BALITANG BETERANO: CONCOCTED NEWS RELEASE BEGUILING VETERANS
NEVADA, September 26, 2003 By Col (Ret) Frank B.Quesada - I just received an e-mail – stating that “the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) yesterday announced that there is growing support for the enactment of a law in the United States that would benefit 8,000 Filipino World War II veterans living in the United States.”
It further stated that “on August 30, 2003 a meeting was held at the embassy with the Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA), Veterans Fedeeration of the Philippines (VFP), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Sons and Daughters, Inc., (VFPDAI) and the American Coalition of Filipino-Veterans (ACFV) .
No Such Agreement
The supposed meeting suggests that an agreement was made to keep on working for passage of Senate Bill –S-1213 and House of Representative Resolution (bill) HR-2357.
As far as I know, I am the VFP representative to the USA. I have not been physically present in said meeting and not aware of such agreement. I have inquired from the rest of the agencies mentioned in the above- announced meeting. They also denied having attended such meeting. Likewise were not aware of any agreement. Therefore the above (bogus) press release appears to be a cruel hoax to veterans. It never happened And is therefore misrepresentation of facts concocted by the source of such press release, presumably from the Dept. of foreign Affairs, mentioned.
There is something fishy and mistrustful of this questionable press releases misleading veterans, and the public. I therefore enjoin the readers not to take such announcement seriously. It has smacks of suspicious motives and what appears as a cover-up for something that may have involved a scam.
Veterans and the public is therefore cautioned to verify bogus-looking news items in the gullible media being that were being used by self-appointed unfit and opportunistic advocates misleading the the public as well. Report such occurrence to this columnist and publication such anomaly so it can be acted upon accordingly.
What I have been officially informed through e-mail in August 19th were as follows:
(a) that – “Pres. G.M. Arroyo wrote a letter to Col. Emmanuel de Ocampo, President of the VFP strongly pushing for passage of House Resolution (a bill) HR-677 filed by Rep. R.Cunningham (R-CA), seeking full benefits to all Fil-Am WW-2 veterans, in a letter to sent by Pres. G.M. Arroyo a copy of which was received by me. (b) The letter stated that “she would during his visit to persuade the U.S. Congress to approve HR-677, but definitely not S-1213 and HR-2357, because these two bills are discriminatory that have specifically precluded the preponderant majority of veterans residing in the Philippines, and who are unable to secure U.S citizenship, but who are bona-fide former U.S Army World War II ex-military servicemen. They are fragile, hungry and dying of disease and want
witnessed by U.S Sen. D Inouye in his last visit to the Philippines sans appreciable relief. It was the reason why Sen. Inouye proposed passage of his senate bill S-68, that provides at least $100 dollar pension per month for these wanting veterans, merely subsisting under the meager $100 (in the equivalent of RPPesos of P5,000 barely enough to pay shelter rental, thus are all un der-nourished.
The following specific leglslations (#1213 and HR-2357 containing unacceptable provisions excluding veterans who are not U.S. citizens and who reside in the Philippines, which has been rejected by indentured Fil-Am veterans as un-American, anti-Filipino veteran and a travesty of justice. It was also denounced by the Jewish Veterans Association of America was unjust and a critical perception and economic discrimination against the Fil-Am veterans.
Affected Fil-Am WW-2 veterans have earlier appealed to the U.S. government for correction of such unfair and unjust legislation inflicted upon the aging, sickly and indentured heroes of Bataan and Corregidor and the Liberation Campaign (1941-to 1945) to no avail.
Veterans bewailed the lack of enthusiasm, savvy and inaction of Philippine authorities in Washington D.C. who appeared just sitting on their ukulis while unfavorable legislations have been going on. The youth advocates led by a certain Mr. R. Mulvaney of Chicago recently attacked and asked for the relief of the Philippine Ambassador for lack of positive action..
Blind leading the Blind
If Pres. Arroyo accepts the offered unfair legislations with mistreatment of unequal benefits from Pres G.W. Bush, such as bills if passed into law i.e., S-1213 and HR-2357 - a great international embarrassment for both herself and Pres. G.W. arises as a horrible case of destitution of knowledge, and breach of protocol; which signify a mischievous prank that creates “second class “of veterans during U.S. State visit.
OVA’s Effort – Brushed Off.
Veterans have also tried to reached the Dept. of Veterans Affairs through Mr. J. Adevoso, Pres. Arroyo’s Special Presidential Representative and head Philippine Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) elucidating the above anomalous situation to save both Chiefs of States from possible ridiculous deride and mockery to no avail.
OVA’s Positive Direction
Mr. Adevoso’s press release expressing the popular demand of and majority veterans here and abroad v was disavowed by the Ambassador, in a counter-press release, thus creating not only confusion but disunity in the Fil-Am community and the veterans population that are up in arms.
Angry Veteran Leaders
I received many phone calls from angry Commanders of the National Advisory Council of Fil-Am WW-2 Veterans USA (of which I am consultant) urging me to write another letter to Pres. G.M. Arroyo to straighten up the Embassy elements in Washington D.C. who are anti-veterans. Also the Sons and Daughters, Inc., deplore amd abhor the irresponsible statement of Amb. A. Del Rosario before the headof the OVA and the Defense Attache, saying “:forget the veterans in the Philippines..” This is not only irresponsible for an ambassador sworn to and paid to protect Filipino citizens (veterans) from foreign discrimination and maltreatment. . Veterans who read this column recommend the recall of Del Rosario, and/or replace him with a career diplomat capable of lifting ghr morale of RP’s diplomatic corps.
Veterans thus interprets that elements in the Philippine government in Washington D.C. has been devious, and is not implementing Pres. G.M. Arroyo’s doctrine of securing full equity of Fil-Am WW-2 benefits underlined and mandated in her letter to Col. E. de Ocampo – for immediate compliance. It can be gainsaid that Pres. G.M. Arroyo, as a daughter of a WW-2 veteran (former Pres. Diosdado Macapagal) has a soft spot for the demands of WW-2 veterans for full equity.
She is a regular member of the VFP Sons and Daughters, Inc., originally organized by J. Adevoso (its former President, Emeritus) now led by former congressman Eduardo Pilapil. The VFP and the VFPSDAI collectively ( that includes as much members of their families) to no less than 2.5 million voting power which catapulted former Pres. C. Aquino and former Pres. F. Ramos to the presidency. And in part support of Pres. Estrada during his election.
Therefore, the VFP and the VFP-SDAIs is a powerful segment of Philippine political and societal segment of society to reckon with. Pres. Arroyo must have the full support of the VFP and the VFP-SDAIs for apparent reason.
Let there be no mistakes and/or un-informed disregarded knowledge about this.!
The Mandated Doctrine
Let it be therefore crystal clear to the veterans, the Fil-Am community, and not to leave out the nonchalant elements in the Philippine Embassy – that the veterans’ demand for full equity is buttressed by Pres. G.M.Arroyo’s mandate for full equal rights of Fil-Am WW-2 Veterans with, and like any member of the U.S Armed Forces that saved democracy for America and her imperial interests in the Philippines in the war.
Mutual Need of Cooperation
Pres. G.W. Bush administration badly needs the Philippine’s cooperation and support in America’s War Against Terrorism. America needs Filipinos to help America rebuild Iraq and other countries where the U.S. have thinly spread its military personnel and resources all over the world.
And the Philippines is also in dire need for jobs for its struggling population for economic existence. Therefore, both presidents are to scratch each other’s backs to ride and survive the obtaining crisis. This entails Filipino soldiers sent to die in Iraq in exchange for loans and favors from the U.S.
Cloture of the Benefit Impasse
Out of the original 200,000 Filipinos conscripted by Pres. F. Roosevelt into the U.S. Army, who were inducted and incorporated into the USAFFE, as well as the Recognized Guerrillas and the Philippine Scouts – there are pnly no more than 24,900 of them as survivors of U.S. cruel policy of retarded and piece-by-piece payment of wartime-earned compensation and benefits.
Arroyo’s Firm Position
Pres. G.M. Arroyo stands firm in backing up the demand of the remaining sickly and aging Fil-Am WW-2 veterans that had more than enough punishment under U.S, cruel policy allowing veterans die so that there would be no more veteran claimants to be paid benefits.
And therefore le there be any recalcitrant self-appointed advocates who use the veterans as their whipping boys for their own whims and caprices and misplaced desire for fame and fortune at the expense of the veterans.
While Amercia’s present benevolent policy under Pres. Bush of settling the U.S. obligation to the Fil-Am WW-2 veterans exists, let there be a final cloture of this over 60 years of truculent critical perception and economic discrimination. Kindness of the U.S. government could be a golden chain which nations are bound together. And in justice and fairness - there is no truly great Godlike moral duty.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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