- An independent film by TS Botkin -
America’s Broken Promise to the Philippines
During World War II, more than 260,000 Filipino and Filipino American soldiers answered President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s call to defend the United States and the Philippines during World War II. The bravery and sacrifice of these soldiers were integral to American victory in the Pacific. Instead of being recognized for their wartime service and sacrifice, the Rescission Acts of 1947 revoked the US nationality status of 200,000 Filipino WWII soldiers and their promised compensation.
No citizenship rights
No veterans benefits
Filipino Veterans of World War II
Filipino WWII veterans demonstrate for their benefits in front of the Veterans Memorial building in San Francisco, California.
Filipino World War II Soldiers: America's Second-Class Veterans by Rick Rocamora
Filipino WWII veteran Ciriaco Ladines proudly displays his Congressional Gold Medal, received during the award ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 25, 2017.
The long awaited recognition for Filipino veterans of World War II and their families
Despite the injustice, discrimination, and sense of inferiority they suffered after the war, these veterans remained proud, steadfast, and loyal to the United States. In May 2013, the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) was formed to create a national campaign to raise awareness through academic research and public education and obtain national recognition of the Filipino-American WWII soldiers for their wartime service to the United States and Philippines from July 1941 to December 1946.
FilVetREP’s plan comprises three phases:
Phase one: Passage of the Congressional Gold Medal
The tireless efforts of members of FivetREP, partners, and sponsors for their grassroots campaign eventually led to the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act signed into law by President Obama on December 14, 2016.
On October 25, 2017, Former House Speaker Paul Ryan awarded the Congressional Gold Medals to over 600 Veterans and Families at the Emancipation Hall at Capitol Hill. After 75 years, the Filipino American WWII veterans finally received the recognition they earned and deserve.
National organizations and advocacy groups joined as partners and supporters
Award Ceremonies held across the U.S. and in the Philippines
Medals awarded at no cost to the veteran, their spouse, or their next-of-kin
Following the congressional presentation at Emancipation Hall, FilVetREP has held its own ceremonies to individually present bronze replicas of medal and a copy of Public Law 114-265 to living veterans or their next of kin.
However, there are more than 10,000 living veterans across our country who haven’t yet been recognized for their sacrifices and we are committed to honor and celebrate their military service and legacy. FilVetREP will continue to add names to the National Registry to ensure that all living veterans and next of kin of deceased veterans will receive their medals.
Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts and ensure our veterans get the recognitions they deserve.
Phase Two: National Education Program
Duty to Country: Under One Flag
The project includes an online exhibition and state of the art fully-free educational programs accessible to the public. It showcases compelling historical accounts, oral histories, primary sources, lesson plans, teaching activities, and custom artwork depicting the legacy of the Filipinos and Americans who fought in World War II in the Philippines. Visit www.dutytocountry.org to learn more.
A dynamic online exhibition that explores the untold story of two nations — the United States and the Philippines — fighting together under the U.S. Flag.
A rich archive of 20+ hours of videos and compelling first-hand stories told by the last of the living veterans, their families, activists and historians.
An online education resource will be created to help teachers in the classroom integrate the Filipino American story into their curriculum.
Phase three: Repeal the Rescission Act of 1946
Today, it is our responsibility to recall the past in a way that does justice to the 260,000 soldiers who would otherwise be forgotten. A successful repeal of the Rescission Act would be the final stage of our mission to enshrine, educate, and preserve the powerful legacy of the Filipino and American soldiers, men and women alike, who accomplished their daring and heroic mission to defend the United States in the Philippines from July 1941 to December 1946.
We are requesting Congress to pass the repeal action. The principal objectives of this project is to acknowledge the grave injustice to our veterans, to repay the debt of gratitude that has eluded these braves heroes, and to provide for the following as conditions:
- An official apology from the President of the United States on the injustice suffered by the Filipino Veterans, men and women alike.
- Formally recognize ALL Filipino Soldiers who fought under the U.S Army Forces in the Far East.
- Update the Reconstructed Recognized Guerrilla Roster to include Women Guerrillas, nurses, and others who served under the U.S. Army Forces of the Far East.
- Provide for a memorial fund to include an education program, exhibits, media campaign to inform and educate the public on the history of the Filipinos who served in the U.S. Army since 1898 specifically during World War II and their contributions in defending the United States and Philippines.
Join us to to repeal the Rescission Act of 1946 to repay a debt of gratitude.