Friday, January 18, 2013

Search for POW remains in the Philippines continues

Painting by Ben Steele
U.S. and Philippine Governments Partner to Investigate Remains of 
American service members in the Philippines from World War II
Manila, January 18, 2013 –This week, personnel from the U.S. and Philippine governments will begin preliminary investigations into possible locations of the remains of American Prisoners of War (POWs) and those Missing in Action (MIAs) in the Philippines.
 The effort is led by the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC), based in Honolulu, whose humanitarian mission is to conduct global search, recovery, and laboratory operations to identify more than 83,000 unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts.  Alongside Philippine partners, the JPAC team will be searching for evidence of about 80 Americans who remain unaccounted-for from World War II.  A nine-member investigation team will work with Philippine partners to authenticate leads from eyewitnesses and conduct field research at numerous locations throughout the Philippines to determine whether a return visit for excavation is merited.
 “These investigations have the potential bring long desired closure for the families of American service members who went missing while serving their country in the second World War,” said Brian L. Goldbeck, Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy.  “We are truly grateful to our Philippine partners for working closely with us to facilitate this project.”
 The joint investigations follow the signing of a Statement of Intent on June 3, 2011 between the United States and the Philippines to collaborate in researching, investigating, recovering, and conducting forensic reviews of American POW and MIA remains.  As part of the agreement, JPAC personnel are required to respect all Philippine national and local laws and regulations, local customs, traditions and courtesies.
 All activities are being closely coordinated with and facilitated by the Government of the Philippines, with involvement from the Philippine Departments of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Health, Interior and Local Government, Environment and Natural Resources; the National Museum of the Philippines; the Bureaus of Customs and Immigration; the Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement; the National Bureau of Investigation; the National Commission on Indigenous People; the Armed Forces of the Philippines; and the Philippine National Police.  
For press inquiries, please contact the U.S. Embassy Information Office at 301-2363 or email at

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