B-103815, APR. 24, 1957

B-103815: Apr 24, 1957

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YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOU FAILED TO FURNISH POSITIVE PROOF THAT YOU WERE MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT. YOU CONTEND THAT YOU AND THE DECEDENT WERE LEGALLY MARRIED ON JUNE 17. YOU HAVE NOT FURNISHED A MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE BECAUSE YOU SAY THE RECORDS OF THE CIVIL REGISTRAR OF BAGUIO WERE DESTROYED DURING THE LIBERATION CAMPAIGN. IN LIEU OF SUCH CERTIFICATE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED A JOINT AFFIDAVIT OF MARTIN AUSTRIA AND PRUDENCIA F. SCHROCK WERE MARRIED AT BAGUIO CITY. AS THE DATE OF YOUR ALLEGED MARRIAGE TO THE DECEDENT IS NOT SUGGESTED. THIS AFFIDAVIT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY EVIDENCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED AS PROOF OF YOUR MARRIAGE TO THE DECEDENT. THE LATE OFFICER DID NOT REVEAL TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY THAT YOU AND HE WERE MARRIED.

B-103815, APR. 24, 1957

TO MRS. GLORIA FERNANDEZ VDA. DE SCHROCK:

YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 10, 1956, IN EFFECT REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR SETTLEMENT DATED SEPTEMBER 4, 1951, WHICH DISALLOWED YOUR CLAIM AS WIDOW FOR SIX MONTHS' DEATH GRATUITY IN THE CASE OF MURL R. SCHROCK, WHO DIED ON FEBRUARY 4, 1945, WHILE SERVING AS FIRST LIEUTENANT, ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED FOR THE REASON THAT YOU FAILED TO FURNISH POSITIVE PROOF THAT YOU WERE MARRIED TO THE DECEDENT.

YOU CONTEND THAT YOU AND THE DECEDENT WERE LEGALLY MARRIED ON JUNE 17, 1937, IN BAGUIO CITY, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, BY A JUSTICE OF THE PEACE. YOU HAVE NOT FURNISHED A MARRIAGE CERTIFICATE BECAUSE YOU SAY THE RECORDS OF THE CIVIL REGISTRAR OF BAGUIO WERE DESTROYED DURING THE LIBERATION CAMPAIGN. IN LIEU OF SUCH CERTIFICATE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED A JOINT AFFIDAVIT OF MARTIN AUSTRIA AND PRUDENCIA F. HERNA, EXECUTED MARCH 30, 1950, AVERRING THAT YOU AND MURL R. SCHROCK WERE MARRIED AT BAGUIO CITY, ON JUNE 17, 1937. HOW, OR IN WHAT MANNER THE AFFIANTS IN 1950, FIXED JUNE 17, 1937, AS THE DATE OF YOUR ALLEGED MARRIAGE TO THE DECEDENT IS NOT SUGGESTED. HOWEVER, THIS AFFIDAVIT CONSTITUTES THE ONLY EVIDENCE YOU HAVE SUBMITTED AS PROOF OF YOUR MARRIAGE TO THE DECEDENT.

THE LATE OFFICER DID NOT REVEAL TO THE UNITED STATES ARMY THAT YOU AND HE WERE MARRIED. THIS DESPITE THE FACT THAT HE RECEIVED THE LESSER PAY AND ALLOWANCES OF A SINGLE MAN AND THAT, IF MARRIED, UNITED STATES ARMY REGULATIONS REQUIRE THE DISCLOSURE OF SUCH INFORMATION.

IT IS INCUMBENT UPON CLAIMANTS TO FURNISH EVIDENCE SATISFACTORILY ESTABLISHING THEIR CLAIMS AND WHICH ESTABLISHES THE CLEAR LEGAL LIABILITY OF THE UNITED STATES. AS PREVIOUSLY POINTED OUT TO YOU, IN THE CONSIDERATION OF CLAIMS OF THIS NATURE, OUR OFFICE, FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE INTERESTS OF THE GOVERNMENT AND OTHER POSSIBLE CLAIMANTS, MUST INSIST UPON POSITIVE PROOF OF THE RELATIONSHIP ON WHICH CLAIMANTS BASE THEIR CLAIMS. EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO ESTABLISH BEYOND DOUBT THAT YOU ARE THE WIDOW OF THE DECEDENT HAS NOT BEEN FURNISHED. THE AFFIDAVIT OF MARTIN AUSTRIA AND PRUDENCIA F. HERNA, ISSUED MORE THAN TWELVE YEARS AFTER YOUR ALLEGED MARRIAGE, IS NOT SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE AND MAY NOT BE ACCEPTED AS ESTABLISHING YOUR MARRIAGE TO THE LATE OFFICER. ACCORDINGLY, AND IN VIEW OF THE FAILURE OF THE DECEDENT WHILE IN MILITARY SERVICE TO NAME YOU AS HIS WIFE OR TO DISCLOSE THAT HE HAD EVER BEEN MARRIED, THERE IS NO LEGAL BASIS TO ALLOW YOUR CLAIM.