MANILA, Philippines—Besides overseas Filipino workers in the North Korean and South Korea, the war veterans in the Philippines are more worried over the ongoing conflict between the two neighboring nations.
“Siguradong madadamay tayo sa nagaganap na hidwaan pero sana pag-usapan sa lalong madaling panahon upang maiwasan ang pag danak ng dugo (For sure we’re going to be affected but we hope it will be resolved through peaceful discussions to avoid bloodletting),” lawyer Ed Pilapil, first nominee of Veterans Freedom Party-list (VFP) in the forthcoming May polls, said.
When asked about the group’s position to the ongoing conflict during a recent Kapihan sa Restorante La Capre Pilapil said, “we hope that the negotiation starts soon to prevent the escalation of a full-blown war.”
As a member of the United Nations and a family of civilized nations, Pilapil said “we will be sending troops as part of the UN expeditionary forces and if that happens madadamay tayo.”
Pilapil added, “Our proximity to the Korean peninsula also calls that we cannot remain neutral.”
The upcoming RP-US Balikatan exercises, Pilapil added, is more than necessary for the Philippine military to undertake because the signs of the times indicate that the country cannot do it alone.
He said, “Nandyan na ang China malapit sa Pilipinas, tapos eto naman ang South Korea malapit din sa atin (China is near the Philippines, then here is South Korea which is also near our country).”
VFP was busy a couple of weeks ago when it celebrated the Veterans Week (April 5 to April 11).
Pilapil said, “This was our way of showing that we remember the sacrifices of our veterans especially the World War II veterans that fought hard for our freedom.”
Pilapil said, “The freedom that we enjoy now is the fruit of the sacrifices of our veterans that’s why it is only fitting that we observed Veterans Week. Veterans Week was officially declared by President Corazon Aquino on September 14, 1999.”
On the electoral participation of the VFP, Pilapil said the nation should support VFP in recognition of the contributions made by veterans for the love of country and for the cause of freedom.
“The example that they gave us will encourage patriotism among the youth and the generation to come,” Pilapil said.
He is hoping that with his presence in the House of Representatives he will succeed in giving more benefits to the veterans.
“Only P5,000 monthly is being given to the veterans and this amount confirms that the veterans are the least attended or cared for by the government,” he said.