Valley Village, CA - To commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the fall of Bataan and Corregidor in World War II, and to honor the valiant service of the Filipino soldiers who fought alongside American troops against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines, Congressman Howard L. Berman introduced H. Res. 636, a bipartisan resolution calling for the period between April 9 and May 6 to be designated as “Bataan-Corregidor Month.”
Rep. Berman is joined by Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-California), Rep. Bob Filner (D-California), and Rep. Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) in introducing the resolution.
“We are enduringly grateful for the Filipino contribution to the American and Allied effort during World War II,” said Rep. Berman. “With bravery and courage, over 100,000 Filipino soldiers fought hand in hand with the Americans on the beaches of the Philippine islands in a grueling battle lasting 150 days. The San Fernando Valley is now home to a robust Filipino Veteran community, and their patriotism is truly inspiring. The recognition these citizen heroes deserve is long overdue.”
The battles of Bataan and Corregidor are noted for their strategic significance to the Allied effort. By delaying the Japanese offensive long enough, the United States and its Allies were afforded valuable time to prepare for a counteroffensive campaign.
These historic battles are also recognized for the tragedy that ensued. The approximately 78,000 prisoners of war were forced to march to prison camps, a campaign now referred to as the “Bataan Death March”.
Rep. Berman has a long history supporting Filipino Veterans. In 1989, he authored the Legal Immigration Reform Act, which allowed Filipino veterans who fought under the U.S. flag and side by side Americans in WWII the opportunity to become naturalized U.S. citizens. These important provisions were eventually incorporated into the Immigration Act of 1990, which became law on November 29, 1990.
In the current Congress, Rep. Berman is a cosponsor of H.R. 210, the Filipino Veterans Fairness Act, which allows Filipino veterans to be eligible for benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs, and H.R. 2115, the Filipino Veterans of World War II Family Reunification Act, which exempts children of certain Filipino World War II veterans from the numerical limitations on immigrant visas.
The text of Rep. Berman’s resolution on the 70th anniversary of Bataan and Corregidor can be found here.