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18/02/2013: Statement of H.E. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. on the 67th Anniversary of the Rescission Act of 1946, February 18, 2013- Washington DC

18 FEBRUARY 2013

Statement of H.E. Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr.
on the 67th Anniversary of the Rescission Act of 1946
February 18, 2013- Washington DC

February 18, 1946 marked an iniquitous day in Philippines-U.S. history. Barely had the smoke cleared in war ravaged Manila when the United States Congress passed a law, PL 301-79, which includes a rider that expressly denied recognition of the service of the Filipino soldiers called into battle by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

For the past 67 years, we have joined our Filipino and Filipino American veterans in a long and arduous struggle to obtain recognition for their military service and their fair and just compensation. We appreciate the various efforts the United States has exerted in responding to our advocacies. The Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund that was signed into law in February 17, 2009 provided limited compensation of $15,000 to naturalized US citizens and $9,000 to non-US citizens. While this was welcomed by our aging heroes, certain procedures have resulted in the denial of a good number of applications. To date, more than 24,000 of the 43,083 applications received were denied. At the twilight of their lives, Filipino WW2 veterans continue to struggle for recognition and just compensation.

We are pleased that the United States, both the Administration and the Congress, continue to engage with us in addressing outstanding issues. Various proposals have been put forward with the aim of securing compensation and recognition for our veterans. We call on all Filipinos and Filipino Americans to come together, unite, and rally behind a common cause.

As we recall the passage of PL 301-79 today, let us remember our veterans whose fight for fairness and justice remains unfinished after almost seven decades.  It is our hope that the United States will do everything in its power to complete the work in correcting the wrongs of the past and granting the veterans the recognition and honor they deserve.