Finally!: Justice for Filipino Veterans

February 10, 2009

How do you like our new administration so far?

Apparently, your friend and mine Senator Daniel Inouye slipped a provision into the recently passed stimulus package awarding the $15,000 each the US promised to Filipino veterans last year (if they're US citizens; only $9000 if they're not). Now, all it has to do is survive the committee reconciling the differing House and Senate bills.

These Filipino vets were recruited by the US to fight the Japanese during WWII and promised citizenship and payment. Truman reneged and it wasn't until Clinton that any veterans got to emigrate on the strength of their war service.

Last year the Senate awarded the vets a monthly pension, but it was changed to the (honestly, tiny) lump sum in the House. And then they waited for yet another year. That's okay, they'd already been waiting sixty years for what the US promised them. What's another 360-odd days? Especially since this lump sum is just a token.

"This is not a stimulus proposal. It does not
create jobs,'' [Inouye] conceded. "But the honor of the United States is what
is involved.''


Read all about it in the San Jose Merc. And check out our 2007 article about Filipino veterans in Queens, "Still Fighting," in issue 11.




They had to fight because Japanese would have attacked them. It's ridiculous to send them money now, plus, how the hell does this help United States economey? Inoyue is a weasal for sneaking this into package.
Jose P,You do not know what the hell you are talking about! During the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, it was a Commonwealth of the US. In that agreement, the US was responsible for all military affairs in the Philippines. The US recruited the Filipino's because the Japanese did attack the Philippines (a US commonwealth) including capturing tens of thousands of US troops. Some of which the Filipino veterans later helped rescue. Those veterans were promised pay and citizenship by the US. Then the US conveniently tried to ignore that and cancel that. That is dishonorable. These veterans deserved what was promised to them. So learn your history!Senator Inoyue served proudly in WWII while his fellow Japanese American's were betrayed by their own country and living and dying in internment camps in the deserts of the US with gun towers aimed at them. He has served well as a US Senator and advocate for Asian American rights. Do not try and come in here and disrespect him!
no name-calling, liam! i deleted the name calling from your comment, but next time, I'll just delete the comment. jose p., calling inouye a "weasal" is too close to name-calling. another misspelled insult from you and you'll be deleted.
Claire,It was President George Herbert Walker Bush who signed the bill in 1990 that allowed Filipino WWII veterans to emigrate on the strength of their war service.
thanks for the correction, rudy!
When are the merchant marines going to be eligible for veterans' disability compensation and benefits. They served on ships next to Navy and Coast Guard members. Although they have received some benefits, they haven't received anything as much as being touted for the Filipino veterans.
I am not a fan of how the Filipino veterans have been treated by my country of birth (the U.S., in case you weren't sure), but to sneak them into this already gargantuan bill feels ... dishonorable.
Thank You, American veterans...where ever you came from, every day I enjoy because of the choice you made.When you put on the uniform and make your personal oath its not about payback, its about history(for its a memory of "FTA"). What ever your decorations, accommodations,or ceramonies's still gonna cost you two bucks for a cup of coffee at the local's 2009 the war ended in 1945...64 years pass and whoever is left standing can collect a couple of bucks.What are you and your kids gonna do when your government gives you a choice. Never forget to vote.