Philippine Scout Guillermo Rumingan, 86

An advocate for fellow veterans. Photos: ACFV

By Eric Lachica

Guillermo Rumingan, a disabled Philippine Scout from Arlington, Virginia, joined his fallen comrades on March 27. He was 86. Details about his memorial service and internment will be announced by his family.

For the past five decades, Rumingan was an advocate for his fellow veterans on Capitol Hill. He was the service officer of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, Inc. (ACFV) lobby group and one of its founders.

He helped lead the campaign to restore the full U.S. recognition and benefits to fellow veterans. His efforts led to the passage of five bills in the U.S. Congress providing more than $300 million in veterans benefits including full medical coverage and $15,000 one-time payment to each surviving U.S. citizen Filipino World War II veteran (and $9,000 each for non-U.S. citizen Filipino veteran).

Rumingan (right) and fellow veteran Joaquin Tejada walking outside Capitol Hill in the snow.

A frequent visitor to the White House, Rumingan with President George W. Bush.

For his untiring and humble efforts, he was recognized by three presidents. In 1999, President Clinton invited Rumingan to the bill-signing ceremony of the Special Veterans Benefit. In 2003, President Bush asked him to witness the signing of the Filipino Veterans Health bill in the Oval Office. In 2010 upon the invitation of President Obama and First Lady Michele Obama, Rumingan and his fellow comrade Amadeo Urbano attended the Veterans Day breakfast in the White House. It will be recalled that in 1996, Rumingan was arrested in a protest demonstration when he chained himself to the White House fence to draw attention to his cause. He spent a few hours in jail with fellow protester, Congressman Bob Filner.

In 2004, Rumingan was honored by the prestigious Smithsonian National Museum of American History when his story and personal photo displayed as part of the institution’s permanent exhibit. The photo was taken when he was an 18-year-old guerrilla in World War II. It was displayed underneath the famous 1944 photograph of General Douglas MacArthur’s landing in Leyte.

Rumingan was born on December 27, 1925 in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija. During the war, he joined the guerrillas of the 201 Squadron of Capt. Juan Pajota of the Central Nueva Ecija Military Area and under the overall command of Maj. Robert Lapham of the Luzon Guerrilla Armed Forces. He was processed on October 31, 1945 with a USAFFE serial number Philippine Army 207231 and was honorably discharged as sergeant on February 20, 1946.

On March 1, 1946, Rumingan enlisted as a private with ASN PS10308671 in the Philippine Scouts, U.S. Army. He retired as a sergeant first class on March 31, 1951 due to a permanent physical disability.

Eric Lachica is executive director of the American Coalition for Filipino Veterans, Inc.


  1. Manuel Monge wrote:

    My condolence to the family of the late Guillermo “Ka Emong” Rumingan. Felt privileged to meet this man full of humility.

  2. Wally M. wrote:

    Sorry to hear about Mr Rumingan.

  3. minda nao wrote:

    I’m sorry to see you go.

Leave a Reply