Fil-Am vets hit US senator’s remarks, demand apology
LOS ANGELES—A group of Filipino-American veterans of World War II has joined calls for a public apology from US Sen. Ted Cruz for comparing his lengthy speech on the Senate floor against Obamacare to the Bataan Death March.
“The heroism of the joint US and Filipino Forces in Bataan cannot be compared to the foolish filibuster of (Sen.) Ted Cruz,” said Art Garcia, national coordinator of the Los Angeles-based Justice for Filipino American Veterans.
The Texas Republican spoke on the Senate floor for more than 21 hours on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila), urging his fellow senators to defund President Obama’s signature healthcare reforms. At the conclusion of his remarks, he thanked staff who stayed up through the night for his speech, which he compared to the infamous Bataan Death March that killed hundreds of Filipino and American soldiers at the hands of the Japanese during World War II.
“Now in 31 minutes we will be concluded,” Cruz said. “I don’t want to miss the opportunity within the limited amount of time is imperative that I do, which is to thank the men and women who have endured this, this Bataan Death March.”
Christine Pelosi, who chairs the California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus, denounced the analogy and said Cruz owes the Filipino veterans an apology.
“Rather than use the Bataan Death March as an allusion to his speech to defund Obamacare, Ted Cruz should meet with—and apologize to—Filipino veterans for his despicable, disingenuous Bataan Death March allusion,” Pelosi said in her Huffington Post blog. “He should be seeking justice for Filipino veterans not cheap political tricks for himself.”
The Filipino veterans’ group, the Migrant Heritage Commission and the National Federation of Filipino American Associations have released statements demanding an apology from Cruz.
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