LETTER TO BIDEN
Filipino Amerasian Reunification Coalition (FARC)
April 13, 2023
President Joseph R. Biden
The White House
Washington DC 20500
Attn: Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of State Antony Blinken Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin & National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan
RE: US-PH EDCA Agreement Ignores Filipino Amerasians,
Your Leadership Will Reunify Them with their Fathers
Dear President Biden:
We the undersigned leaders are disappointed and we question your bilateral Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) with the Philippine Government that ignores the plight of at least 15,000 Filipino Amerasians. They are the forgotten children of American military fathers who served in the Philippines.
Abandoned after the Vietnam War with the end of the US-PH Military Bases Treaty in 1992, these Filipino Amerasians faced widespread discrimination, underemployment, poverty, domestic violence and sexual abuse, according to a 1999 study by a Pearl S. Buck foundation. Sadly, the United States Government “shortchanged” these Amerasians, according to the foundation. Fortunately, they received sympathetic world-wide media attention over the decades.
First, we urge you to issue a humanitarian executive order that would protect the rights and welfare of current and future Filipino Amerasian children and adults by including them in the US-PH EDCA Agreement and would mend this festering wound between the Filipino and American People.
Second, we urge you to support Filipino Amerasian legislation in the US Senate and Congress. See the “Uniting Families Act of 2021” (H.R. 4522 in www.congress.gov) that will reunite them with their fathers and/or American siblings who have accepted financial responsibility for them since they have proven through their DNA to be the offspring of the American service member.
EDCA terms of reference are being negotiated by Secretary of State Blinken and Defense Secretary Austin with their PH counterparts in 2+2 meetings in Washington this week. Earlier, they have agreed to increase their number of PH military-run joint bases to nine. Your executive order will be timely in light of the 15,000 visiting US troops in the “Balikatan” training exercises with Filipino soldiers. With the nine EDCA bases, a surge of new Amerasian children can be expected in coming years.
Finally, we are hopeful about your Administration’s pledge to seriously promote democracy and protect human rights with the Marcos Jr. government's commitment to uphold the PH constitution and laws. Your reasonable increases of mutual defense funding, trade and economic incentives to the PH would assure peace in the West Philippine Sea and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. We believe EDCA will protect the Filipino People’s sovereignty from outside aggression and intimidation.
Your crucial leadership in addressing the Filipino Amerasian issue would be a fitting legacy of your Administration and Vice President Harris to ensure the continued respect and friendship of the Filipino People.
Loida Nicolas Lewis, National Chair (NY) U.S. Filipinos for Good Governance (FB.com/USFGG) & convenor
Filipino Amerasians Reunification Coalition FARC
John Haines USN ret. (WI), Chad Southard USMC ret. (GA), Paul McNally USA ret. (PA) & Fathers of Filipino Amerasians (FAFA)
Angela Aquino, founder chair (NY)
Christopher Lapinig, Esq. FARC coalition Legal Counsel (Los Angeles CA)