Guam War Claims Program opens
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Delegate Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) announced yesterday that the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission has opened the Guam War Claims Program.
The Program will be open for one year and claimants will have until June 20, 2018, to submit a claim directly with the FCSC.
The Guam War Claims Program was established by a provision Bordallo included in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2017 and signed into law by President Barack Obama on Dec. 23, 2016. The law authorizes the payment of claims to the living survivors and the spouses, children, or parents of those who died during the occupation of Guam during World War II.
The commission has developed a standardized Statement of Claim form through which eligible individuals will file a claim directly with the commission. The Statement of Claim form is available in both English and Chamorro and will be considered prima facie evidence for a claim; no other information or supporting documentation is required but may be included if desired.
Forms are available on Bordallo’s website at www.bordallo.house.gov/warclaims or directly with the FCSC at www.justice.gov/fcsc. Forms will also be available at Bordallo’s Guam District Office.
Before submitting a claim, all forms must be notarized before they sent directly to the FCSC no later than June 20, 2018. The FCSC must receive original notarized forms before it can process a claim. The FCSC’s mailing address is:
Foreign Claims Settlement Commission
600 E Street, N.W. Room 6002
Washington, D.C. 20579
Bordallo’s office stands ready to assist any individual who wishes to file a claim. Individuals may call Bordallo’s District Office at 477-4272 or visit in person should they have any questions regarding the program.
“Today the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission officially opened the Guam War Claims Program and our survivors or the spouses, children, or parents of those who died during the war can now file their claim. This program brings us one step closer to closing this painful chapter in our history and finally recognizing our man’amko for their experiences and patriotism during the occupation. I am eternally grateful for their patience as we worked to secure passage of this law and as we move forward in implementing it. My office stands ready to assist those who need help filing a claim or answering any questions during this process.
“I want to again thank the many individuals who worked tirelessly to move this issue forward. I especially recognize my predecessors—[Delegates] Antonio Won Pat, Ben Blaz, and Robert Underwood—for laying the groundwork for this bill. I also acknowledge the work of the Guam War Claims Review Commission, and Chairman Mauricio Tamargo, the late Speaker Tony Unpingco, and Speaker BJ Cruz.
“Lastly, I recognize that there are still concerns in our community regarding the funding source for the payment of claims. I continue to work with my colleagues on an alternative funding solution that will hold Guam’s treasury harmless, but it is important to remember that the law does ensure that our man’amko will receive their claim. I look forward to having a ‘One Guam’ approach as we work to resolve this remaining issue.” (PR)