PH, South Korea forge pact on honoring Korean War veterans' heroism

Published June 9, 2022, 4:51 PM

by Betheena Unite

The Philippines and South Korea had agreed to further expand efforts in honoring the sacrifices of Korean War veterans.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Republic of Korea Patriot and Veterans Affairs Minister Park Minshik (Photo courtesy of the DFA)

Both countries forged a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on veterans affairs cooperation aimed at strengthening the support for each countries’ war veterans and exchanges among the veterans’ descendants.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and Republic of Korea Patriot and Veterans Affairs Minister Park Minshik signed the pact during Lorenzana’s visit to Seoul on June 3.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the MOU contributes to the realization of the shared objectives of the two countries in expanding international projects honoring the sacrifices and dedications of veterans, including the 7,420 Philippine Expeditionary Force to Korea (PEFTOK) troops.

They are the troops the Philippines sent in support of South Korea during the 1950-53 Korean War. It is the third-largest force contribution after the United States and Britain to the war.

“The Republic of Korea, has continuously manifested support for the Philippine government’s endeavors concerning PEFTOK veterans through the years and most recently various donations during the Covid-19 pandemic for elderly Filipino Korean War veterans and their families,” the DFA noted.

Both sides also reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening veterans affairs cooperation through the creation of a consultative body as well as participation in veterans affairs activities organized by both countries.

In January this year, South Korea conveyed intentions to carry out a program that will benefit descendants of PEFTOK veterans.

Also present during the signing of MOU was Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Ma. Theresa Dizon De-Vega, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office Administrator Undersecretary Ernesto G. Carolina, and Young Erlinda Mae, the daughter of the late Maj. Maximo Young (ret), president of the Philippine War Veterans Association, officials from the Ministry of Patriot and Veterans Affairs, and descendants of Korean War veterans.