By Dennis D. Estopace, Reporter
Saturday, July 02, 2005
A unit of the Department of Foreign Affairs directly taking orders from the United Nations confirmed the release of nearly a million dollar for late claims for payment for Filipinos who died, were harmed or displaced during Iraq’s war against Kuwait more than a decade ago.
A staff of the Philippine Claims and Compensation Commission has confirmed that the commission is processing a UN Security Council resolution in April on the “late-claims program.” Created in 1991, the PCCC is the operating arm of the UNCC, the UN council that approves and processes the claims of the 1991 Gulf War victims around the world.
The money for the claims, an estimated $12 billion worldwide, comes from a special fund that receives 25 percent of the proceeds from sales of Iraqi oil. The United Nations Compensation Commission Governing Council has approved in May the claims of 245 of 305 Filipinos for whom the foreign affairs department has filed late claims in March last year.
According to a council report dated March 10, 2005, a total of 3,450 category “A” claims and 672 category “C” claims were filed by the governments of the Philippines, Iran, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as part of a “late-claims program.”
“On various occasions from 2000 to 2004, [the Philippine Government] approached the governing council with request[s] to file claims with the Commission on behalf of some of their nationals who were allegedly unable to file claims for losses resulting from Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait during the Commission’s regular filing period,” the report said. The UN council’s regular filing period was from January 1, 1992, to January 1, 1996.