BALITANG BETERANO: REACTION TO VETS BILLS PASSED BY CONGRESS
NEVADA, USA, December 1, 2003 (Via E-mail) By Col (Ret.).Frank B. Quesada - Veterans Federation of the Philippines Representative to the United States
Mixed reactions were generated by the passage of some health care bills and tardy equalization of rate of payment which is an act to ravish the U.S. Constitution and it war veterans.
“Enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” (See: U.S.C.A. Amend 9)
The preponderant veterans majority of Fil-Am WW-II ex-US servicemen composed today of no less than approx 22,000 of the original 200,000 conscripted y Pres. F. Roosevelt in 1941) are hapless victims of patent invidious Congressional racial and economic discrimination abhorred by the U.S Constitution. (See: U.S Supreme Court decision by Justice Frank Murphy,
Thanks, but no thanks for this deceitful betrayal perpetuated by a few powerful segregationists in Congress pretending to be extraordinary men of deed, My comrades in San Diego, in anger said,
“These deficient laws are just but crumbs thrown to us from the master’s table on the floor just to keep some of us quiet." like dog.)
Passage of those palliative measures appear merely as a minute appeasement to the whole gamut of retarded and unpaid debt as a huge obligation of the U.S. (at one time was $3.2 billion dollars after WW-II) to former members of the U.S. Armed Forces of color. And to avoid payment U.S. (blood debt) obligation deflected by the infamous U.S. Rescission Act. of 1946, that is perpetuated by Congress to obstruct and hold back full settlement of U.S. Constitutional debt.
“Property rights in Veterans benefits can NOT be Divested in contravention of Due Process.” (Fielder versus Cleveland, 333 F. sup. 1t.120-121). Emphasis supplied.
Mistreatment of a social class (as second class veterans) under deceit and double-talk does not fool us veterans at all. Or other war veterans of all nations who see such cruel hoax by Congress.
We, veterans did not come to this country in chain as slaves, nor landed in Plymouth (on Thanksgiving Day) to escape foreign persecution. But as deserving American citizens ( who shed blood and died for the U.S flag and for U.S imperial self-assertive interests in the Far East
“Neither slavery or involuntary servitude .. shall exists within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” ( See: U.S.C.A. Article XIII, Section 1).
My comrades in the Philippines have nothing to celebrate simply because they were again and again excluded from laws passed by a truculent Congress which only benefited Fil-Am WW-II veterans who are U.S. citizens and who are residing here.
“Discrimination is the essence of classification and does violence to the Constitution only when the basis of discrimination is unreasonable . The Fourteenth Amendment operates automatically on a Statute denying certain persons of a class privileged conferred on others of the same class by conferring on persons excluded the same benefits granted to the favored persons.” (16-A C/U.S. 320)
Some members of Congress must be blind, deaf, dumb and callous enough to face us veterans without shame and with hearts of stone. blinded by the smell of the Yankee dollar.
“ What is more difficult to bear than the reverse of fortune is the baseness and the hideous ingratitude of men and government,” said Napoleon-I).
And someone also said, “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless ally.”
The general reaction to this much-bandied exuberant minute grant of health benefits, has been truly unfair to those preponderant veterans majority of Fil-Am veterans out there 8,000 miles across the Pacific who are not covered by these unfair bills.
It could hardly be feather on the cap of Prez G.W. Bush because of the discriminatory provisions precluding the preponderant veterans majority residing in the Philippines, to top it all, is counterproductive to what is the traditional American sense of fairness.
In the words of the late Brig. Gen (Ret.) Carlos P. Romulo, while he was the Philippine High Commissioner to the U.S., in his speech on the floor of then U.S House of Representatives in May 1946 said: “It is un-American, anti-veteran." See: Congressional Record, of May 1946).
On the subject of slave pay in WW-II in the military, the U.S court said, “While Congress may repeal Statute or amend it in response to Judicial interpretations, such legislation doe not cut off the rights of those persons, who are unconstitutionally deprived of Statutory benefits to which they were previously entitled.” ( See: Olegario, 629 E.2d at 220)
To top it all, unfortunately we have among us unauthorized self-appointed individuals and organizations ( i.e., the ACFV, the Naffaa. AmFilVets and self-anointed parties ) that has no legal and proper standing in the veteran’s official lobby – who perfidiously were clandestinely speaking for, and misrepresenting the preponderant veteran majority, espousing “piece-meal” payment of veterans benefits, which runs opposite to what the preponderant veterans majority demand due to their advanced age and disease. They do not have the luxury of time to be further maltreated or betrayed.
Not to leave out the RP Embassy that failed to protect Fil-Am veterans by objecting and/or making a statement of disapproval of the discriminatory provisions of many bad bills in Congress. It had to take the Head of the Office of Veterans Affairs OVA) and this author, as VFP representative to then U.S. to set the record straight to no avail. It has been a state of disorder.
There still many bills in both Houses which precludes Fil-Am WW-II veterans from full equity that stare squarely on the faces of recreant legislators who hug the pork barrel for themselves. What veterans demand is already their money they earned in battle. Why refuse full settlement?
May God save this soulless nation without zeal. ##
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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