from entitlement programs designed to benefit persons who met these conditions. Members of the Philippine Army at issue in Quiban, on the other hand, had met the threshold "status" requirement for entitlement to veterans' benefits: their former relation to the sovereign was identical to other World War II veterans. Similarly, based upon the conclusions above that no valid distinction separates them from other veterans, New Philippine Scouts also meet the "status" requirement. They too offer a "nexus between demand and entitlement," because they served as members of the United States armed forces in a capacity not distinguishable from any other members in the immediate post-war period. See Quiban, 713 F. Supp. at 448.
As the Court concluded in Quiban, "it is not 'rational' to reduce the benefits of one equally entitled to benefits to insure that someone else, no more entitled to those benefits, receives full benefits. That is the essence of arbitrary treatment." Quiban, 713 F. Supp. at 448.
Plaintiff's claims for Social Security and insurance benefits must be dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies. To the extent plaintiff seeks back-pay, his claim is time-barred. To the extent his complaint seeks veterans' benefits as a former member of the Philippine military during World War II, however, it will be treated as an administrative request and remanded for consideration by the Veterans' Administration.
The VA's efforts to distinguish the status of New Philippine Scouts from other members of the United States armed forces, so as to rationally justify their limited entitlement to benefits, are unsuccessful. The New Philippine Scouts enlistment period actually exceeded those available to other American enlistees during the same time period. The force served functions identical or similar to regular U.S. armed forces veterans in the Pacific sphere at the time. That a military force derived from the New Philippine Scouts would ultimately make up the newly independent Philippine Army has no effect whatsoever on the "status" of the Scouts -- and it is status that the Court has found to be determinative in conducting the rational basis analysis in this context. Finally, since the VA has not distinguished the status of the New Philippine Scouts as veterans, the desire to avoid a burden on the treasury cannot justify section 107(b).
Lacking a rational basis for its limitation of benefits to this group, the Court finds section 107(b) in violation of the Fifth Amendment, and remands this case to the Veteran's Administration for an examination of plaintiff's claims, during which the VA may not rely upon the provision.
An appropriate Order accompanies this Memorandum.
ADJUDICATION AND ORDER - May 10, 1990, Filed
In accordance with the Memorandum entered this date, it is by the Court this 10th day of May, 1990,
ADJUDGED and DECREED, that 38 U.S.C. § 107(b), insofar as it determines that service in the Philippine Scouts under section 14 of the Armed Forces Voluntary Recruitment Act of 1945 ("New Philippine Scouts") shall not be deemed to have been active military, naval, or air service for the purposes of conferring veterans' benefits, except for the benefits specifically enumerated in section 107(b), and insofar as it determines that benefits payable to veterans of the New Philippine Scouts shall be paid at a reduced rate, is unconstitutional to the extent it deprives veterans of the New Philippine Scouts and their dependents of benefits administered by the Veterans' Administration and requires that benefits that are available to said veterans and their dependents be paid at a reduced rate; and it is
FURTHER ADJUDGED and DECREED, that 38 U.S.C. § 107(a), insofar as it determines that service in the organized military forces of the Government of the Commonwealth of the Philippines, while such forces were in the service of the United States pursuant to the military order of the President dated July 26, 1941, including the Philippine Army and organized guerilla forces, shall be deemed not to have been service in the active military, naval or air service for the purpose of conferring veterans' benefits, except for the benefits specifically enumerated in § 107(a), and insofar as it determines that benefits payable to veterans of said forces shall be paid at a reduced rate, is unconstitutional to the extent it deprives veterans of said forces and their dependents of benefits administered by the Veterans' Administration and requires that benefits that are available to said veterans and their dependents be paid at a reduced rate; therefore it is by the Court,
ORDERED, that Defendant's Motion to dismiss is GRANTED to the extent it seeks dismissal of claims seeking Social Security benefits, back-pay and benefits under any federal veterans insurance contract; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that Plaintiff's claims for Social Security benefits and benefits under any federal veterans insurance contract are hereby dismissed for failure to exhaust administrative remedies; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that Plaintiff's claim for back-pay is dismissed as time-barred; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that in all other respects Defendant's Motion is DENIED; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED, that Plaintiff's complaint shall be treated as an administrative application for benefits and is hereby remanded to the Veterans' Administration for consideration in accordance with Court's disposition in this matter, and therefore Defendant shall not deny or reduce benefits on the basis of 38 U.S.C. § 107.