By Post News Staff
|Members of Guam World War II Reparations Advocates Inc., a nonprofit organization under formation, announce their intention to file a lawsuit against the U.S. government on behalf of the island's wartime survivors, on March 28 Photo provided by Guam World War II Reparations Advocates Inc.|
Advocates for wartime reparations to Guam’s World War II survivors announced this morning that they are filing a lawsuit against the U.S. government to secure payments for victims.
“We’re losing members of our island’s greatest generation on an almost daily basis,” said Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. in a press conference to announce the endeavour. “So instead of continuing to hope that the United States government will one day recognize the pain and suffering they endured during WWII, we have collectively decided to sue the federal government for the reparations that they truly deserve.”
The advocates, who are in the final stages of forming as a non-profit organization to be known as the Guam World War II Reparations Advocates, Inc., argue that the Obama administration’s recent moves to provide reparations to Holocaust survivors, Americans held hostage in Iran in 1979, and the president’s urging and role with Japan and South Korea’s reconciliation with regard to their long-standing WWII comfort women issue have negated the concern of certain member of Congress who have said that providing reparations to Guam would set a precedent for other groups to follow.
“So if the concern is precedence setting, it's already been done,” said Senator Jim Espaldon.
The initial directors of the organization are Senator Blas, Senator Espaldon, former Governor Ada, former Speaker San Agustin, Vice Speaker Cruz, Senator Muna Barnes, and former Assistant Secretary Babauta. The attorneys representing the group in the impending suit are Washington, D.C.-based Attorneys Mauricio J. Tamargo, Jason Poblete, and Jeremy G. Ibrahim. The suit will be filed in Washington, D.C., and all court costs, attorneys fees and all other related expenses will be privately funded through donations and fundraising events.
“Guam’s Man’amko endured the greatest suffering during our island’s occupation by Japanese forces in World War II,” said Former Assistant Secretary Tony Babauta. “Their painful stories are remembered by their families and our people just as much as our island remembers that they were never made whole by the United States as others were after World War II.”