MANILA — Malacanang confirmed that the late President Ferdinand Marcos, who claimed to be the most bemedaled Filipino war veteran, is indeed in the list of government-recognized war veteran.
“On whether (Marcos) is on a list of recognized veterans, this is according to the DND Public Information Office: President Ferdinand E. Marcos is a Usaffe veteran.” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma was quoted saying in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report.
Usaffe is short for US Armed Forces in the Far East. It was headed by Gen. Douglas MacArthur and was active from 1941 to 1946.
In a text message also published in the same PDI report, Coloma also said that the former first lady Imelda R. Marcos is “now receiving old age pension from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.”
President Benigno Aquino III and US Ambassador to the Philippines, Philip Goldberg, meanwhile, honored the sacrifice and courage of thousands of Filipino and American soldiers who fought during the World War II.
“It was the relentless and indomitable spirit of our guerrillas and soldiers in defense of Bataan and the captivity of Camp O’Donnell (in Tarlac province) that helped forge a great alliance, the US-Philippine alliance, the oldest in the region, and one that has helped preserve and protect the security and stability of the entire Pacific region,” Coloma said.