Pinoy WWII veteran seeking US compensation finds ally in noted Fil-Am general
A 98-year-old Filipino World War II veteran who is seeking equity pay for his service to the US during the war has found an ally in retired Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, the Filipino-American who blew the whistle on the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib.
This was after Taguba scored Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) president John Hamre for his treatment of veteran Celestino Almeda during a recent meeting that the CSIS hosted in Washington DC.
According to a report on NBC News, Hamre stopped Almeda from raising his issue with Veterans' Affairs Secretary Robert McDonald during the event's Q&A portion, saying the meeting was a "public event for policy purposes, not a private appeal."
Accusing Almeda of interrupting the meeting, Hamre allegedly ordered that the microphone be taken away from the Filipino veteran.
This did not sit well with Taguba, who told NBC that the order to take away the microphone from Almeda was "uncalled for."
He noted that Almeda, who will turn 99 in June, is already living "on borrowed time," and that veterans like him "don't often get the opportunity to confront and question the Secretary of Veterans Affairs."
The NBC report said Almeda, during the meeting, was asking McDonald for an update on his appeal for equity pay at the congressional level.
Almeda told NBC News that he wants to be recognized by the US as a veteran "before I close my eyes forever."
Hamre, on the other hand, defended his action in an email to NBC News, saying what Almeda did during the meeting was "inappropriate." —KBK, GMA News