Del Rosario, war vets hail Sen. Inouye as friend of PH

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The late Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario paid his final respects on Thursday to Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii, whom the cabinet official described as one of the greatest supporters of the Philippines in United States.

“It was an honor for me to bid farewell to such a giant of a man,” the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in Manila quoted Del Rosario as saying after attending the solemn ceremonies at the US Capitol in honor of the late American legislator.

“Senator Inouye will always be remembered for his strong support for the Philippines. With his unexpected passing, we lost our leading champion in the US Congress,” Del Rosario added.

Del Rosario personally conveyed President Aquino’s message of condolences to the senator’s widow, Irene Hirano Inouye, his son Kenny and other members of his family.

Del Rosario joined other ranking US officials and members of the diplomatic corps in paying their respects to the World War II combat veteran, who died Monday of respiratory complications. Philippine Ambassador to the US Jose Cuisia Jr. was also present at the Capitol Rotunda.

In an earlier letter of condolence to Mrs. Inouye, Del Rosario described the late senator as a true friend of the Philippines, adding that he was “our champion in the US Congress, advancing Philippines-US relations by the judicious exercise of leadership roles in the US Senate which made bipartisan support for our causes possible.”

“Senator Inouye will likewise be remembered by the families of countless Filipino World War II veterans who finally received the long-delayed recognition of their sacrifices,” Del Rosario said.

Surviving Filipino war veterans, represented by Veterans Federation of the Philippines president Col. Emmanuel De Ocampo, said they “mourn the loss of a dear, dear friend.”

“Sen. Dan Inouye understood what the Filipino veterans are fighting for and that is recognition and just compensation from the US government,” De Ocampo said.

In 2009, Inouye made possible the passage of the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund as part of the economic stimulus package signed by US President Barack Obama. As a result, surviving recognized Filipino veterans based in US received a one-time payment of $15,000 while those in the Philippines received $9,000.

At the time of his death, Inouye was the most senior senator, Dean of the Senate and President Pro Tempore. He was also the second longest-serving US senator in history.

A member of the Democratic Party, he was also instrumental in advocating the passage of the Save Our Industries Act, which seeks to expand Philippine-US trade in textiles and apparel.

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  • kanoy

    The senator from Hawaii a Japanese American did for the Philippines what not 1 Philippine senator even tried to do….get the Filipino who served with the US here in the RP paid as promised…a MOH winner he cared about the veterans enough to make it his life goal and in 2008 Obama made that goal a reality….RIP

  • joboni96

    pilipinos and japanese are
    natural allies

    it’s only when the imperialist u.s.
    entered the asean pacific scene

    pinag away away tayo
    for the greed of the imperialists

    naturuan nila ulit mga intsik switik
    kaya hegemonistang intsik switik na rin

    r i p   senator
    thanks for helping pilipinos
    gypped by the imperialists

  • airbase

    We bid farewell to one of the steadfast American friends and supporters of the Philippines.  To you sir, we owe our deepest gratitude.  

    Our condolences to the senator’s widow, son and family.

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