Washington DC - On Thursday, April 26, 2012 Congressman Brad Sherman of the San Fernando Valley, an active member of the U.S.-Philippines Friendship Caucus, met with Jose L. Cuisia, Jr., Ambassador to the United States from the Philippines.
The Ambassador thanked Congressman Sherman for his co-sponsorship of the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act. This bill would make Filipino Veterans of World War II fully eligible for the benefits received by all US Veterans, and widows and children of Filipino Veterans would be eligible as well. About a quarter million Filipinos volunteered to fight alongside US troops in World War II and President Franklin D. Roosevelt promised them all of the benefits given to all others serving in the US military.
Ambassador Cuisia also thanked Congressman Sherman for cosponsoring a resolution, H.Con.Res 18, which urges President Obama to return two church bells taken by the US army from the town of Balangiga to the Philippines. These bells were taken by a US Infantry Regiment as trophies of war in 1901.
Finally, the Filipino Ambassador thanked Congressman Sherman for the legal work on behalf of the Aquino government which was successful in getting the financial records of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, which lead to the recovery of millions of dollars by the Filipino government.
They also discussed new economic initiatives to benefit both the United States and the Philippines.
Congressman Sherman urged Ambassador Cuisia to visit the San Fernando Valley both to strengthen economic ties, and to strengthen the cultural ties between the over 10,000 Filipino Americans of the West San Fernando Valley and their homeland.