Filipino WWII veterans continue to rally for full equity

By Steve Angeles and Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN North America

Nov. 11, 2014

LOS ANGELES – Filipino World War II veterans and their supporter gathered in Hollywood for their annual Veterans Day March to call for full equity for the aging manongs.

While veterans in their late 80s and 90s rode in a convoy, the young supporters marched down a half-mile stretch of the famed Hollywood Blvd. and culminated in the afternoon at Hollywood and Highland, a popular tourist destination.

Fil-Vets and their supporters also had a contingent at the annual San Francisco Veterans Day Parade.

Like the one in Los Angeles, many Fil-Am youth took part in the event with veterans riding along in cable cars.

Many of the youth came with their Filipino student organizations, fraternities, and sororities.

These student groups raise awareness for veteran’s equity by teaching this issue to its members and communities.

“It’s important for us because our generation of veteranos are dying out so it’s important for us to know that knowledge and for us to keep on fighting for it,” said Luke Jocson, a 19-year-old SFSU student and member of Chi Rho Omicron fraternity.

“We are standing on the shoulders of the many Pilipinos who fought for our rights to be recognized here in this community,” 19-year-old SF State student and Kappa Psi Epsilon sorority member Jeannel Antolin Poyaoan said.

Joemarie Dela Pena, also an SFSU student and member of Kappa Psi Epsilon sorority, added: “We need to fight for our veteranos because if not us then who and if not now, then when?”

There are several bills that would grant Filipino World War II veterans and their survivors full benefits and equity but have stalled in Congress.

Advocates say they hope that Congress can still pass legislation within the next two months before the end of this current congressional session.

“We are still supporting them by working to give them their congressional gold medal to veterans of Bataan but the most important one for the Filipinos is the Fairness Act of 2013,” said veteran advocate Art Garcia.

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

2 Comments on this post.

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  • kikay Pang0
    11 November 2014 at 4:04 pm - Reply

    This phony Fil. Vets doesn’t deserve to get any back pay and benefits from the US govt. …. Americans suffered enough to many fake claims made by Filipinos.

  • Mario
    12 November 2014 at 2:46 am - Reply

    On 2010 speech of Sen Ted Cruz,Republican,he said “Obamacare is just like the Bataan Death March for the American, because it is a long period of pain and torture.” FilVet objected and ask the Senator for an apology for his comment. Sen Ted Cruz went to deliver personally his letter of apology and met all the Filvets. Why not the FilVet go and ask help from Sen Ted Cruz,being the most influential Senator on the new Congress.Bring also a FilVet letter of apology.

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