres. G.W. Bush have normalized and the Philippines (its war veterans) and have regained much of its honor and dignity.
I enjoin all veterans and respective organizations to work closer with Adevoso in their constant and true to the veteran’s cause. Without you out there in the field, we(veterans and Adevoso) would not have reached this invigorated support from Pres. G.M. Arroyo.
Albeit, our struggle for justice and fairness is far from over. There is much work still to be done without any interference from malicious, or willful destruction, even from within and those using the veterans cause as their crutch to fame and popularity, and even fraud, but at the expense of the veterans.
At the behest of the members of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, the Sons and Daughters Inc., and the U.S. based National Advisory Council of Fil-Am WW-2 Veterans, and the American Legion, Philippine Department – they collectively asked the Col. De Ocampo to sound off Pres. G.M. Arroyo on the matter of veteran’s equity of compensation and benefits denied under the infamous Rescission Act of 1946, enacted by the 79th Congress.
And if she would take it up with Pres. G.W. Bush on October during his visit. Pres. Arroyo, as a daughter of a WW-II veteran herself, replied. (See her reproduced letter below)
I am therefore, quoting Pres. G.M. Arroyo’s letter to Col. E. de Ocampo of the VFP, to wit:
27 August 2003
Dear Col. De Ocampo,
This has reference to the request of World War II Filipino Veterans recognition by the United States of America for their services under the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.
“I assure you, and all Filipino World War II Veterans, their descendants, the Filipino people that will place the resolution of this matter at the agenda of my meeting with Pres. George W. Bush when he comes in October. Will not stop until this issue is finally resolved. The honor are of the Filipino World War II veterans must be restored.
“I will ask President Bush to support H.R. 677 ( U.S. House Resolution) the Filipino Veterans Act of 2003, which seeks to amend Title 38 of the U.S. Code, service in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts to have been active service for the benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs , was stripped off from them by the infamous Rescission Act of 1946.
“I consider it an honor as a daughter of a WW-II veteran myself because of the Filipino veterans who gave their lives for the country.
“I thank the Veterans Federation of the Philippines, the Sons and Daughters and the Movement for American Justice for your support for my administration.”
Sgd: Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
President, Republic of the Philippines
( end of text)
“This letter clearly enunciates her new desire and policy that all government officials concerned focus on the thrust towards full equity, after efforts have been expended on the current legislative bills in Congress,” Adevoso said.
“After the visit of Pres. Bush, all our efforts therefore must be on full equity.” Adevoso added.
That truculent guile of Congress by paying the long-overdue unsettled constitutional obligation to the Filipino WW-II veterans under a step-by-step settlement, as a retarded condition of settlement, has been a cruel and unsparing artifice of extending or stretching the time, while the aging, sickly veterans wallow under poverty, and die by the hundreds of disease and want sans relief.
If this is not pitiless treatment – what is cruelty? And ruthlessness?
Time is most precious in this crucible, however, it is also truth and justice that is just as valuable. And Gratitude is a duty which has to be paid. In contrast, we must learn from the experience of a great leader, Napoleon-I, who said,
“The new generation should know that what is more hard to bear than the severe reverse of fortune – is the baseness and hideous ingratitude of man (and government).”
Legislative bills and laws passed (limiting payments of benefits to U.S. citizens, and to those residing here in the United States consistently reflect a half-hearted approach to the problem, but still show brutality, indifference, inflicting pain and suffering against these indentured veterans whose lengthening shadows await their rendezvous with a bare and naked death out of depravity under corruption.
Out of the 200,000 Filipinos who were conscripted by Pres. F.D. Roosevelt and inducted into the U.S Army in 1941, there are no more than 29,400 surviving veterans, majority of which are still cruelly precluded and deprived of their rightful wartime, battle-earned compensation and benefits entitled to any member of then U.S Armed Forces.
Veterans are not fooled by tomfoolery, fraud or sham. If it is to be blamed on bureaucracy, it is no less a giant government mechanism operated by pygmies in power. Our belief in the principles of the constitution irrevocably disappears when legislative power is abused or misused. Evil springs from national weakness of government. Veterans did not fight and died for the evil of corruption in government, or be victims of deceit.
The rationale behind the abolition (repeal of the Rescission Act of 1946) would justifiably restore the Philippine honor and dignity desecrated by the 79th Congress. Over 60 years of distinct racial and economic discrimination, chicanery and duplicity have caused gross travesty of justice. Albeit the inhuman betrayal that led to the crucible of the intrepid heroes of Bataan, Corregidor and the Philippine Campaign have unfolded the un-American, anti-veteran and travesty of human rights that made descent citizens vomit with shame and disgust.
This crucible is an inviolable struggle of, and by freedom-loving Filipino-American U.S Army ex-servicemen seeking simple justice for their unselfish sacrifices for the U.S. flag and Uncle San’s imperial interests – that later perfidiously turned its back to them after rendering faithful active and military service to the U.S.A.
Unless economic and racial equality is given to citizens, nothing can give basis for American politics which remains a sham.
God can only save a country like ours only if we save ourselves from our own perplexities and conscientiousness to our faults.
We are what has been dubbed as a mega-super power, but in fact and in reality, a morally destitute nation
backsliding into a morass of morbid society of money-mad and bankrupt race divided by contempt for God.
By Col.(Ret) Frank B.Quesada
Former Senate Committee Secretary
Veterans and Military Pensions
Associate, PMA ‘44
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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