2020-10-21

Maj. Tom Baena clarifies eligibility to march on Anzac Day Parade

At present, two different Australia Philippines Services League (APSL) exist causing some confusion among retired military personnel in Australia. One is the group led by retired Philippine Air Force Col. Cresencio Pilao while the other is headed by retired Philippine Navy Commander and Vietnam War Veteran Ricardo Palenzuela.

The group of Pilao is a mixture of ex-military and civilian personnel that includes Solicitor Lolita Farmer, OAM.

On the other hand, the group of Palenzuela consists of purely military servicemen that include World War II veteran Ted Aritao. At the helm is Australian Defence Force Major Tom Baena.

The following statement has been issued by Maj. Baena in an effort to define a person’s eligibility to march on Anzac Day Parade:

Persons eligible to be a member of the Returned and Services League of Australia are eligible to participate in the ANZAC Day March, however banner carriers and carers of any age or background will be welcome in any section of the march.

One descendant of a deceased or disabled veteran who is entitled but unable to march may honour the veteran’s service by wearing his/her medals on the right breast and participating in the march. If the relative is a child, he or she should be of discretionary years.

Because the presence of an increasing number of descendants was starting to distract from the meaning of the march and it is vital that this is not watered down, the RSL State Council has directed that all descendants, who are not themselves veterans, march with the descendants of WW1 Veterans Association or the Descendants of WWII and Post WWII Veterans Association at the rear of the march.

It is therefore imperative that those non eligible persons should not march or participate in ANZAC Day March if they are not banner carriers of carers or they would be making a mockery of the solemnity of the ANZAC Day Commemoration and desecrate the memory of our fallen Australian and Filipino Servicemen and Servicewomen.