US willing to review Filipino veterans’ denied claims

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The United States is open to a review of the rejected benefit claims of thousands of aging Filipino veterans who served with American forces during World War II, the chair of the US House committee on veterans’ affairs said on Friday.

Florida Rep. Jeff Miller, head of a congressional delegation that visited the Philippines this week, told the INQUIRER on Friday the US government was willing to take a second look at Filipino veterans’ claims that were denied by the US Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA).

In a meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario sought Miller’s support for a review of the rejected claims of around 24,385 Filipino veterans under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) Fund.

Miller said, however, that such a review was not a guarantee of a reconsideration, saying the US government was “very careful” about approving claims by Filipinos who served under the US flag over six decades ago.

“We understand there are other individuals who claim they have a right to compensation and I agree that every person should have the opportunity for a full and complete review,” he said.

“But we have to be careful that only those who earned the compensation get the compensation,” he added.

The lawmaker led a five-man US congressional delegation on a three-day visit to the Philippines this week.

Miller said “there is support” in the US Congress for such a review.

“…[B]ut that doesn’t guarantee that there’s going to be a change. There are widows, dependents who have applied, there have been some fraudulent claims that have been discovered,” he said, during a visit to the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in Taguig City yesterday morning.

“Obviously those persons are not due the compensation. However, we want to make sure that every person that is due compensation receives it,” he said.

The FVEC is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (Arra) that provides for compensation to Filipinos who fought on the American side during the second World War. Filipino veterans living in the Philippines are entitled to a one-time payment of $9,000 while those living in the United States are to receive $15,000.

The act requires veterans to have documents showing they were on both the Roster of Troops and the Discharge List of the US Army by the end of the war before they could receive the benefits.

Thousands of Filipino veterans received the compensation, while thousands more did not.

Some veterans have gone to court to press for compensation, saying their claims were rejected because the US did not accept Philippine records of their war service.

The veterans also challenged the US DVA’s requirement of documentation from a federal registry in St. Louis, Missouri, saying those records were destroyed in a fire.

Commission for claims review

The case is pending in the US Supreme Court to which the veterans elevated their appeal after it was struck down by a federal appeals court.

Miller said US President Barack Obama, during whose first term Arra was passed, had put together a commission for the claims review. The US Congress is also moving to straighten out the claims process by legislating what documents could be used to prove war service.

“There are several bills pending in Congress that will deal with the types of documents that can be allowed as proof of service,” Miller said.

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  • bogli_anakdami

    hoy mga flip gung gongs… dapat eh tanungin ninyo ang mga arroyos, makapals, quezons, laurels and osmenas about the war damage payment and guerilla/AFFES fund…

    jan yumaman ang mga hindots na yan… dapat ibigay sa mga nasalanta ng giyera… pero ninakaw ang pondong galing kay sakangs at kanutos…

  • Ramses

    The Japanese would have no chance if the number of those claiming for benefits actually fought in World War II. The fact is many of them joined the guerillas after the war was over.  Still, many filed claims just for the heck of it.  The reasoning was that they had nothing to lose anyway.

    I understand that all claims of veterans whose paper works were in order had already been processed.  It’s possible that some veterans may have yet to receive the benefits due them and, as things stand, may even die before they get approved. But the blame should not rest entirely on the U.S. government.  Part of the blame should also go to those greedy kababayans who complicated the claims process by filing false papers.

    As for those complaining that the benefits they received were not enough, what else do they want?  They had already been granted U.S. citizenship and the right to petition their dependents. They had become entitled to SSI payments and Medicaid benefits even though they had not contributed a cent.  On top of that, they had agreed to receive a one-time $15,000 lump sum settlement of their claims.  After cashing the check, they had gone back to court to continue the fight?  I don’t get it.  The fact is they have received far more than the veterans of the Irag and Afghanistan wars.  Take for instance, the veteran who claimed to have shot Osama Bin Laden.  After serving the military for 16 years, he wasn’t entitled for benefits after he left the service.  He should have served 20 years to be eligible.     
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/M3LQ4MUAU3Z36MIQGIGSOKBCQE Rosauro

    Another review? They reviewed it for almost 70 years now. Americans, just like the Chinese, are bullshits!

    • 11koji11

      hehe..the problem is we still spread our legs and let them screw us…guwapo kasi mga puti kaya okay lang daw….

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QFRDX6GBOHOQII2UXLXWOGMJXA JOE MULDOG

    Did the Philippines help out US in the last two wars ? no sent a handful of troops and went home a month later. And if it was not for the US the Japs would own the Philippines. The US always giving to the RP and get’s nothing in return, we owe you NOTHING

    • joerizal

       What an ignoramus commenter. You are shooting monkeys out of your butt and must have grown up in the ghettos. You’re a loser who’s pretending to be an American.

  • akoombulator

    ibigay nyo na kung ibibigay nyo puro dada at delaying tactic moro moro kunong irereview nanaman ng ilang taon hanggang mangamatay na lahat ng mga pinoy ww2 vets

  • akoombulator

    pakyu american nra pig lumabas ka muna sa lungga mo at alamin mo ang tunay na pangyayari makatapak ka sana ng ied matutuwa ako ulul

  • batoph

    The perpetual stalling of the United States of America is unconscionable!

    Given that it is now nearly 70 years since the end of WWII just how many surviving war veterans could there be?

    Let the review take another 10 years Mr. Obama and the problem will just have ‘gone away’

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AS7TUMPAFB6VL3LC57SGY3FO6M Grenouille Vert

    Mga kaibigan, bakit ang mga buhay na beterano lamang ang binayaran ng Amerika?  Wala na ba’ng saysay ang serbisyo ng mga namayapa na sa sakit at katandaan na mga beterano na naka rehistro sa listahan ng mga tunay na beterano?  Buhay man o namayapa na, lahat ng Pilipino’ng beterano ay nag ukol ng buhay  sa pakikipag-laban nuong digmaan.

    Ang “compensation” dapat ay para sa LAHAT ng Pilipino’ng beterano na naka-lista sa rekord sa Amerika.

  • geminimind

    Settle for a little less is better than endless presentation of the case.

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