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Moylan: We need to be cautious about giving our manamko a false sense of hope

(Hagåtña, Guam) Senator James Moylan is worried that the temperamental politics surrounding war claims may create false hope for many who have been waiting for their adjudicated claims to be paid 75 years after the occupation in Guam ended.

Read Mr. Moylan's statement below:

With the enactment of Bill 181-35, I encourage Governor Lou Leon Guerrero and other sponsors of the measure to heed caution in making statements associated with the timelines of when, or even if, our manamko will be receiving their war claims checks. Unless a Memorandum of Understanding has been finalized, or that the executive branch has timelines of when it will be accomplished, making declarations that claims will be paid “starting at the end of January,” is essentially providing a sense of false hope to war survivors. It is already unfortunate that many of our elders assume that the enactment of this new law guarantees payment, with some anticipating checks in the mail within the coming days.
We need to be cautious in sending out these “smoke and mirror” assumptions, and present the true picture of what Bill 181-35 is all about in terms of what allows for the claims process to be initiated, and what obstacles actually exist. Likewise, if we don’t have any specific timelines on when the checks will be available, let’s be sincere in making that clarification. Anything else would be sending our manamko, and the community in general, a sense of false hope.
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On December 23, 2016, President Obama signed into law the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114-328, which authorizes the Commission to conduct a supplemental war claims compensation program for victims and survivors of the attack and occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese military forces during World War II and the liberation of Guam by United States military forces. The Act, the relevant portions of which are provided below, covers claims for death, rape, personal injury, severe personal injury, forced labor, forced march, internment, and hiding to evade internment.

Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, Title XVII, Public Law 114-328 (December 23, 2016)


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