Guam – Speaker Judi Won Pat pays tribute to the late Senator Ben Pangelinan in her weekly address this week.
HEAR the Speaker’s Weekly Address HERE>>>7-9 -14 speakers address.mp3
READ the Speaker’s Weekly Address below:
Speaker Pangelinan Served Guam with Integrity and Purpose
Speaker Judith T. Won Pat’s Weekly Address
For Release – July 9, 2014
My heart is heavy with sadness at the loss of Speaker Vicente “ben” Pangelinan – a true friend and mentor. Speaker ben dedicated his life to serving the people of Guam. He never compromised his integrity or lost sight of his purpose. Most admirably, he tirelessly sought truth and justice, often fighting political battles that no one else had the courage to face.
Speaker ben wasn’t a senator for prestige or profit, his intention was to be a voice for the voiceless and to do what he believed was right for the people of Guam. Because of this, no amount of criticism, no attacks from political opponents, could keep him down. He upheld his positions relentlessly and encouraged us all to serve with the same level of seriousness, commitment, and transparency.
When I first became senator in the 23rd Guam Legislature, Speaker ben advised me to always be prepared. To read and do my homework before I attended session. He also advised me to listen carefully to all the arguments being presented in order to formulate a well-informed position. He had such a staunch work ethic and keen intellect, and he never forgot anything. His institutional knowledge was amazing. He was always pulling out quotes and sayings directly from memory, in hopes of inspiring a deeper understanding of the issues we face today.
Speaker ben called on us to find the truth in all we do. In his last column of 2013, he wrote, “let us remember to remain observant, attentive and empowered to seek out the truth and reality in order to shape a more informed perspective…”
As we remember him today, let us not forget the truths he fought for. Let us carry on his legacy, particularly his commitment to protecting the rights and lands of the Chamorro people and advocating for our self-determination.
I’d like to end this address with one of the most eloquent descriptions of his purpose, which he wrote earlier this year.
“Today, in a time full of cynicism, political sound bites and press releases, we must remember who we are as a people. We once mastered the navigation of the seas; surely we can determine our political future. We survived a world at war; surely we can build an economy which leaves no hardworking families behind. We are the inheritors of an ancient land; surely we can leave this place better than when we found it.”
While his passing is a tremendous loss to the people of Guam, may Speaker ben’s words and actions continue to inspire us to serve our island with dignity and to help make Guam a better place.
I’d like to extend my sincerest condolences to the family, close friends, and faithful legislative staff of Speaker ben. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Speaker ben – saina ma’ase para todu un fanågue ham yan todu i checho’mu para un na mas maolek i tano’ta.