SUPPORTING FILIPINO VETERANS EQUITY ACT OF 2007
WHEREAS, over 65 years ago, on December 8th, 1941, President Franklin Roosevelt issued a call to Filipinos to serve militarily to protect the Philippines, then a commonwealth of the United States; and
WHEREAS, over 200,000 Filipinos answered President Roosevelt's call and joined the Commonwealth Army and Philippine Scouts to fight in World War II and were promised veteran health and pension benefits equal to that of any serviceman in the United States Armed Forces; and
WHEREAS, the Filipino veterans played a vital role in helping the United States succeed in winning the Pacific Theater of World War II and fought, suffered, and sacrificed side by side with American soldiers from December of 1941 until the unconditional surrender of Japan in August of 1945; and
WHEREAS, when the Philippines became independent from the United States in 1946, Congress passed Rescission Act of 1946 of the same year, which greatly reduced the veteran benefits of health care, pension, and financial compensation of military service related injuries/disabilities of Filipino veterans; and
WHEREAS, there are less than 18,000 Filipino World War II veterans living in this country currently that still wait for equality to be rightfully restored for their bravery and service to the United States;
THERFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors support the passage of House Resolution 760, known as the Filipino Equity Act of 2007, which would restore full veteran benefits to Filipino veterans who served militarily on behalf of the United States in World War II.