FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 9, 2018
Contact: Jason Tengco, NaFFAA Executive Director
Tel. (202) 803-1353
NaFFAA Issues Statement on the Passing of Daniel K. Akaka
Washington, DC – The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) mourns the passing of former Senator Daniel K. Akaka. Sen. Akaka, the longtime senator from the state of Hawaii, was committed to fighting for educational issues, Native Hawaiian recognition, and veterans rights.
As the Chairman of the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, Sen. Akaka was an instrumental force in the struggle for the rights of Filipino American World War II veterans. He fought for the recognition, benefits, and immigration rights of these veterans, and was recognized in 2009 by the Philippine House of Representatives as an honorary Filipino citizen for his efforts and advocacy on behalf of Filipinos and Filipino Americans.
“It is with a heavy heart that we acknowledge the passing of Senator Daniel Akaka. He was truly a champion and friend for many of us, helping Filipinos and Filipino Americans fight for their rightful place in history,” remarked Brendan Flores, NaFFAA National Chairman. “We can accredit many of our successes to Senator Akaka’s work, especially with our Filipino World War II veterans. He will always hold a special place in the annals of U.S. and Filipino American history.”
“Senator Akaka’s commitment to public service should serve as an inspiration to our leaders today and to those seeking public office,” said Kit Zulueta, Chair of NaFFAA’s Pacific Islands Region. “In his life as a U.S. Army veteran, a public school teacher, a Congressman, and then Senator, he remained a good friend to all – one who constantly advocated for the people of Hawaii and the greater nation. It was Sen. Akaka’s leadership, his famously congenial wit and humor, and his eternal spirit of aloha, that make this loss a profound one for the nation.”
Zulueta also said that Hawaii mourns his passing as local leaders and friends flood their social media with memories of the Senator.
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The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA’s vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.