Daily Archives: January 10, 2015

FILIPINO WWII VETERANS deserve the same benefits as other service members

January 9

Letter to the Editor

FILIPINO WWII VETERANS deserve the same benefits as other service members

The Jan. 4 front-page article “Final compensation” reflected the historical wrong and the grave injustice that the U.S. government has done to Filipino World War II veterans, who, for 69 years, have been fighting to attain the recognition, benefits and compensation given to other WWII veterans. The Rescission Act of 1946 disqualified certain Filipino fighters from the same benefits enjoyed by active members of the U.S. armed forces, singling out these veterans.

In February 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , which established the WWII Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund, granting one-time, lump-sum payments to those who qualified. Acceptance of the payment constituted a release of any claim against the United States.

The compensation and a Senate bill that expired last month, on reunification of family members of the Filipino WWII veterans, are goodwill gestures by our government to redress this wrong.

The valor and sacrifice of Filipino WWII veterans helped us win the freedoms and the democracy that we all enjoy now. Thousands of these veterans are U.S. citizens, and it is discriminatory to limit their benefits compared with their counterparts.

Our government and the nation owe them fairness, equal treatment and justice. They truly deserve it.

Arnedo S. Valera, Fairfax

The writer is executive director of the Migrant Heritage Commission.