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Jul 10th
Home Sections Filipino-Veterans' Lobby Jon Melegrito, Et Al, Are “Johnnies-come-lately” False “Champions for the Veterans’ Cause”
Jon Melegrito, Et Al, Are “Johnnies-come-lately” False “Champions for the Veterans’ Cause” PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Filipino-Veterans' Lobby
Written by Arturo P. Garcia   
Sunday, 21 November 2010 21:28


Jon Melegrito and Fellow NaFFAA Officers Are “Johnnies-come-lately” Who Call Themselves Falsely as “Champions for the Veterans’ Cause”

T his is rejoinder to an article written by Rodney Jaleco that came out in the Filipino-American media.
We know for a fact that elected officials were elected by the people so they can represent the interest of their constituents. They formulate laws for common good with the concurrence of their constituents. That is the reason they are called elected officials. They are tasked to represent people. That is their responsibility to the people.
On the other hand, lobbyists are activists. They work to influence the elected officials or legislators for the good of the public or for the interests of the group that they represent. But once they do not represent the interests of the people or the group, they cease to be activists for the people
But some people arrogate to themselves the interest s of the people or the group they represent. They have the delusions that what they say or believe is for the interest of the group.
And these delusions are common to former activists now they call themselves lobbyist like Jon Melegrito of NAFVE and NAFFAA.
1. These people like Melegrito are fond of calling themselves “key supporters or lobbyist of the veterans cause on Capitol Hill. He and others have expressed their displeasure over reports Filipino World War II veterans, spurned from receiving lump sum payments, are suing the government.
They feign to be hurt like “Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, appropriations committee chair and one of the chief architects of the Filipino-veterans equity compensation fund was “hurt” by the criticisms. That wasn’t the reaction he was expecting from the Fil-Am community after all he did to help our veterans.”


2. Jon Melegrito, co-chair of the National Alliance for Filipino Veterans Equity (NAFVE), said they were “disappointed with the lawsuit that challenged key provisions of the Filipino veterans’ equity compensation bill approved with the stimulus bill in 2009.”
Actually, two separate lawsuits were filed last month in
California on behalf of the remaining 60,000 veterans here in the US and in the Philippines.

3. Mr. Melegrito reportedly told the Manila Mail it was “unfair” because it created the “assumption that nothing good can come out of Congress” and “does not appreciate what Senators Inouye or (Daniel) Akaka or Congressmen (Bob) Filner or (Mike) Honda worked for.”


That is a big problem with Mr. Melegrito because like a mendicant-lobbyist out to appease his master like Senator Inouye he tends to generalize and make sweeping statement against those who raised their voices against such unprincipled compromise.
Just like a weeping dog, he absorbed the feelings of his masters and have a tendency to overdo themselves even in feign sympathy.
First, there were never any assumptions or statements from the veterans or their advocates against Inouye and other legislators who worked for veterans’ benefits. It is just a pigment of their imagination. Maybe in order to ingratiate themselves to these legislators they assume we made these statements.
Second, there were never any statements to the effect that Filipino veterans or their supporters do not appreciate what the legislators have done. It was the words of the same legislators who said that “the benefits are too little or to late.”
4. Mr. Melegrito uttered very-unkind words  that “some of the people behind the law suits weren't involved with lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill and were unfamiliar with the peculiar dynamics of lawmaking, where compromise is often the norm.”


Mr. Melegrito’s sweeping statement clearly obscure the desire of veterans advocates to give aging veterans the justice and recognition they deserve even if they choose to take different paths. For him it just to accept compromise even it is unprincipled and accept the onerous FVCF and not to test the law because the equity compensation bill also recognized, albeit belatedly, the veteran status of Filipino WWII soldiers and guerillas.

He never acknowledged these same people have been with the lobby when in started in 1984 and the one’s who formed the ACFV in 1997. He brushed aside the efforts of the veterans and their advocates especially from
California who have been the grassroots’ support of the lobby in Congress.
He even forgets that the people he is maligning are that same people who actually STARTED the lobby even when he was not even a lobbyist then for the veterans and is working in other quarters like the NAFFAA. Actually he is Johnny come-lately who is posturing as the "champion for the veterans cause."
The countless and nameless people from everywhere except the so-called Filipino-American "lobbyists" in the Capitol spent money. contributed and traveled to the Capitol and are the warm bodies that kept the lobby effort burning for more than 18 years.
F or the information of Melegrito and the public, it was the Alyansa ng Komunidad which formed the ACFV as a lobby group in Washington, DC, in 1997. Since then the AK that formed JFAV in 1998 supported, funded and maintained the lobby through the years until the issue of lump-sum benefit came in 2008.

It’s a shame for Melegrito and others to discredit them after they have used them and paint them as ingrates when the word really applies to them.
What Melegrito is doing is spitting in the air and all his calumny goes back to him.

A wise man says “small minds, expect small talk.” Jon Melegrito makes himself smaller by saying these things. # # #
Editor’s Note: Arturo P. Garcia is the AWARE-LA Secretary-General.


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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 November 2010 21:36

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