October 23, 2004 (BALITANG BETERANO By Col (Ret) Frank B. Quesada, Former Senate Committee Secretary, Veterans and Military Pension Associate PMA ‘44)  In reply to many queries from both Fil-Am and U.S. veterans and from the Filipino community, I am herewith clarifying the status and mission of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP).

No Such Agent

I, hereby declare that I have no such agent connected what-so-ever with my work in my capacity as the VFP Veteran’s Representative to the USA. As a matter of fact, the VFP has not given any tacit permission or authority to anyone to speak for, or represent the preponderant veterans majority (veterans) both residing in the Philippines and here in the United States.

Don’t Believe Such Yarn

Such yarn is not true and therefore, should not be taken seriously. I don't need such person at all.. There is need for a person like me with actual experience to monitor the official legislative lobby of all Fil-Am World War –II veterans in the U.S. Congress and the Administrative branch. I don’t deal with impostors or pretenders who do not have any savvy in the legislative process.

My Credentials

I was appointed to such position by virtue of my qualification with a wealth of experience as: former Senate Committee Secretary of the Veterans and Military Pensions, and as previous Vice President of the VFP, concurrently then - as Assistant Secretary to the Board of Directors of the Philippine Veterans Bank. (PVB). Then, later as PR Director.

VFP a -Chartered by Law

In May 1960, the Philippine House of Representatives passed a bill No. 1847. creating a Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) as a non-stock corporation. On the same date, the Philippine Senate approved a counter measure that culminated into an approved law such as Republic Act 2640, and was signed into law, envisioned in the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippine, then signed into law by the President on June 18, 1960.

Single Umbrella Organization

The VFP was created as the sole umbrella organization of all Filipino-American World War–II who have been mistreated unfairly and unjustly by the US government since 1942. The VFP was created to uphold and defend the democratic way of life. And to be the single voice of Fil-Am WW-II war veterans, and to solely represent and defend the Fil-Am veteran’s vested right and property interests that the veterans have earned in battle, to coordinate all efforts of war veterans as well as retirees. It was mandated to promote mutual help among their comrades and to foster love of God and country an civic awareness. In general, it shall exist as solely for the purpose of a benevolent character – which does not diminish liability for military service and shall not leave anybody behind.

Basic Qualification of Members

A member must have honorably served in the naval, air, and land armed services of the Philippines, and is duly listed in the roster of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, (and in the roster of the U.S. Armed Forces by virtue of his active military service in Word War-II). It is therefore, clear that any of the present individuals or units posing as instant experts and pretenders as self-appointed advocates claiming as members, and/or usurpers of veteran’s claims for benefits who have not met the basic qualifications, and who have not been duly qualified are therefore impostors and or pretenders not worth a damn.

The Supreme Council

The governing body of the VFP is the Supreme Council that exercises corporate powers. The Executive Board has the power to act in behalf of the Supreme Council – composed of the elective officials of the VFP. Each of the business of the VFP is taken up in the Standing & Special Committees. The VFP receives assistance from the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB) for its operation, and from other viable veteran’s entities. It has a Legislative Program for both official lobbies in the Philippine’s legislature, and in the U.S. Congress owing to the huge monetary and service obligation to Filipino-American World War II Veterans by the U.S. government.

Thus, the Philippine government has created an Office of Veterans Affairs (OVA) to oversee the legislative claims of Fil-Am veterans for unpaid compensation and benefits by the U.S. government. It is independent agency directly accountable to the President of the Philippines that created it. The total debt unsettled by the U.S. to Fil-Am WW-II veterans was reported by the U.S.V.A. as US$3.2 billion dollars incurred during World War II for active and honorable military service in the U.S. Armed Forces. Sadly, however, the U.S. government have attempted to deny and /or retard payment of this U.S. constitutional debt to Fil-Am veterans, while it continued to pay the Caucasian members of the U.S. Armed Forces, and even the 16,000 allied nationals of 16 nations that also fought for the U.S. flag, but not Filipino veterans. Such blatant invidious racial and economic discrimination against Fil-Am war veterans of the U.S. Army have existed for the last 60 years of escape innovation by the government. As early as 1946, the Philippine government, as the conduit of Fil-Am veterans for the veterans’ claims for unpaid compensation and benefits have lodged several missions to the U.S. to effect settlement from the U.S. government that has been hoarding the money already owned by the Fil-Am veterans for their active and honorable military service – but payment has been hoarded as the pork of politicians.

Joint Commissions

Almost every other year there has been Joint Commissions formed to effect settlement, but powerful barriers had been thrown in its path. It has been glaringly apparent that the U.S. government barefacedly without shame – have devised a cruel way to retard settlement, while the original 200,000 Fil-Am veterans that were conscripted by Pres. F. Roosevelt in 1941 continuously die of old age, disease and want without being paid their rightful wartime benefits. They are now less than 30,000 of them suffering from neglect and indifference from U.S. cruel hoax staring at every face of powerful avid government officials.

Fil-Am Spiteful Saboteurs

Regretfully, we have thorns on our side who have spitefully destroyed the good standing of the official veterans lobby through their reckless imprudence. They have taken the liberty without the corresponding responsibility in intruding into the official lobby as impostors and pretenders who has no tacit authority and permission from the preponderant veterans majority (the VFP) to intercalate their offensive agenda into the established legislative program of the VFP.

These baneful individuals and units have caught the ire and wrath of US legislators like Rep. B. Filner, B. Gilman, and supporters of HT-677 - who described them as ignorant of the legislative process, and are toxic to the Fil-Am cause. Up until now, we have a handful of them who have injured the official lobby. Disguised segregationists in Congress have been laughing all the way to the Hill upon seeing Filipino “crabs” dividing the Fil-Am community while seeking cheap fame through press releases at the expense of the Fil-Am WW-II veterans.

At least here are about half a dozen of these Fil-Am saboteurs willfully and maliciously destructive with artifices using the veterans as their “whipping boys” for their scams. And for their solicited contributions and grants from foundations they were able to deceive. These Makapilis (traitors to humanity) for a handful of silver, with blood in their hands, or for false fame never really prosper. Like cowards they die a thousand deaths before their real demise.

Of late, one of them (an intruder (the Naffaa) federation have taken upon itself to raise the question of passage of HR-677 directly before the House veterans Committee Chairman, and was bluntly slammed by Rep. C. Smith stating that there would be no public hearing of HR-677 and that there is no budget authorization by the Congressional Budget Office. (CBO) This undisciplined, discordant and inconsiderate effort of Naffaa against the sponsors of HR-677 (namely Rep. B. Filner and Rep. R.Cunningham) have upstaged the honest effort to secure budget authority from the CBO. It has virtually sabotaged the sponsor’s legislative work. The injury has again been inflicted. And to add insult to the said injury, Naffaa sent its uninteresting low-ranking PRO to Manila to further complicate the problem, by asking he RP Defense Secretary to instead endorse S-68, which was long congealed (frozen) by its author, Sen. D. Inouye.

At this point in time, there are a thousand bayonets pointed at the Naffaa leadership for misrepresenting the legitimate demands of veterans. This undesirable events could not have happened if the ambassador has been competent, and alert. Instead he has been neglectful and inutile - merely sitting on his ukuli. As usual he never protested against a hoard of pending discriminatory legislative measures excluding veterans based in the Philippines from benefits. Veterans are up in arms and demanded replacement of the ambassador who has no guts (no gory) to face-up with legislators, thus - is non-grata to the preponderant veterans majority under the VFP. These untoward events happens under the gross imprudence of such intruders ignorant of the legislative process. # #

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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