15 Filipino WWII vets get their Congressional Gold Medals in NY

/ 08:44 PM September 19, 2018

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal (left to right, second row, standing third) and Major General Antonio Taguba (ret.), (left to right second row, standing fourth) with Capt. Pablo Barros (left-right, seated second), surviving World War II veterans and family members of other veterans who received the Congressional Gold Medal Award on 8 September 8, 2018 at the Philippine Center in New York. LAMBERT PARONG

NEW YORK — Fifteen Filipino World War II veterans were honored in a ceremony at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center on September 8.

Consul General Claro S. Cristobal and the Filipino Veterans Recognition and Education Project (FilVetREP) led by General Antonio Taguba (ret.) hosted the ceremony.

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Capt. Pablo Barros, surviving WWII veteran, and the family of 14 other veterans received a U.S. Mint replica of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) awarded by the U.S. Congress to Filipino veterans of WWII, 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.

The following veterans were the recipients of the CGM: Major Jose Falco; Abelardo Perucho Andal; Santiago Hipolito; Filemon T. Magracia; Andres S. Friginal; Moises M. Santos; Romeo Guitterez; Leopoldo T. Osano; Capt. Pablo Barros; Mario J. Valdeavella; Fidel A. Ansay; Jaime B. Aban; Avelino Tanjutco; Jacobo Tanjutco and Ramon Pelaez Sobrepeña.

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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 Cristobal (second on right) and General Taguba (first, left to right) present the CGM to Capt. Pablo Barros (third, right). CONTRIBUTED

Cristobal 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 were unable to attend the ceremony.

The Consul General acknowledged the efforts of Gen. Taguba, the FilVetREP, and all those who lobbied and supported the passage of the bill in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, particularly those in the U.S. Northeast.

The law brought to fruition the efforts of various groups in the Fil-Am community and the Philippine Foreign Service Posts the US led by the Philippine Embassy in Washington DC.

Gen. Taguba said that FilVetREP has conducted 44 awarding ceremonies across the U.S. 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.

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

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TAGS: Congressional Gold Medal (CGM), Congressional honor, Filipino World War II veterans, FilVetREP, medals for Filipino WWII veterans
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