Tension Rose as Two Senators Were Nearly Removed From the Floor


Tensions rose between lawmakers during a public hearing held yesterday, that nearly got 2 Senators removed from the floor.


Senators Joanne Brown and Telo Taitague were nearly removed from the floor following a series of questions directed at Port General Manager Rory Respicio.

The Public Hearing was focused on Bill 298-36, which is “relative to the financing or refinancing improvements and capital improvements of the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port, and other related facilities and operations of the port, through revenue bond proceeds.”

Prior to the heated exchange between Senators, Senator Brown, who was the former Port GM, and Respicio had a heated exchange of their own.

The exchange stemmed from questions from Brown regarding items such as a lack of bids on bond-funded projects, Hotel Wharf, and Staffing Patterns.

Senator JOANNE BROWN stated, “What is your current Staffing Pattern at the Port Authority?”

RORY RESPICIO, PORT GENERAL MANAGER stated, “We have about 404 employees, it’s still not where we need to be but that’s where we’re at.”

Senator Brown responded with, ” I’d like to also request these positions, at the time the bond was executed we had 356 employees, 121 in administration, and 235 in the yard with specific breakdowns to each division, so you now have 400.”

Respicio stated, “Well, you also left the port with a net negative $104K, we made $7.5M the first year I don’t know where we’re going with this line of question.”

Following the exchange, Senator Torres interjected, arguing that the conversation was going beyond the context of Bill 298.

MARY CAMACHO TORRES, GUAM SENATOR stated, “I’m going to ask you…to please stop talking over me. Or I’m going to ask you to remove yourself…

TELO TAITAGUE, GUAM SENATOR stated, “Just as you ask us to behave decorum, I’m asking the same that you do in your capacity as chair to have Mr. Respicio just answer the questions.”

MARY CAMACHO TORRES, GUAM SENATOR stated, “Mr. Sergeant of Arms may I please ask you to escort these two I think that you have demonstrated an extreme disrespect for the presider.”

A recess was then called, and the public hearing concluded following the last few series of questions from Brown with no heated discussion.

Reporting for PNC News
I’m Don Sulat

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Born and raised on the island of Saipan, Don moved to Guam in the Spring of 2016 to pursue higher education at the University of Guam. It was at UOG that Don discovered his passion for keeping his peers politically informed. Prior to joining PNC Don gained professional and life experience through a variety of odd jobs ranging from an administrative assistant to a bouncer to a luxury retail salesman. In his free time, you can find him flying his drone or doing landscape and portrait photography. Don joined the PNC News Team not only to broaden his writing skill but also to challenge himself to get in front of the camera, ultimately furthering his passion to promote an informed and politically engaged Mariånas. Don's beat is Court, Crime, and Regional and is also PNC's Lead Reporter.