H.C.R. NO.














urging congress to cover the costs of transporting the remains of Filipino-American Veterans of World War II to the philippines and for funeral and burial services in the philippines.




     WHEREAS, during World War II, the Philippines was a Commonwealth of the United States, and, for four years, nearly 100,000 soldiers of the Philippine Commonwealth Army fought alongside the United States and Allied forces to defend and reclaim the Philippine Islands from foreign aggression; and


WHEREAS, these valiant Filipino soldiers fought, suffered, and died in some of the bloodiest battles of World War II, defending beleaguered Bataan and Corregidor, and thousands of them became prisoners of war, enduring the infamous Bataan Death March and years of captivity; and


WHEREAS, the sacrifices of these Filipino soldiers played a vital role in the Allied victory in the Pacific as their numerous guerrilla actions provided United States forces with time to build and prepare for the Allied counterattack; and


WHEREAS, these Filipino soldiers fought side-by-side with United States forces to secure their island nation as the strategic base from which the final effort by Allied forces to bring an end to World War II was launched; and


     WHEREAS, the United States promised these Filipino soldiers pay and benefits for their military service under the United States Armed Forces and for their oath of allegiance to the Constitution of the United States; however, soon after the war ended, legislation was passed that wrongfully took away the benefits and recognition they had earned; and


WHEREAS, because these World War II veterans had suffered a great wrong, and recognizing that for those with family in the Philippines, the return of their remains to the Philippines is a profound and fervent wish, the Legislature in 2003 enacted a law requiring the Office of Veterans' Services to pay up to $2,500 for the transport of their remains to the Philippines and funeral and burial services in the Philippines; and


WHEREAS, funding, however, has not been provided to fulfill this statutory requirement; and


WHEREAS, in the early 2000s, the United States also enacted legislation requiring the Veterans Administration to pay the full cost of burial benefits to the survivors of these World War II veterans; however, this legislation failed to address coverage of the costs of transport to and services in the Philippines; and


WHEREAS, though many years have transpired since World War II, the words of United States President Harry S. Truman, in 1946, remain the honest truth:  "I consider it a moral obligation of the United States to look after the welfare of Philippine Army veterans."; and


WHEREAS, for the small number of World War II Filipino-American veterans who are still living, this moral obligation of the United States should extend to fulfilling their wish for a resting place in the Philippines among their loved ones, for this is an entitlement that they have clearly sacrificed for and earned; now, therefore,


     BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the Twenty-eighth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2015, the Senate concurring, that Congress is urged to cover the costs of transporting the remains of eligible Filipino-American veterans of World War II to the Philippines and funeral and burial services in the Philippines; and


     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, President of the United States Senate, Hawaii's Congressional delegation, and the Director of the Office of Veterans' Services.









Report Title: 

Filipino Veterans; Burial Grants; Congress