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The next-of-kin of nine Filipino World War II veterans receive bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) at the anniversary celebration of the Awarding by the U.S. Congress of the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino and American World War II Veterans, held at the Philippine Chancery Annex Building on Oct. 24, 2018.


WASHINGTON — “Your fathers and grandfathers left a priceless legacy that we can never hope to repay, but one that we vow to always preserve and cherish. But more than that, they also personify the close people-to-people ties that bound the Philippines and the United States for the last 70 years, and will continue to do so in the coming decades,” Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto told the families of nine Filipino World War II Veterans who were awarded with bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal (CGM) during the 1st anniversary celebration of the CGM Awarding held at the Philippine Embassy Chancery Annex on Oct. 24, 2018.

The Filipino Veterans Education and Recognition Project (FilVetREP), in partnership with the Philippine Embassy, led the anniversary celebration that included the awarding of CGM replicas to the next-of-kin of nine Filipino Veterans.

The recipients are (1) Juan Borja, received by FilVetRep Regional Director John Victoria; (2) Hilario F. Mata, received by grandson Florouel M. Asesor; (3) Ramon R. Nacu, received by son Rafael Nacu; (4) Francisco R. Offemaria, received by son Francisco M. Offemaria; (5) Jose E. Olivares, received by grandson Edward C. Olivares Jr.; (6) Faustino B. Reyes, received by daughter Eleanor M. Moran; (7) Conrado S. Sabelino, received by daughter Fatima S. De Lumen; (8) Dr. Angelesio C. Tugado, received by daughter Angelyn F. Tugado-Marzan; and (9) Tomas A. Viloria, received by daughter Susan V. Tanedo.

The celebration started with the Georgetown University Army ROTC Color Guard’s presentation of colors followed by the singing of the Philippine and U.S. national anthems. Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto delivered the opening remarks.


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Bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal that were given to the next-of-kin of nine World War II veterans at the Philippine Embassy celebration.


David Do, Director on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, and Ely Ross, Director of the Office of Veterans Affairs, both of the D.C. Mayor’s office, each delivered brief remarks, while Ben De Guzman provided an update of FilVetREP programs.

“These brave Filipino and Filipino-American soldiers were crucial to both the United States and the Philippines, and I commend these veterans for their outstanding contributions. Over the last year, you have increased national awareness of conducting over 40 events around the nation and providing over 1,000 bronze replicas of the Congressional Gold Medal to veterans or their surviving family members,” said D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser in a letter addressed to FilVetREP and delivered by David Do.

“No one waits 75 years to be recognized. But there are others out there who are not able to attend ceremonies like this, and we are going to continue to exhaust ourselves and run across the country to award the medals to living World War II Veterans or to their next-of-kin. It is our mission — this is a “WE” mission — in order for us to honor them,” Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.), Chairman of FilVetREP, reiterated in his closing remarks.

Margaret Lacson-Ecarma served as the official emcee of the program.

The United States Congress formally awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the Filipino Veterans of World War II in a ceremony held at the U.S. Capitol on Oct. 25, 2017.


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Philippine Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Patrick A. Chuasoto delivers welcome remarks at the anniversary celebration of the Congressional Gold Medal Awarding at the Philippine Embassy.


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Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba (Ret.) (right) facilitated the awarding of the CGM bronze replicas to the next-of-kin of nine Filipino World War II veterans at the Philippine Embassy.

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