Monday, September 24, 2018

Filipino Veterans of World War II Honored in New York with Congressional Gold Medal Award Ceremony

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal (2nd row standing, 3rd L-R) and US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba (2nd row standing, 4th L-R) with Capt. Pablo Barros (seated 2nd L-R), surviving World War II veteran, and family members of other veterans who received the Congressional Gold Medal Award on 8 September 2018 at the Philippine Center in New York. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

NEW YORK - Fifteen (15) Filipino World War II veterans were honored in a ceremony organized by the Philippine Consulate General headed by Consul General Claro S. Cristobal and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) led by US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba, held at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on 8 September 2018.

Capt. Pablo Barros. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

Capt. Pablo Barros, surviving WW II veteran, and the family of 14 other veterans received a US Mint replica of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) awarded by the US Congress to Filipino veterans of WW II, as well as a copy of Public Law 114-265 otherwise known as the Filipino Veterans of World War II Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2015.

In his remarks, Consul General Cristobal expressed his most profound gratitude to the Filipino Veterans of World War II for the extreme sacrifices and bravery they unselfishly showed to protect freedom and democracy.

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal. Lambert Parong for PCGNY
He said, "We and the generations of Filipinos to come owe you our thanks and respect. Because of you, we are able to enjoy the fruits of progress, freedom and democracy." He likewise thanked the family members of veterans who have passed or unable to attend the ceremony. "Rest assured that their services to our country and people will never be forgotten," Consul General Cristobal said.

The Consul General acknowledged the efforts of Maj. Gen. Taguba, the FilVetREP, and all those who lobbied and supported the passage of the bill in the US Senate and House o Representatives, particularly those in the US Northeast. The law brought into fruition the efforts of various groups in the Filipino American Community and the Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the US led by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.

Maj. Gen. Taguba said that FilVetREP has conducted 44 awarding ceremonies across the US since October 2017 when the lone Congressional Gold Medal was presented and collectively awarded by the US Congress. He said that the group is now developing an education program that will educate the public on the historic importance of the contributions of Filipino veterans of World War II.

Capt. Pablo Barros with US Army Major General (Ret.) Antonio Taguba. Lambert Parong for PCGNY  

The following veterans were the recipients of the CGM:
  1. Major Jose Falco
  2. Capt. Pablo Barros
  3. Abelardo Perucho Andal
  4. Santiago Hipolito
  5. Filemon T. Magracia
  6. Andres S. Friginal
  7. Moises M. Santos
  8. Romeo Guitterez
  9. Leopoldo T. Osano
  10. Mario J. Valdeavella 
  11. Fidel A. Ansay
  12. Jaime B. Aban
  13. Avelino Tanjutco 
  14. Jacobo Tanjutco 
  15. Ramon Pelaez SobrepeƱa
US Mint replica of the Congressional Gold Medal. Lambert Parong for PCGNY

Filipino World War II veterans or members of their family who have not received the award may get in touch with FilVetREP at https://www.filvetrep.org


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