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28/09/2016: FILIPINO VETERANS OF WORLD WAR II CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL ACT OF 2015 GETS CLOSER TO PASSAGE

PRESS RELEASE
WDC-083-2016
28 September 2016

WASHINGTON, D.C. —The Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015 gets closer to passage after it was unanimously passed by the US Senate and received the required number of co-sponsors in the US House of Representatives.

The Senate version (S.1555) was sponsored by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Dean Heller (R-NV), Harry Reid (D-NV), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Brian Schatz (D-HI). The House version (H.R.2737) was sponsored by Representatives Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Joseph Heck (R-NV), Juan Vargas (D-CA), Mike Thompson (D-CA), Mark Takai (D-HI), and Jackie Speier (D-CA). Both bills were introduced on 11 June 2015. S.1555 passed the Senate on 13 July 2016. H.R.2737 obtained 299 co-sponsors as of 26 September 2016.

The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. welcomes the development.

“This is a significant step forward in the long battle for due recognition of our veterans who courageously fought side by side with the Americans in the defense of freedom and democracy,” said Minister Patrick Chuasoto, Chargé d’Affairés ad interim of the Embassy.

“We look forward to the bill’s passing into law as soon as possible and appreciate the support of all the co-sponsors in the Senate and House. We also recognize the instrumental role of the Philippine Consulates General and Filipino communities across the United States, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FILVETREP) in this joint campaign,” Minister Chuasoto added.

The bill seeks to honor the heroism and sacrifice of the 260,000 Filipino veterans of World War II by collectively awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal, one of the highest civilian awards in the United States. ###