69 years of pain: FilVets gather on Rescission Act anniversary

GLENDALE, Calif. – The war was over by then, but the battle began 69 years ago for Filipino World War II veteran Gregorio Albano.

On Feb. 18, 1946, the Rescission Act stripped him and his comrades of their US military benefits and recognition. He says it still hurts that America had left him and other veterans.

Filipino World War II veterans and their advocates marked the 69th anniversary of the Rescission Act with a prayer vigil at the peace memorial statue of the comfort woman whom they say shares their pain.

“The sad fact until now, the Japanese won’t admit to the war crimes that they perpetrated during the second world war. The same thing, the US Congress won’t admit that they have disenfranchised 250,000 veterans. So were on the same boat,” explained Justice For Filipino American Veterans’ Director Art Garcia.

In the past 69 years since the Rescission Act there have been several attempts to right the wrongs through legislation.

This year, Congress has introduced several bills to benefit Filipino World War II veterans. This include a new verification system for vets trying to collect lump sum payment and congressional medals of honors.

Despite the efforts, FilVets and their allies have not been optimistic. Albano said its been the same case every year, and until now, nothing has happened.

As of now those bills have barely begun the judicial process and are currently being referred to subcommittees. Some veterans believe the best solution is a full veterans equity bill.

“Until the veterans are granted benefits, the same problem about their unification with their family is a pipe dream. No matter what bills they file, it’s only for show. It’s useless,” explained Garcia.

You can contact Steve Angeles at steve_angeles@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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  • Generoso Magaoay
    19 February 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    Veteran advocates, how about protesting on behalf of Filipino World War II veterans. Veteran advocates should also be lobbying for executive action on behalf of Filipino veterans. These veterans are more deserving for executive action to resolve their longstanding crisis of not receiving any benefits despite of the fact that they fought side-by-side with U.S. soldiers against the Japanese while in Philippine soil. Filipino veterans case should take precedence over the illegal immigrant issues.