Petition 81024

Print this page
Submitted TextClose Window X

Filipino Veterans Equity Act of 2007 (81024-C1-R9999)

Add new resolution as follows:
  
    WHEREAS, during World War II, the military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines were drafted to serve in the United States Armed Forces in the Far East under the command of General Douglas MacArthur; and
   
    WHEREAS, Filipino soldiers fought with Americans in the bloodiest battles of World War II, including the battle at Corregidor; and
    WHEREAS, thousands of Filipino prisoners of war died during the 65-mile Bataan Death March, and those who survived were imprisoned under inhumane and degrading conditions; and
    WHEREAS, for serving in the U.S. Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE), Filipino veterans were promised military benefits and U.S. Citizenship; and
    WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress passed the Recession Act of 1946, Section 107 of Title 38 of the United States code, that mandated that the service performed by Filipino veterans would not be recognized as “active service,” thus denying Filipino veterans the rights, privileges, and benefits that U.S. veterans receive, including health benefits and pension; and
    WHEREAS, both President Bill Clinton and President George H. Bush issued two Presidential Proclamations recalling the sacrifice, courage, and loyalty of Filipino veterans of World War II; and
    WHEREAS, the United States Congress passed two resolutions in 1996 and 2005 that recognized and thanked the Filipino veterans of World War II for their service and contribution toward the successful outcome of the war; and
    WHEREAS, on January 4, 2007, Senator Daniel Inouye introduced S. 57, and on January 31, 2007 Congressman Bob Filner introduced H.R. 760, both known by the ‘Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Act of 2007', that would amend Title 38 of the United States Code to deem certain service in the organized military forces of the government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines and the Philippine Scouts to have been active service for purposes of benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs; and
    WHEREAS, both bills are reintroductions of bills introduced in every Congress since the 105th Congress that would have granted Filipino veterans of World War II the same rights and benefits as U.S. veterans, but have not been enacted; and  
    WHEREAS, the Philippine Embassy reports that there are only approximately 18,000 veterans left who would be able to take advantage of the Equity Act, and they are dying at a rate of approximately 8 to 10 a day; and
    WHEREAS, many Filipino veterans will not receive the benefits that they deserve and are entitled to if S. 57 and H.R. 760 do not pass; and  
    WHEREAS, it is written in Micah 6:8: “And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”  
    NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the General Conference of The United Methodist Church declares its unqualified support for the ‘Filipino WWII Veterans Equity Act of 2007', that would amend Title 38 of the United States Code to deem Filipino Veterans of WWII to have been in active service of the U.S. military for purposes of benefits under programs administered by the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and
   
    BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the General Conference instructs appropriate agencies, like the General Board of Church and Society, to monitor this legislation in the U.S. Congress, and to enjoin all of its agencies to work with the National Association of Filipino American United Methodists (NAFAUM) and the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE) in ensuring its passage.
  
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the U.S. Senate and the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.