FIL-VETERANS  COMMENDS  NANCY  PELOSI ON  STRONG  SUPPORT  FOR  EQUITY

VIA THE INTERNET
, MARCH 1, 2007 (NaFFAA) (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 28, 2007 www.nationalfilvets.org nafve2007@gmail.com) Contact: Perry Diaz: 916.691.6642 Jon Melegrito: 202.361.0296 Ben de Guzman: 202.422.4909

Washington, DC- The National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) praised Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement on equity for Filipino World War II Veterans. In her newsletter, The Capitol dated February 27, Speaker Pelosi said:

"Two long-awaited issues facing the AAPI community, the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill and Comfort Women, were in the spotlight this month and it could not have happened without Democrats in the majority. I would like to commend the work of Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner for his leadership on the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill. This is an issue that affects many of my constituents in San Francisco and something that I have continuously supported since I arrived to the Congress. Also, I would like to thank Chairman Mike Honda and Vice Chairman Eni Faleomavaega of CAPAC (Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) for their efforts to protect the human rights of World War II comfort women. These two groups of people - Filipino veterans and comfort women - have long suffered injustice against them and the time has come for them to be heard. Granting Filipino veterans full veteran's benefits and recognizing the horrific acts committed against the comfort women are long overdue. With Democratic leadership at the helm in Congress, we will continue to make sure these issues are heard." "Speaker Pelosi has been a strong proponent of Filipino Veterans Equity Act, and we are pleased to have her support as Speaker of the House," said Lilian Galedo, NAFVE Co-Chair and Executive Director of the Bay Area based Filipinos for Affirmative Action. "Her leadership, along with that of our other friends on Capitol Hill, has been critical to the success we have enjoyed thus far."

"This bill is moving forward," said Perry Diaz, NAFVE Steering Committee Member and Chair of the National Federation of Filipino American Republicans. "Speaker Pelosi's strong statement has been just the latest example of positive movement on Capitol Hill on HR 760, including active support from Senator Boxer, Representative Bob Filner, and Representative Mike Honda with the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. As our communities mobilize at the grassroots level, we can only look forward to more bi-partisan support for this bill and success in finally achieving justice for our brave Filipino veterans."

The National Alliance represents over 20 local, national and international organizations committed to securing full equity for Filipino World War II Veterans. More information about NAFVE and the Filipino Veterans Equity Act is available on the NAFVE Web site: www.nationalfilvets.org.

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT FOR THE FILIPINO VETERANS EQUITY ACT FROM MEMBERS OF CONGRESS

"Two long-awaited issues facing the AAPI community, the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill and Comfort Women, were in the spotlight this month and it could not have happened without Democrats in the majority. I would like to commend the work of Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Bob Filner for his leadership on the Filipino Veterans Equity Bill. This is an issue that affects many of my constituents in San Francisco and something that I have continuously supported since I arrived to the Congress. Also, I would like to thank Chairman Mike Honda and Vice Chairman Eni Faleomavaega of CAPAC (Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus) for their efforts to protect the human rights of World War II comfort women. These two groups of people - Filipino veterans and comfort women - have long suffered injustice against them and the time has come for them to be heard. Granting Filipino veterans full veteran's benefits and recognizing the horrific acts committed against the comfort women are long overdue. With Democratic leadership at the helm in Congress, we will continue to make sure these issues are heard." Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), February 27, 2007

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"In order to right this injustice and support our veterans, the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is united in our support of H.R. 760, the Filipino Veterans Equity Act, introduced by Representative Bob Filner. H.R. 760 would do justice by providing the full benefits promised to all Filipino veterans who fought in WWII under the command of the U.S . military. H.R. 760 would eliminate the disparities in benefits between some Filipino veterans, and restore the honor and dignity they deserve.

On February 15, 2007, I testified, along with CAPAC Executive Board members Del. Madeleine Bordallo and Rep. Mazie Hirono, at the Filipino Veterans hearing before the full Committee on Veterans' Affairs. This hearing also included moving testimony from many Filipino veterans, former military officers, and community members, all supporting the long overdue reinstatement of benefits to Filipino veterans of WWII. Additionally, CAPAC Executive Board members Rep. Neil Abercrombie and Rep. Xavier Becerra met with Filipino American community organization leaders to discuss the urgent need for passage of H.R. 760." Representative Mike Honda (D-CA), February 23, 2007

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"In the years before the Commonwealth of the Philippines was granted independence by the United States in 1946, members of the Commonwealth's military forces were called and ordered to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces. These troops served bravely and honorably throughout World War II, and they were authorized to receive full pay and benefits for their service. However, in 1946, Congress rescinded benefits for Filipino veterans.

Throughout the years, I have sponsored and supported legislation to right this historical wrong and restore benefits to these courageous veterans who fought side by side with U.S. Armed Forces in World War II."- Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), February 20, 2007

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"For more than sixty years, a wrong has existed that must be righted. I urge everyone here to think of morality, of dignity, of honor. There is scarcely a Filipino family today, in either the United States or in the Philippines, that does not include a World War II veteran or a son or daughter of a veteran. Sixty years of injustice burns in the hearts of these veterans. Now in their 80s and 90s, their last wish is the restoration of the honor and dignity due them. It is time that our nation adequately recognizes their contributions to the successful outcome of World War II, recognize the injustice visited upon them, and act to correct this injustice." Representative Bob Filner (D-CA), February 15, 2007

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"The Filipino Veterans Equity Act, which I introduce today, would restore the benefits due to these veterans by granting full recognition of service for the sacrifices they made during World War II. These benefits include veterans health care, service-connected disability compensation, non-service connected disability compensation, dependent indemnity compensation, death pension, and full burial benefits.

Throughout the years, I have sponsored several measures to rectify the lack of appreciation America has shown to these gallant men and women who stood in harm's way with our American soldiers and fought the common enemy during World War II. It is time that we as a Nation recognize our long-standing history and friendship with the Philippines." Senator Inouye (D-HI), January 4, 2007

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NATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR FILIPINO VETERANS EQUITY MEMBERS Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) National Federation of Filipino-American Associations (NaFFAA) National Network for Veterans Equity (NNVE), San Francisco, CA Office of Veterans Affairs, (P V A O - D N D), Embassy of the Republic of the Philippine Erasto R. Batongmalaque Foundation, Inc. (ERBF), Los Angeles, CA Federation of Filipino American Associations, Inc. (FFAAI) Filipino American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA) Filipino American Veterans Society Inc. of Jacksonville, Florida (FASI) Filipino American Service Group, Inc. (FASGI), Los Angeles, CA Filipino War Veterans of Washington (FWVW), Seattle, WA Filipino-American Democrats of South New Jersey Filipino-American Republicans of Virginia (FARV) Filipino-American Veterans & Families, Inc (FAFV), San Francisco, CA Filipino-American Veterans of Hampton Roads (FAVHR), VA Filipino-American WWII Veterans Federation of San Diego County Filipinos for Affirmative Action, (FAA), Oakland, CA Hunters-ROTC Guerilla Sons & Daughters Association, Inc. National Association of Sons and Daughters of Fil-Am World War II Veterans National League of Volunteers for Veterans Philippine Nurses Association President for Pennsylvania and New Jersey President, Bataan & Corregidor Survivors Assn & Their Families (BCSA&TF) Student Action for Veterans Equity (SAVE)

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National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA)

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email: press@naffaa.org phone: 202.986.1153 web: http://www.naffaa.org

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