Veterans cite need to instill love of country on the minds of young Filipinos

April 1, 2011 11:41 pm 

MANILA, April 1 — World War II and Philippine Expeditionary Forces to Korea (PEFTOK) veterans under the Philippine Veterans' Affairs Office (PVAO) want to instill love of country to the minds of Filipino students from elementary onwards.

PVAO Deputy Administrator Romeo S. Lazo, PVAO Director Nostrademus Villanueva, WWII veterans Commodore Ricardo Madayag and Col. Paterno Viloria and United States Armed Forces in the Far East (USAFFE) and PEFTOK veteran Major Maximo Young aired the proposal during the Communication and News Exchange (CNEX) Forum at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Building in Quezon City on Friday.

In the same forum, they stressed the significance of the coming observance of the Araw ng Kagitingan and Philippine Veterans Week (April 5-11) to the Filipino youths to keep them aware of the valor, sacrifices and hardships the veterans manifested during the war.

Lazo said that up to their recent count, there are 27,000 WWII veterans who are constantly monitored by PVAO. He added they have set schemes on how to track the whereabouts of these veterans and to determine whether they are still alive.

Lazo noted that PVAO also looks after the health condition of the veterans by granting them health benefits.

For his part, Villanueva mentioned about the United States Equity Law which granted these WWII soldiers who fought side by side with their American counterparts pensions benefits.

He said of the 41,230 claimants, 17,792 were granted pensions while 23,438 were denied.

When asked about their opinion on the corruption allegations in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), the veterans expressed sadness.

They offered no comment when asked about their opinion on the proposed burial of the late President Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. (PNA)

scs/ogi

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