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House announces invitees to testify

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by Sabrina Salas Matanane

Guam - The House Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs has finalized its list of people that have been invited to testify on the H.R. 44 or the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act. The hearing is scheduled for Friday Guam time. 

Invited and confirmed to speak before the House panel are Governor Eddie Calvo, Nik Pula from the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, the former chairman of the Guam War Claims Review Commission and former chairman of the United States Foreign Claims Settlement Commission Mauricio Tamargo, and finally former Guam congresswoman retired Marine Corps Brigadier General Ben Blaz.

H.R. 44 would implement the recommendation of the Guam War Claims Review Commission, which in its report to Congress in 2004 found there was significant disparities in the treatment of war claims for Guam as compared to war claims for other Americans. The Commission also found that the U.S. Government seized Japanese assets during World War II and that the record shows that settlement of claims was meant to be paid from these forfeitures. 

The Review Commission recommended congress remedy the injustice and enact legislation to provide claims. War reparations for the survivors of the Japanese occupation of Guam has been rejected mainly by the U.S. Senate. As a compromise last year, compensation would only be for living survivors and excludes their descendants. Written testimony that will be included in the congressional record can be submitted to Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's Hagatna office.

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