FIL-AM WW-II VETERAN’S BENEFIT CLAIM FROM THE UNITED STATES
By Col (Ret.US) Frank B. Quesada
Military service of Filipinos under the U.S.flag commenced when Pres. F. Roosevelt exercised his powers as Commander-in-Chief, authorized under the Philippine Independence Act of 1934, and the Ordinance appended to the constitution of the Commonwealth of the Philippines when he ordered and called all abled-bodied Filipinos to serve the United States Army Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) on July 26, 1941.
Filipinos became lawful members of the United States Armed Forces upon induction into the USAFFE under he command of Gen, Douglas McArthur.
All officers and enlisted men were subsequently mustered as members of the U.S., Army. The total period of Filipino military in, and for the U.S. government covered approximately four years and eleven months……
In this own words, Gen. D. McArthur state, to wit:
No army has ever done so much with so little.
And it is of record that one for every six Filipino soldier in the service of the U.S. Army died in line of duty, or a death casualty ratio of around 17 per cent of the total strength. Further, the World War-II death casualties ratio for the whole US Army was approximately 2.5 per cent . The maimed and disabled among Filipino soldiers, however, have not been fully accounted for.
Albeit, those who survived the war, very well know that the service-connected disabilities among Filipino soldiers could more than double the reported 10 per cent overall ratio for the whole US Army, according to Brig. Gen.(Ret) Carlos P. Romulo.
Shocked and awed by the report of the then Gen. (Ret.) Omar Bradley, as the then Administrator of the U.S. Veterans Administration, which showed that the U.S. incurred and owed the Filipino WW-II veterans the total amount of US$3.2 Billion dollars, the U.S 79th Congress hastily passed the infamous and offensive
Rescission Act of 1946
This ugly and morally offensive and unconstitutional law stood as a cruel act ever found in the US statute books which was an inhuman law and against human rights. The patent controversial provisions in this law is a black spot in U.S history which stated, to wit:
x x for the purposes of any law in the United States conferring rights, privileges, and benefits, the service of the officers and men of the Philippine Army (who were incorporated into the USAFFE) rendered in compliance with the Military Order of Pres. F. Roosevelt of July 26, 1941 shall not be deemed to be or to have been service in the military or naval forces of the United States.
With a little thread of soul left, such transgression and attack against moral law this provision of this Public Law 301, 79th Congress approved on February 18, 1946, otherwise known as the US Surplus Appropiations Rescissoin Act of 1946, granted only two exceptions:
Only two laws wherein Filipino veterans could claim for benefits such as: (1) The National Service Life Insurance Act of 1940,. under existing contracts entered into, and (2) Laws administered by the U.S. V.A., for disability or death benefits pensions.
Reading further such provisions, these two exceptions cover benefits which generally could be enjoyed only by those who are disabled or by beneficiaries of the deceased. Provided: they could be accounted for.
Proving by veterans to the U.S. authorities any service connected or death is next to impossible in the Philippines.due to circumstances and unavailable facilities. Therefore, the effect of this dastard Rescission Act of 1946 to the Filipino WW-II veteran is fiendish.
This truculent Act is not only a cause of for deprivation of established vested rights and property interests as well as privileges of Filipino war veterans who shed blood and died for the U.S. flag and American imperial interests.
While nature of such claim by Filipino war veterans was monetary alone primarily involved, it is more than meets the eye. The crux of such claim is also the integrity ( honor and dignity) of the Filipino solders who loyally served in the U.S Armed Forces during the war. Not to leave out the basic principle of law against deprivation of accrued and battle-earned vested rights.
This 63 years of US retardation of payment of full equity compensation and benefits still unpaid reflects the true intention of the U.S. in its innovative escape from the huge obligation and responsibility that could not be ignored. It is a crime perpetuated against humanity.
Col (Ret.US) Frank B. Quesada
Former Senate Committee Secretary
Veterans and Military Pensions
Associate PMA 44