Daily Archives: October 11, 2016

FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERAN FAUSTINO “MANG PEPING” BACLIG

FAI NEWS

October 11, 2016

FILIPINO WORLD WAR II VETERAN FAUSTINO “MANG PEPING” BACLIG

By Arturo P. Garcia

This is Faustino “Mang Peping” Baclig, D7M’s founding chairperson. D7M organized over 30 Filipino American WWII veterans organizations in the early 1990s. He was also the Chair of the Alysang ng Komunidad (AK) that formed the December 7th Movement (D7M) in 1993.

This is Faustino “Mang Peping” Baclig, D7M’s founding chairperson. D7M organized over 30 Filipino American WWII veterans organizations in the early 1990s. He was also the Chair of the Alysang ng Komunidad (AK) that formed the December 7th Movement (D7M) in 1993.

 

Los AngelesAS A TRIBUTE TO OUR FILAM HEROES,I AM STARTING A SERIES ON OUR COMMUNITY LEADERS THE THIRD COMMUNITY LEADER TO BE FEATURED IS FAUSTINO “MANG PEPING” BACLIG

He is known to the community and in the academe as “Mang Peping”. Short for Manong Peping, a term of endearment for Brother.

But only a few people that even before martial law was declared he was not allowed to vote in his own town of Cabugao, Ilocos Sur because he was against the President Ferdinand Marcos. He belonged to the opposition. His name was on the voters list. But still he is not allowed to vote by the authorities.

He immigrated to the Unites States in 1987 and here he found out that he is not an American Veteran. He filed a case in the Federal Court and he won his citizenship via a court case. Thus it became his lifelong crusade to fight for equity for his fellow Filipino World War II Veterans until the day of his death.

Our meeting was a bit unexpected. I was asked by my boss to attend the birthday for Mang Peping at SIPA. That was the first time I saw him and heard him speak. The subject of his talk was his second life. He told the crowd his story. I know he told the story several times but the crowd were glad to hear it again.

“ This was my second life. The Japanese sent my family a death certificate that I was death. They mourned me already. But I was alive at the concentration camp in Capas , Tarlac after the Death March and the surrender at Bataan. It was a mistake. The Japanese killed me although I was still alive and a Prisoner of War,”

That Mang Peping. He always tell stories and takes all the opportunities to discuss the plight of Filipino World War II Veterans anywhere and everywhere even during his birthday.

He treat all is fellow veterans with respect. He does not discriminate if they are Bataan Veteran, USAFFE, a guerilla or a Philippine Scout. To him they are all equal. Unlike other veteran who loved to put one over the other.

Together with Mang Peping, we formed the Justice For Filipino American Veterans (JFAV) on December 16, 1998 at SIPA. That was the start of our long comradeship for equity and justice. He was a member of the Board of Directors of People’s CORE.

He was also the Chair of the Alyansa ng Komunidad (AK), a community alliance based in Pilipinotown. The AK was active in the struggle against racism and against US wars of aggression and was always at the forefront of the struggle for the community,seniors and Filipino community empwoerment.

14657285_10207697675065215_2735609654114405424_nThe was always a speaker every Veterans Day, November 11 in rallies, demonstrations, parades and event. I sensed something wrong in 2009 when he came at FACLA. He w as very incoherent and when he speak he exhorted the youth the carry on.

He asked Johneric Concordia, a youth activist , “ Do you still know me.” It seems he does want to be forgotten. We later learned that he was having a stroke at that time and was to be rushed to the hospital. HE went to the rally even though he was sick. He died in 2011.

When he visited him the last time, Joe, my boss told me.” Don’t wake him up, he was asleep.” But I woke him up because we spent almost a day looking for him. I don’t want to leave without talking to him. He told us, “ I have been waiting for you.” And the next day he died.

Besides being the People’s CORE Board Member, he worked in FASGI as a Volunteer and served the seniors and veterans. He died in 2011.

MABUHAY KAYO! NEVER FORGET!

NEVER AGAIN MARTIAL LAW!

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