Press release attachment

The Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) Veterans Association, Inc. (PVAI) held the induction of its new set of officers and members of the Board of Directors on 4 February 2020 at the Exhibition Room, Philippine Korea Friendship Center, Bayani Road,. 

Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) Administrator Ernesto G. Carolina presided over the oath taking ceremony, which formally installed the following officers: Maj. Maximo P. Young PA (Ret), President; BGen. Miguel M. Villamor AFP (Ret), Vice President; Ms. Elsa D. Santos, Secretary; Lt. Luperio O. Oliva PA (Ret), Treasurer; Col. Augusto S. Flores PA (Ret), PRO; Ms. Isabelita Y. Aganon, Auditor; and, Atty. Walter T. Young, Legal Counsel.

Elected PVAI Board of Directors include: Mr. Ramon P. Aguirre III, Ms. Gloria L. Cruz, Ms. Rosalyn R. Flores, Mr. O’Daniel V. Bañez, Mr. Angelito R. Balaoro, Mr. Maximo A. Dones, Mr. Ricardo S. Catolos, Mr. John Voltaire Venturina, and, Mr. Jessie Jerry R. Taduran.

In his remarks, Maj. Young shared that 2020 is a milestone year for the organization as it marks the 70th year of the outbreak of the Korean War. He reminded the new officers and directors to uplift the lives, extend assistance to living PEFTOK veterans and their descendants through scholarship programs, and strengthen relations with stakeholders.

Maj. Young also expressed his gratitude to PVAO for all its support to their association and looked forward to more collaboration and cooperation with the able leadership of USec. Carolina.

Speaking to the new set of officers, USec. Carolina recalled about the 114 Killed-In-Action (KIA) and 16 Missing-In-Action (MIA) PEFTOK veterans. He asked PVAI to inform the families of these KIAs and MIAs of their benefits from both the Philippine and Korean Government, ensuring that their welfare and well-being is prioritized.

USec. Carolina also recounted that North and South Korea have agreed to allow search operations on the remains of those who have died during the Korean War. With this, the Korean Government is seeking assistance in locating the families of the 16 MIAs so that DNA samples can be obtained for identification. He then asked PVAI to create a PEFTOK MIA Team that will negotiate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and discuss the initiatives with the Republic of Korea on the search of PEFTOK’s MIAs.

Further, USec. Carolina challenged the PVAI officers to formulate a strategic roadmap that will serve as the organization’s guide for future plans and projects. He then suggested for PVAI to initiate programs that will unify and empower the PEFTOK veterans community, as they are a sense of national pride. To do so, he urged PVAI to organize chapters throughout the country and actively involve the descendants of PEFTOK veterans to PVAI affairs. He then congratulated and assured full support to the new officers and for the future of the PEFTOK community.