New project pushes for FilVets’ Congressional Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON DC – The Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetRep) is set to release a new powerful documentary about the Filipino veterans and their story of courage and patriotism while fighting alongside the United States during World War II.

FilVetRep is hoping this video will convince more US legislators to co-sponsor a bill that would award Filipino veterans a Congressional Gold Medal for their service.

FilVetRep‘s Region II Coordinator Sonny Busa said, “The Puerto Ricans have been recognized, the African Americans have been recognized, the Japanese, the Navajo Indians, but there were over 200,000 Filipinos soldiers who fought in World War II and they have not been recognized at all. In fact, they had their benefits dropped with the Rescission Act.”

FilVetRep executive board member and filmmaker Sonny Izon says he produced the documentary to help push forward the pending Congressional Gold Medal Act in the US Congress.

“I wanted this to be for them; a final vindication of the fact that they accomplished their mission and 70 years later it hasn’t really been recognized by the American Government yet. Hopefully with the passage of the bill, then everyone will know what we did,” Izon said.

HR 2737 now has 47 co-sponsors in the House with 36 Democrats and 11 Republicans backing this bill.

In the Senate, S 1555 has 27 co-sponsors, 23 of them Democrats and only four Republicans.

But government transparency website govtrack.us’ prognosis shows that this Congressional Gold Medal for Filipino Veterans bill has only a 6 percent chance of getting passed committee and 2 percent chance of being enacted.

But FilVetRep says, kababayans can help get the FilVet Medal bill passed.

FilVetRep’s Marie Blanco said, “They should write to their senators and congressmen, asking them to co-sponsor the legislation. That in order to get this congressional gold medal, we need, we need a lot of support.”

The FilVetRep has officially launched a fundraising campaign that would pay for the congressional gold medals to be given to all World War II Manongs, hopefully, by 2016.

You may contact Don Tagala at don_tagala@abs-cbn.com for more information.

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