41,000 Filipino WWII Vets File for Compensation

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — It felt like winning the lottery, mused Alberto Bacani, 99. Two months after the economic stimulus package became law in February 2009, he got a check for $15,000, making him the first veteran to be compensated for his service in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.

“It was the day before Bataan Day,” recalled the Japanese POW during World War II.


He got an invitation to attend an April 8, 2009, ceremony commemorating the Bataan Death March of 1942, during which the Japanese Imperial Army beat and tortured thousands of Filipino and American troops who had surrendered after months of fighting in the Bataan peninsula north of Manila. Bacani came to the United States in 1976, working initially as a bookkeeper in a travel agency; prior to retirement, he was a librarian at the Environmental Protection Agency office in Virginia.

… What this means, according to Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-HI)., is that the rescission law “denies Filipino veterans access to health care and pension benefits.” The law (also known as Section 107 Article 38 of the U.S. Code) also limits service-connected disability and death compensation to 50 percent of what is being received by U.S. veterans.

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