Ron Paul To Speak At Rally In Las Vegas In Support Of Filipino Veterans

by Joseph G. Lariosa

CHICAGO (jGLi) – Rep. Ron Paul (TX-14th), one of the presidential candidates bidding to win the Republican nomination, will speak at a rally on Friday, Feb. 3, in Las Vegas, Nevada to support the six Nevada Filipino veterans who were denied benefits as well as passage of a House legislation that will recognize the services to the United States of 24,000 Filipino veterans denied benefits.

Luke Perry, press relations representative of the Las Vegas-based Filipino American Veterans of Nevada, said Ceasar Elpidio, president and founder of the Filipino American Veterans of Nevada, is inviting the community to attend the rally at the Leatherneck Club at 4360 W. Spring Mountain Road in Las Vegas on the eve of the Nevada Republican Presidential caucus on Feb. 4.

After trailing in Florida and other caucuses in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, Congressman Paul will speak before 300 hundred people that will shore up support for the passage of H.R. 210 introduced by Rep. Jackie Speier that provides benefits to Filipino World War II veterans taken away by the Rescission Acts of 1946.

Among its provisions is a mandate to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to accept applicants whose names are not in the list of the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri for consideration for the benefits under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed by President Obama.

There are now 86 co-sponsors of the legislation. Rep. Paul has yet to sign up as one of the bill co-sponsors.

But Mr. Paul is the only presidential candidate, who has the credibility to speak before the group, being the only veteran himself. The Texas Congressman was flight surgeon in the U.S. Air Force during the 60’s. The Congressman is a specialist in obstetrics/gynecology. He delivered more than 4,000 babies. In addition to Dr. Paul, a major policy speech will also be delivered by Justice for Filipino American Veterans, Lobby Coordinator, Ago Pedalizo on the legislation. Mariela Hernandez, a Representative of President Barack Obama will also attend to make remarks on his behalf. Several local elected officials will also speak along with candidates for U.S. Senate and Congress and other local officers.

The FAVN and over 34 United Filipino-Asian community organizations are holding the educational rally in support of the legislation, HR-210 bill, titled the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act of 2011. It would bring full recognition to the elderly surviving veterans who served the United States during World War II.  Several sessions of Congress have addressed this issue, but none would fully rescind the Rescission Acts signed in 1946 by President Harry Truman. The Acts denied the Philippine soldiers benefits and being recognized for their services to America.

Elpidio, whose father served in the war, said that out of sixty-six countries, which fought beside American troops throughout the Philippines, the Filipinos were the only warriors who ended up not being recognized.

It is only over the last sessions of Congress that this issue was being addressed. But the “piece meal” legislations and regulations have not solved the denials the veterans are going through when they file a claim with the Unites States Veterans Affairs Administration. Currently the veterans are being denied compensation allowed under the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund of the ARRA OF 2009.

All candidates for President were invited to attend. Elpidio stated that he was more than honored to have Congressman Ron Paul speak at the event as he is the only U.S. Veteran running for Commander and Chief of our Armed Forces and who served in the United States Air Force as a Medical Officer from 1963 to 1968. Ron Paul is married to Carolyn Paul and the Paul’s will celebrate their 55th Anniversary this week while campaigning in Las Vegas for the Office of President of the United States. (lariosa_jos@sbcglobal.net)

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PHOTO CAPTION:

1  GOP Presidential Candidate Rep. Ron Paul

2  STILL FIGHTING:  Silverio Cuaresma, Sr. (in wheel chair with nasal cannula) vowed not to give up his fight for justice after ten years fighting the VA.  The 100-year-old veteran Cuaresma tells Ceasar Elpidio (extreme right), President of the Filipino American Veterans of Nevada, and Luke Perry, the FAVN-Press Relations Director, he looks forward to a meeting on Feb. 3 with Congressman Ron Paul during veterans rally where he and five others, who were similarly denied benefits, will be recognized. Cuaresma told the two Filvet advocates, “These people handling my case in the VA think I will die before they have to pay me a dime. But I will prove to them I will be around longer than they think as my father lived to be 106 years old.” (jGLiPhoto courtesy of Luke Perry)

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