Congressional Gold Medal 4 Bataan POW
S. 768
Request to Amend S768
Call to Action S.768
H. R. 2598
Request to Amend H.R. 2598
Call To Action H.R. 2598
Filvets Bataan POWs Names A to L
Filvets Bataan POWs Names M to Z
What is CG Medal?
List of CG Medal Recipients (1776-1900)
List of CG Medal Recipients (1901-2008)
H.R. 5315 (previous bill for CGMedal)
H.R. 423 Death March Compensation Act
Return Our Balangiga Bells

let us run with endurance the race that is set before us Hebrews 12:1

The mission of this website is  to seek an amendment to:
S.768 introduced on April 1, 2009 by Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. military personnel who were prisoners of war (POW) at Bataan during World War 11. Current language in S. 768 exclude the U.S. Military personnel from the Philippines and will honor only those from the United States.
H.R. 2598, the companion bill introduced by Rep Martin Heinrich of New Mexico on 5/21/2009 that seeks to grant a congressional gold medal to American military personnel from the United States who fought in defense of Bataan/Corregidor/Luzon between December 7, 1941 and May 6, 1942. The U.S. military personnel from the Philippines are also excluded from this bill.
Currently the S. 768 bill is with the Senate Commitee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.
The H.R. 2598 bill is with the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services and House Administration



Same thing: Veterans equity, a community’s equity

Published:  July 10, 2009 | Author:  Emil Guillermo

Filipino non-profits’ fight for funding in San Francisco is worse than originally thought. The failure of the city to give a part of $9 million in family/youth funds to any non-profit that specifically targets Filipinos is actually a small slight compared to the tens of millions in public dollars the city allocates.The Filipino community’s share?  Infinitesimal.

That’s a big word for “small.”A few thousand dollars may trickle down, but nothing in proportion to the size of the Filipino community in San Francisco , estimated at just under 50,000 people.

Apparently the appeal of the young people at a rally at City Hall last week, which I described as “Little Peoples’ Power,” did little to open up neither heartstrings nor purse-strings of city officials. At least not yet.

But the appeal did bring some groups together.  And has succeeded in putting pressure on Mayor Gavin Newsom and the SF Board of Supervisors.

That’s because these days, the young and the old are the moral compass of our Filipino community.

Between the young, who sport the highest dropout and teen pregnancy rates in city schools, and the old, represented by our valiant Filipino veterans of WWII, we have the two core groups that can actually unify the community.

Everyone else is left in the middle, where it’s a dogfight. Or I suppose, in familiar Filipino cultural terms, a crab fight.That’s the way it’s always been.


Today, the middle ground is being fought out in the South of Market by the Filipino cronies of Supervisor Chris Daly and the older generation of Filipinos who were under former Mayor Willie Brown’s wing.

The cronies are willing to blend in, make nice and seek services with agencies based in other communities.

The older crowd is pushing to preserve a real sense of Filipino identity that has long been in the South of Market and the Excelsior districts. The recent rally shows they’re ready to make some noise in the name of a very large community that despite voting and paying taxes, pays little attention to grassroots issues. Not anymore.

Those who thought they could just get the $9 million through without discussion have been proven wrong.

It’s about equity, after all. The Filipino veterans of WWII have taught us a thing or two about that subject. And even though payments are being made now to vets, some still wouldn’t know equity if it was served up on a platter.


The compromise of this year over lump sum or annual payments be damned. The veterans are still the glue that holds the community together. Even more so than the kids.Until the last ones die and prove how wrong the lump sum compromise was, we still have them to make us well up with Filipino pride. And guilt.

They’ve seen enough injustice and suffered through enough indignities to last all our lifetimes.

And even though some are now getting money (said to be faster if they seek assistance at West Bay

Multi-Service Center), they still haven’t been given the respect you’d expect. Currently, two bills -- S.768 (by Senator Udall, NM) and H.R. 2598 (by Rep Heinrich, NM) -- continue to exclude the role of Filipino soldiers in WW II. Shouldn’t all soldiers be honored as equals if they were under the same command, or in the same POW camp?

The enemy doesn’t discriminate.

Yet the aforementioned bills award medals for service by U.S. citizens only, not those from the Philippines.

Maria Embry is furious about this error of omission. Yes, 1,600 soldiers from U.S. died in the prison camps as cited in the book, Office of the U.S. Provost Marshall General Report on the American Prisoners of War interned by the Japanese, Nov. 19, 1945.

“But (the bills) omitted the 26,768 Filipinos who died in the same prison camp during the same period mentioned in the same report,” Embry wrote me.

\A Filipino to U.S. ratio of about 26-1 in the POW camp? That makes them more Filipino than Daly City . And not one medal for our Filipino WWII vets.

Why the omission? There’s been no answer from either congressman about the exclusion of Filipino vets.

And with every passing day, a shunted veteran dies without honor.

Recently, Embry went to the funeral of Commodore Ramon Alcaraz, one of the soldiers excluded from the two bills.

“In Commodore Alcaraz’s memory, I will continue this equity fight,” she told me. “The Congressional Gold Medal must be granted to POW U.S. military personnel and should not include place of nativity and domicile, race and citizenship as criteria.”

By pushing for amendments to the bills, Embry is continuing the push for equity.So should we all. Whether veterans equity or community equity, the principle is the same.

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