B-143036, JUN. 27, 1960

B-143036: Jun 27, 1960

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PLANTAS: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 7. WAS FORWARDED BY SETTLEMENTS DIVISION. WAS RECEIVED HERE ON OCTOBER 29. IT WAS RETURNED TO YOU WITH A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9. YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT PRESENTED WITHIN THE 10-YEAR PERIOD BECAUSE YOU HAD BEEN INFORMED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNSELLING OFFICE THAT WRITING TO THE "U.S. YOU WERE ADVISED BY OFFICE LETTER DATED MARCH 15. IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE CLAIM WITH REGARD TO AMOUNTS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU UNDER PUBLIC LAW 85-217 SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE SETTLEMENTS OPERATIONS. IS UNJUST BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT FURNISHED A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9. YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE IS UNDER NO REQUIREMENT OR OBLIGATION TO FURNISH COPIES OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ACT TO POTENTIAL CLAIMANTS.

B-143036, JUN. 27, 1960

TO MR. FRANCISCO P. PLANTAS:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF MAY 7, 1960, REQUESTING FURTHER CONSIDERATION OF YOUR CLAIM FOR OVERSEAS PAY AND PAY DIFFERENTIAL PURSUANT TO PUBLIC LAW 474, DATED JUNE 29, 1946, 60 STAT. 343, AND PUBLIC LAW85-217 DATED AUGUST 29, 1957, 71 STAT. 491, BELIEVED TO BE DUE INCIDENT TO YOUR SERVICE AS A MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE SCOUTS DURING THE PERIOD APRIL 18, 1946, TO FEBRUARY 21, 1949.

THE RECORD SHOWS THAT YOUR CLAIM INITIALLY MADE BY LETTERS DATED APRIL 22 AND JUNE 6, 1959, ADDRESSED TO THE MANAGER, UNITED STATES VETERANS ADMINISTRATION, MANILA, PHILIPPINES, WAS FORWARDED BY SETTLEMENTS DIVISION, FINANCE CENTER, UNITED STATES ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, AND WAS RECEIVED HERE ON OCTOBER 29, 1959. SINCE A PERIOD OF MORE THAN 10 YEARS HAD ELAPSED SINCE THE PERIOD COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM, IT WAS RETURNED TO YOU WITH A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, 54 STAT. 1061, WHICH PROVIDES (QUOTING FROM 31 U.S.C. 71A), IN PERTINENT PART, AS FOLLOWS:

"/1) EVERY CLAIM OR DEMAND * * * AGAINST THE UNITED STATES COGNIZABLE BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE UNDER SECTIONS 71 AND 236 OF THIS TITLE SHALL BE FOREVER BARRED UNLESS SUCH CLAIM, * * * SHALL BE RECEIVED IN SAID OFFICE WITHIN TEN FULL YEARS AFTER THE DATE SUCH CLAIM FIRST ACCRUED: * *

"/2) WHENEVER ANY CLAIM BARRED BY SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE RECEIVED IN THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, IT SHALL BE RETURNED TO THE CLAIMANT, WITH A COPY OF THIS SECTION, AND SUCH ACTION SHALL BE A COMPLETE RESPONSE WITHOUT FURTHER COMMUNICATION.'

BY LETTER DATED FEBRUARY 9, 1960, YOU REQUESTED RECONSIDERATION OF THE MATTER FOR THE REASON THAT YOUR CLAIM WAS NOT PRESENTED WITHIN THE 10-YEAR PERIOD BECAUSE YOU HAD BEEN INFORMED BY THE DIRECTOR OF THE COUNSELLING OFFICE THAT WRITING TO THE "U.S. VETERANS OFFICE" WOULD DELAY YOUR BENEFITS. IN RESPONSE, YOU WERE ADVISED BY OFFICE LETTER DATED MARCH 15, 1960, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE FILING OF A CLAIM OR MAKING INQUIRIES WITH ANOTHER AGENCY OF THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT MEET THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED ACT. IN THAT LETTER, IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE CLAIM WITH REGARD TO AMOUNTS BELIEVED TO BE DUE YOU UNDER PUBLIC LAW 85-217 SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO THE SETTLEMENTS OPERATIONS, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY, INDIANAPOLIS 49, INDIANA.

YOU NOW STATE THAT THE BARRING OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1946, IS UNJUST BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT FURNISHED A COPY OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, BEFORE THE DEADLINE FOR FILING YOUR CLAIM. THIS CONNECTION, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE IS UNDER NO REQUIREMENT OR OBLIGATION TO FURNISH COPIES OF THE AFOREMENTIONED ACT TO POTENTIAL CLAIMANTS. IN MOST INSTANCES, THERE IS NO WAY OF KNOWING THAT A PERSON HAS A CLAIM AGAINST THE GOVERNMENT UNTIL A CLAIM FOR THE AMOUNT BELIEVED TO BE DUE IS RECEIVED FROM SUCH PERSON.

THE LIMITATION PRESCRIBED BY THE ACT OF OCTOBER 9, 1940, UPON CONSIDERATION OF CLAIMS BY OUR OFFICE IS NOT A MERE STATUTE OF LIMITATION BUT IS A CONDITION PRECEDENT TO THE RIGHT TO HAVE CLAIMS CONSIDERED BY THE GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE. COMPARE BARTLESVILLE ZINC COMPANY V. MELLON, 56 F.2D 154, AND CARPENTER V. UNITED STATES, 56 F.2D 828. EVEN THOUGH YOU DID NOT KNOW OF THE ACT, WE MAY MAKE NO EXCEPTIONS TO ITS PROVISIONS NOR MAY WE GRANT ANY EXTENSION OF TIME WITHIN WHICH CLAIMS MAY BE FILED. DION V. UNITED STATES, 137 C.CLS. 166.

SINCE UNDER THE LAW WE ARE PRECLUDED FROM CONSIDERING YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PAY UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 29, 1946, THERE IS NO FURTHER ACTION THAT WE MAY TAKE IN CONNECTION THEREWITH.

CONCERNING THAT PART OF YOUR CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER PUBLIC LAW 85 217, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THIS OFFICE WILL NOT COMPLY WITH THE REQUEST CONTAINED IN YOUR LETTER OF MAY 7, 1960, THAT WE FORWARD YOUR CLAIM TO SETTLEMENTS OPERATIONS, FINANCE CENTER, U.S. ARMY. THE SUGGESTION IN OUR LETTER OF MARCH 15, 1960, CONCERNING THE FILING OF YOUR CLAIM WITH THE FINANCE CENTER, WAS MADE THROUGH INADVERTENCE. SECTION 2 (B) THE MISSING PERSONS ACT, AS AMENDED BY PUBLIC LAW 85-217, PROVIDES THAT ENTITLEMENT TO PAY AND ALLOWANCES SHALL NOT BE DENIED IN THE CASE ANY MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE SCOUTS WHO WAS CAPTURED BY THE ENEMY IN THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS DURING WORLD WAR II, SOLELY ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH MEMBER WAS PAROLED AND PERMITTED TO RETURN TO HIS HOME AND ENGAGE IN CIVILIAN PURSUITS PRIOR TO THE TERMINATION OF THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF SUCH ISLANDS. SINCE THE PERIOD OF SERVICE COVERED BY YOUR CLAIM WAS SUBSEQUENT TO THE DATE OF THE TERMINATION OF THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, NO RIGHTS ACCRUED TO YOU UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF PUBLIC LAW 85-217.