"In societies where Robbing Hoods are treated like a celebrity it is but natural to expect political parties to act like a Mafia syndicate" Political Jaywalker "In a nation where corruption is endemic people tend to confuse due process with aiding and abetting criminals" Political Jaywalker "War doesn't determine who is right, war determines who is left" Bertrand Russell "You have just one flash flood of money, you keep your people poor. It's like a time bomb and it's scary" Philippine Lawmaker

Call to Action on S1315 to benefit FilVets

Pedestrian Observer GB received an email from Ernie Gange one of the supporters of FilVets alerting us regarding S1315 a bill sponsored by Senator Akaka, Chairman of the US Senate Veterans Affairs Committee. Said bill will include all US Veterans as well as those who saw action in Iraq, a bill that has more chances of being approved rather than a stand alone bill for FilVets.

On Tuesday, April 22 the Senate floor will vote on S.1315 that includes the Filipino WW2 benefits, Naffaa is appealing for immediate and urgent action to call our own US Senators to show up and vote this Tuesday for S1315. Things to do:

  1. Contact both your Senators: Send calls, e-mails and faxes and call on them to cosponsor the Filipino Veterans Equity Act (S. 1315) and to vote for it when it comes to a floor vote.

  2. Oppose efforts to water down the provisions of the current bill: Our unity in support of the current bills sends a message that we support equity for our veterans.

  3. Call on Senators to push this bill through: Senators can vote for "cloture" to help close debate and bring this bill to a final vote.

Please make the following points:

  • The 1946 Rescission Act took away U.S. Veterans status and the Filipino Veterans Equity Act will not only restore this status, but will give them the honor and recognition of their service that they deserve.

  • Nationals from more than 60 other countries who also served under U.S. command received U.S. veterans status- Filipinos were singled out for discriminatory treatment.

  • All of our veterans deserve to be treated the same- we are committed to full and equal benefits in line with what U.S. veterans currently receive.

  • It is important to us that we leave NO veteran behind- we stand in full support of ALL our veterans, but want to make sure that we take care of the veterans who are part of the "Greatest Generation." S. 1315 allows us to provide needed services and benefits for ALL veterans, as well as correct a 62 year injustice to veterans who held the line for us in WWII.

  • Pass the Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Act NOW!

For more information about the bill, or about the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity, contact Ben de Guzman, NAFVE Campaign Coordinator via email.

While the Filipino American community and the Filipino Veterans of WW2 are fighting tooth and nail rallying together with their supporters and detractors (those who think they can also do it based on their delusional egoistic I am superior above the rest) La Gloria de Makapal Arroyo is screwing the veterans as pointed out by Neal Cruz in his column AS I SEE IT:

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is still at her old tricks, bribing people while stabbing them in the back. At the Bataan Day rites last Thursday, she signed a law increasing to P5,000 the monthly pension for war veterans. Big deal! She also announced that a Philippine delegation will go to the United States to lobby for US pensions for the veterans. Nice to hear, beautiful words written by speech-writers, but listen to what you do not hear and is being kept secret:

While extolling these same war veterans at the Bataan Day rites, she was stabbing them in the back. How? The veterans will be deprived of their hospital. Yes, the Veterans Memorial Medical Center (VMMC), near the TriNoMa shopping mall in Quezon City, will be sold by the government to a land developer, to be replaced by high-rise condominiums and business offices.

The hospital and golf course do not even belong to the Philippine government. It was built by the US government and donated to the Filipino war veterans. The donation has a provision that it cannot be sold and alienated. And it is not even included in the development plan for Quezon City’s North and East Triangles which will be turned into the city’s business district.

But the President issued an executive order including VMMC in the development plan, as an excuse to sell it. I do not think an executive order can overrule a condition in a deed of donation. And I think the veterans should protest and the Senate should investigate this latest caper of the administration. We cannot allow this to happen.

The government also tried to sell the national police headquarters Camp Aguinaldo and the tuberculosis hospital Quezon Institute but it was told that these were donated property and that the deeds of donation have a condition that if no longer needed by the donees, they should revert to the donors. The government also tried to sell the Manila Seedling Bank Foundation on North Triangle but the MSBA sued because it has an existing lease.
MSBA won.

That is why the government has issued an executive order in the VMMC case. You have to hand it to the Arroyo administration: If it does not succeed the first, second or third time, it tries and tries again until it succeeds.

The government is also selling the National Center for Mental Health in Mandaluyong City, the nearby Welfareville compound, and the Bilibid Prisons compound in Muntinlupa City.

Why is the Arroyo administration on a selling spree? Because it is going out in two years. Its officials are providing for their future. Make hay while we are still in power. What are we in power for? Also, there will be a presidential election in 2010 and candidates will need plenty of campaign funds. The selling spree is in aid of election.

Are we going to allow the administration to sell everything that belongs to the people just to ensure the election of its candidates?

Now how sick is that? While the WW2 Filipino Veterans are slowly dying trying to fight for equity denied to them all these years the President of the Philippines shamelessly denies them hospital care by trying to sell VMMC that is badly needed now in their advancing years........ While you're at it you might as well call their attention to stop the immoral if not illegal act of selling what rightfully belongs to the Veterans, or better yet why not ask Gloria Arroyo to resign thru Ambassador Willy Gaa at the Embassy of the Philippines, 1600 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC, USA, Telephone 202-467-9300 Facsimile 202-467-9417 or email phembassyusa@verizon.net.


UPDATE 4/24/08 courtesy of Ernie Gange, Senate Approves Filipino Veterans Equity; Bill Now Moves to the House. S1315 passed this noon after some interesting debates between proponents and oppositors. We had some moments during the vote on the Burr amendment but it was defeated by a vote of 56-41. After that the vote on S1315 was a breeze 96-1. ...... read the rest at Filipino WWII Veterans Win Senate Vote.

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