HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES             H.R. NO.              
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                     HOUSE RESOLUTION

 1      WHEREAS, The legislature finds that on July 26, 1941,
 2 President Franklin Roosevelt called back to active duty
 3 Lieutenant General Douglas MacArthur, who was then serving as
 4 military adviser to the Commonwealth government in the
 5 Philippines; and
 6      WHEREAS, President Roosevelt appointed General MacArthur to
 7 command the newly formed United States Armed Forces in the Far
 8 East (USAFFE); and
 9      WHEREAS, General MacArthur mobilized the entire Philippine
10 Commonwealth Army, consisting of approximately 212,000 soldiers,
11 into the USAFFE and reinforced approximately 10,000 American
12 soldiers, including the 10,000-strong Philippine Scouts (who were
13 the Filipino regulars in the American army) and the 6,000-strong
14 Philippine Constabulary, under the command of American military
15 forces; and
16      WHEREAS, with the destruction of the United States fleet at
17 Pearl Harbor and air forces at Clark Field, and with the
18 withdrawal of United States naval forces to Java, the USAFFE lost
19 its naval and air support in the first few days of the war in the
20 Pacific; and
21      WHEREAS, within days, Japanese troops landed in Aparri,
22 Vigan, Legazpi, Davao, Lingayen, Atimonan, and Mauban, while
23 their planes bombed military objectives and government centers.
24 Within a few weeks, the American and Filipino forces defending
25 Luzon were in full retreat to the stronghold where General
26 MacArthur proposed to make a last stand--the peninsula of Bataan
27 and the island fortress of Corregidor; and
28      WHEREAS, in the ensuing months Japanese Imperial Forces in
29 the Philippines focused all their military might against the
30 USAFFE in Bataan and Corregidor; and
31      WHEREAS, on February 20, 1942, President Manuel Quezon and
32 Vice President Sergio Osmena of the Philippine Commonwealth left
33 Corregidor for the United States to form a government in exile;
34 and

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 1      WHEREAS, on March 11, 1942, General MacArthur left
 2 Corregidor for Australia to take over the defense of the southern
 3 Pacific area and it was upon his arrival in Melbourne that he
 4 issued his famous pledge, "I shall return"; and
 5      WHEREAS, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the East Indies
 6 (Indonesia) fell before the fierce Japanese advance in the week
 7 following the attack on Pearl Harbor; and
 8      WHEREAS, the soldiers in the Philippines, under the command
 9 of Lieutenant General Jonathan Wainright, fought on; their
10 valiant struggle, the only Allied resistance in East Asia during
11 the winter and spring of 1942, slowed down the enemy and gave
12 Australia more time to strengthen its defenses; and
13      WHEREAS, thousands of Japanese infantrymen, supported by
14 artillery barrages and tank fire power, pounded the Filipino-
15 American lines; and
16      WHEREAS, overhead, Japan's air corps soared and bombed the
17 foxholes, hospitals, and ammunition dumps of Bataan; and
18      WHEREAS, from the sea the enemy warships poured lethal
19 shells on the defenders' positions; and
20      WHEREAS, Bataan was doomed; the defenders, weakened by
21 hunger, disease, and fatigue, fought fiercely and many died as
22 heroes; and
23      WHEREAS, Bataan fell on April 9, 1942; and
24      WHEREAS, Corregidor's Voice of Freedom radio station
25 announced, "Bataan has fallen, but the spirit that made it stand-
26 -a beacon to all the liberty-loving peoples of the world--cannot
27 fall"; and
28      WHEREAS, as many as 36,000 Filipino and American soldiers
29 were captured by the victorious Japanese; and
30      WHEREAS, forced to set out on the infamous "Bataan Death
31 March" to San Fernando, tens of thousands died from hunger,
32 thirst, disease, and exhaustion, as survivors were crammed into
33 boxcars and shipped to imprisonment in Capas; and
34      WHEREAS, General Wainwright and the 12,000 Filipino and
35 American soldiers manning the rocky fortress of Corregidor
36 continued to fight, but after the fall of Bataan, the end was in
37 sight for them as well; and
38      WHEREAS, on May 6, 1942, Major General William Sharp was
39 ordered to stop future useless sacrifice of human life in the
40 Fortified Islands, and to surrender all troops under his command
41 in the Visayan Islands and Mindanao; and
42      WHEREAS, Corregidor fell almost five months to the day after
43 the attack on Pearl Harbor, as organized military resistance to
44 the invasion of the Philippines ended that day; and
45      WHEREAS, many Filipino officers and men refused to heed the
46 order to surrender as they fled to the hills with their arms and,
47 with the help of the civilian population, waged a relentless

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                                  H.R. NO.              

 1 guerrilla war against the invaders; and
 2      WHEREAS, the guerillas, almost without arms at the
 3 beginning, hungry, and unclothed, gave battle to the enemy from
 4 every nook and corner of the land; and
 5      WHEREAS, for three seemingly interminable years and despite
 6 unbelievable hardships, they carried the torch of freedom; and
 7      WHEREAS, It was against the backdrop of Bataan, Corregidor,
 8 and other theaters of battle, where alien soldiers under the
 9 United States flag fought bravely and fiercely, that the United
10 States Congress amended the naturalization provisions of the
11 Nationality Act of 1940; and
12      WHEREAS, in 1942, Congress reestablished the policy it had
13 set forth during the first World War by providing for the
14 naturalization of aliens honorably serving in the armed forces of
15 the United States during the war; and
16      WHEREAS, as part of the second War Powers Act, Congress
17 waived the requirements of residence, literacy, and education for
18 alien soldiers; and
19      WHEREAS, the law allowed any alien who was inducted or who
20 enlisted into the United States Army, Navy, or Air Force during
21 World War II to become a United States citizen; and
22      WHEREAS, even while the war was raging, alien soldiers in
23 England, Iceland, and North Africa, who served in American
24 military forces, could be naturalized as United States citizens;
25 and
26      WHEREAS, this naturalization was made possible because
27 beginning in January 1943, naturalization officers were
28 dispatched to foreign countries where they accepted applications,
29 performed naturalization ceremonies, and swore into American
30 citizenship thousands of alien soldiers; and
31      WHEREAS, while the Philippines was under Japanese
32 occupation, approximately seven thousand Filipino soldiers were
33 naturalized outside the Philippines; and
34      WHEREAS, the great majority of Filipino soldiers in the
35 Philippines, however, were not even aware and could not
36 realistically have been aware of these liberal naturalization
37 benefits; and
38      WHEREAS, the United States withdrew its naturalization
39 officer from the Philippines and allowed the law to lapse in
40 1946, so few Filipino veterans were able to exercise their rights
41 in a timely manner--rights that had been supposedly earned on the
42 battlefield for a lifetime; and
43      WHEREAS, the Immigration Act of 1990 rectified this
44 foreclosure of rights by permitting Filipino veterans of World
45 War II to apply for naturalization, and to receive benefits after
46 May 1, 1991; and
47      WHEREAS, while Filipino-American veterans who served

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                                  H.R. NO.              

 1 honorably in an active-duty status under the command of the
 2 USAFFE or within the Philippine Army, the Philippine Scouts, or
 3 recognized guerrilla units, between September 1, 1939, and
 4 December 31, 1946, braved the same dangers and were entitled to
 5 apply for naturalization, only those persons who served in the
 6 armed forces of the United States or joined the Philippine Scouts
 7 before October 6, 1945, currently are entitled to burial in
 8 national or state veterans cemeteries; and
 9      WHEREAS, it is the right of every Filipino-American veteran
10 of World War II, who served honorably in an active-duty status
11 under the command of the USAFFE or within the Philippine Army,
12 the Philippine Scouts, or recognized guerrilla units, to be
13 buried in state veterans cemeteries with their comrades-in-arms
14 or to be returned to relatives and loved ones in the Philippines
15 for an honorable burial; and
16      WHEREAS, there is no greater honor for a former soldier than
17 to be laid to rest next to the soldier's comrades-in-arms, no
18 greater act of respect that a grateful country can show a former
19 soldier than to inter the soldier's remains on hallowed ground,
20 and no greater tribute that future generations of freedom-loving
21 Americans can visit upon a former soldier than to remember those
22 sacrifices made by the soldier on the battlefield; and
23      WHEREAS, providing burial privileges to former soldiers is
24 the very least that a grateful nation and State can do for those
25 persons who placed themselves in harm's way to protect the United
26 States from its enemies; and
27      WHEREAS, the Legislature would like to provide to Filipino-
28 American veterans who served honorably in an active duty status
29 under the command of the United States Armed Forces in the Far
30 East (USAFFE), or within the Philippine Army, the Philippine
31 Scouts, or recognized guerilla units, between September 1, 1939
32 and December 31, 1946, and their widows, widowers or minor
33 children, who were residents or former residents of the State of
34 Hawaii at the time of their deaths with interment privileges at
35 the state veterans cemetery on Oahu; and
36      WHEREAS, the State of Hawaii is precluded from providing
37 interment benefits to Filipino-American veterans and their
38 dependents until the United States Congress authorizes such
39 burial privileges; and
40      WHEREAS, federal legislation is currently proceeding through
41 the Congress which would give interment privileges to Filipino-
42 American veterans; now, therefore,
43      BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the
44 Twentieth Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of
45 2000, that this Legislature urges the United States Congress,
46 through the Hawaii Congressional Delegation, to pass legislation
47 granting Filipino-American World War II veterans burial rights
48 and privileges to veterans cemeteries, both State and Federal, so

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                                  H.R. NO.              

 1 that Filipino-American veterans and their dependents may be
 2 buried in any Veterans Cemetery in Hawaii; and
 3      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this
 4 Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to each member of the Hawaii
 5 Congressional Delegation and to each member of the United States
 6 Congress, the Governor of the State of Hawaii, and the Director
 7 of the Office of Veterans Services, State of Hawaii.
11                         OFFERED BY:  ____________________________
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