B-154056, MAY 26, 1964

B-154056: May 26, 1964

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ACAAC: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 7. WHO IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE DURING WORLD WAR II. INFORMATION FURNISHED THIS OFFICE IS TO THE EFFECT THAT YOUR LATE BROTHER WAS LISTED AS A PRIVATE IN THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AT THE TIME OF HIS CAPTURE AND INTERNMENT AS A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE. APPARENTLY YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR THE REASON THAT THE PHILIPPINE ARMY WAS CALLED INTO THE ARMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL. THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS GIVEN AUTHORITY TO CALL INTO THE SERVICE OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT.

B-154056, MAY 26, 1964

TO MR. NORBERTO T. ACAAC:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER DATED MARCH 7, 1964, ADDRESSED TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, WHICH YOU MAILED DIRECTLY TO THIS OFFICE, RELATIVE TO YOUR CLAIM FOR ADDITIONAL PRISONER OF WAR COMPENSATION BELIEVED DUE IN THE CASE OF YOUR LATE BROTHER, AGAPITO T. ACAAC, WHO IS ALLEGED TO HAVE BEEN A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE DURING WORLD WAR II.

INFORMATION FURNISHED THIS OFFICE IS TO THE EFFECT THAT YOUR LATE BROTHER WAS LISTED AS A PRIVATE IN THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AT THE TIME OF HIS CAPTURE AND INTERNMENT AS A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE. APPARENTLY YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE ENTITLED TO COMPENSATION FROM THE UNITED STATES FOR THE REASON THAT THE PHILIPPINE ARMY WAS CALLED INTO THE ARMED SERVICES OF THE UNITED STATES UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMANDING GENERAL, UNITED STATES ARMY FORCES IN THE FAR EAST.

UNDER SECTION 2 (A) (12) OF THE PHILIPPINE INDEPENDENCE ACT OF MARCH 24, 1934, 48 STAT. 457, THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES WAS GIVEN AUTHORITY TO CALL INTO THE SERVICE OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES THE MILITARY FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT. BY VIRTUE OF SUCH AUTHORITY THE PHILIPPINE ARMY WAS BROUGHT INTO THE SERVICE OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES BY THE MILITARY ORDER ISSUED BY THE PRESIDENT ON JULY 26, 1941, 6 F.R. 3825. SUCH FORCES WERE NOT A PART OF THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES AS DEFINED BY SECTION 1 OF THE NATIONAL DEFENSE ACT, 10 U.S.C. 2 (1940 ED.). FUNDS FOR THE COSTS OF THE SERVICE OF THE ARMY OF THE PHILIPPINES WERE PAYABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES UPON ITS WRITTEN REQUEST, EITHER IN ADVANCE OF OR IN REIMBURSEMENT FOR ALL OR ANY PART OF THE ESTIMATED OR ACTUAL COST, AND WERE MADE AVAILABLE BY THE ACT OF DECEMBER 17, 1941, 55 STAT. 813, FROM JULY 26, 1941, TO JUNE 30, 1943. STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION FOR DISPOSITION OF APPROPRIATED FUNDS WAS SIMILARLY CONTINUED IN SUBSEQUENT MILITARY APPROPRIATION ACTS OF JULY 2, 1942, AND JULY 1, 1943, RESPECTIVELY.

BY THE PLAIN TERMS OF THE ABOVE ACTS, AND AS WE EXPLAINED IN OUR LETTER TO YOU OF JANUARY 8, 1964, ALL COSTS TO THE UNITED STATES OF THE SERVICES OF THE ARMY OF THE PHILIPPINES WERE PAYABLE TO THE GOVERNMENT OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF THE PHILIPPINES, WHICH WAS THE LEGALLY CONSTITUTED GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINES AT THAT TIME, AND NOT TO ANY INDIVIDUAL MEMBER OF THAT ARMY. SEE 22 COMP. GEN. 987, COPY HEREWITH. THE EFFECT OF SUCH STATUTORY PROVISIONS IS TO MAKE THE PHILIPPINE GOVERNMENT SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR MAKING PAYMENTS OF PAY AND ALLOWANCES TO PERSONNEL OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY AND, THEREFORE, THERE IS NO AUTHORITY FOR THE UNITED STATES TO PAY ANY MEMBER OF THE PHILIPPINE ARMY, OR HIS HEIR, FOR HIS SERVICE IN THE PHILIPPINE ARMY OR TO CONTINUE HIS PAY WHILE HE WAS A PRISONER OF WAR OF THE JAPANESE.

THE WAR CLAIMS ACT OF 1948, 50 U.S.C. APP. 2001, PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF CERTAIN BENEFITS TO PRISONERS OF WAR AND CHARGED THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION (NOW THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION OF THE UNITED STATES) WITH THE DUTY OF ADMINISTERING THE LAWS RELATING TO BENEFITS PAYABLE UNDER THE STATUTE. ALSO IT PROVIDES THAT THE ACTION OF THE COMMISSION IN ALLOWING OR DENYING ANY CLAIM UNDER THIS ACT IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON THE PARTIES AS TO ALL QUESTIONS OF LAW AND FACT AND IS NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES. WHILE OUR OFFICE HAS NO JURISDICTION TO CONSIDER A CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE ACT, IT IS NOTED THAT IN THE EVENT OF THE DEATH OF THE PERSON ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF BENEFITS UNDER THE ACT, SUCH BENEFITS ARE PAYABLE ONLY TO OR FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE WIDOW, CHILDREN OR PARENTS OF THE DECEASED. THE STATUTE MAKES NO PROVISION FOR PAYMENT TO A BROTHER.

HOWEVER, AS INDICATED ABOVE, ANY CLAIM FOR BENEFITS UNDER THE 1948 ACT, AS AMENDED, WAS FOR SETTLEMENT BY THE WAR CLAIMS COMMISSION (NOW THE FOREIGN CLAIMS SETTLEMENT COMMISSION), AND THE DETERMINATION MADE BY THAT AGENCY IS FINAL AND CONCLUSIVE ON ALL PARTIES AND NOT SUBJECT TO REVIEW BY ANY OTHER OFFICIAL OR COURT OF THE UNITED STATES.

WE TRUST THIS LETTER WILL ENABLE YOU TO BETTER UNDERSTAND THE REASONS WHY, UNDER THE LAW, FURTHER CONSIDERATION MAY NOT BE GIVEN YOUR CLAIM BY THIS OFFICE.