By Johnnie Rosario
Guam Congressman Michael San Nicolas did it. War claims - recognition by the federal government of the atrocities committed against the Chamorro people during the Japanese occupation - are on the way to recipients in the advent of the 76th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam.
The payment of war claims and the federal recognition of the Chamorro people's suffering have been political goals and promises of office holders since the birth of self government in Guam last century.
Here is the news release from the Office of Congressman Michael San Nicolas:
Some War Claimants may have received their federal checks recently, and more are on the way.
"We have confirmed with the Treasury that payments have started going out to those claims that have been adjudicated and payee information validated," opened Congressman San Nicolas. "We encourage all adjudicated claimants who have received a request for validation to do so quickly so that their payments can be processed," Congressman San Nicolas continued.
To date, the Foreign Claims Settlement Commission (FCSC) has adjudicated 2,676 1704(a)(1) claims with 552 remaining, and 80 1704(a)(2) claims with 408 remaining.
1704(a)(1) claims are those who filed living for marches/labor, injury, severe bodily injury including maimed;
1704(a)(2) claims are those filed by descendants for those who were killed during the occupation.
"We anticipate that many adjudicated and validated claims will be paid in the month of June and into July," Congressman San Nicolas continued. "We are also pleased that the rate of adjudication has accelerated, making us optimistic that all claimants should be paid before the end of the year," Congressman San Nicolas added. "I would like to thank the FCSC and the U.S. Treasury for making the time and effort to get these payments out as our people have waited for so long and need them most especially during these times," said Congressman San Nicolas. "It is heartwarming to know we have sailed this ship into port, and encourage the local government to use the same funding source at the conclusion of this program to pay out all remaining claimants and their dependents that were unable to be a part of this process," Congressman San Nicolas concludes.