FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bing Branigin, 202-361-1024 Jon Melegrito, 202-361-0296

Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye
Washington, D.C., December 17, 2012 --- “Sen. Daniel Inouye never wavered in his life-long commitment to the cause of Filipino World War II veterans, which he championed with passion and persistence during his nearly 50 years of service in the U.S. Congress” says NaFFAA National Chairman Eduardo Navarra. “He was a strong advocate for justice on behalf of our veterans who were unfairly denied official recognition and rightful benefits as U.S. veterans when Congress passed the Rescission Act in 1946.” Sen. Inouye passed away tonight at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center . He was 88. “But his legacy in valiantly fighting for all veterans will always remain alive in the hearts and minds of all Americans,” adds Navarra. “His moral courage, vision and leadership inspired us to keep on waging the battle in the halls of Congress and in the public arena. It was Senator Inouye’s resolve, despite many setbacks and obstacles in the legislative struggle, that galvanized congressional support, ultimately leading to a long-awaited victory.” On February 17, 2009, the U.S. Congress approved the Filipino Veterans Equity Compendation (FVEC) fund, a rider in The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, that once and for all restored the status of Filipino World War II veterans as U.S. veterans, and provided them with a one-time lump sum payment. The victory came only a few days before the 63rd anniversary of the Rescission Act. But it was Sen. Inouye who led the effort over the years to craft the provision that achieved at least partial equity for Filipino World War II veterans. In the contentious debates around the issue of equity and compensation, Sen. Inouye always urged his colleagues to embrace the veterans’ struggle for justice as a matter of honor and dignity. “The historic vote in Capitol Hill was due in large measure to our champions in Congress who were determined to rectify an injustice,” said Greg Macabenta, former NaFFAA National Chair, who also acknowledged the hard work of another senator from Hawaii, Daniel Akaka, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Rep. Bob Filner of San Diego.

Former NaFFAA National Vice Chair and White House Commissioner Rozita Lee, who was a constant presence in Capitol Hill during critical hearings and national lobby days, said Sen. Inouye was “truly a great champion for our causes. We will miss his voice, but we know that his fighting spirit lives. We are immensely grateful that we have had the opportunity to work with him in waging a very important campaign.” Adds Gloria T. Caoile, former White House Commissioner and founder of FilAmVote NaFFAA: “He was a remarkable man who inspired us with his wisdom and integrity, steadfast devotion and drive. We are a richer community because he touched our lives with dignity and grace. Thank you, Senator Inouye!”

PHOTOS by Bing Cardenas Branigin 1. Sen. Daniel Inouye participates in a Filipino World War II veterans commemoration at the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. 2. Community activists join Sen. Inouye in a victory celebration after Congress passed the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) fund on Feb. 17, a provision in the 2009 economic stimulus package.

#### The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan tax-exempt organization established in 1997 to promote the active participation of Filipino Americans in civic and national affairs. NaFFAA is composed of 12 regions with a national office in Washington, D.C. that monitors legislation and public policy issues affecting Filipino Americans. NaFFAA partners with local affiliate organizations and national coalitions in advocating for issues of common concern. National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) 1322 18th St NW, Washington DC 20036-1803 email: phone: 202.361.0296 web:

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