Guam – The Association of Government Accountants sponsored a debate for gubernatorial candidates Wednesday, but one candidate didn’t show up. Former Governor Carl Gutierrez pulled out of the debate at the last minute due to what his running mate said was a “prior engagement.” That left Senator Eddie Calvo feeling snubbed and disrespected.
Former Governor Carl Gutierrez and Senator Eddie Calvo were supposed to debate against each other for the first time.
Calvo was there, but Gutierrez wasn’t.
Instead his running mate Senator Frank Aguon Jr. showed up to take his place. Calvo was upset by this. “I believe it’s important for a gubernatorial candidate to be here with the people,” said Calvo while sitting at his table.
Aguon quickly stood up from his table loudly interjecting, “I believe that I stand comfortably representing Gutierrez-Aguon. If I can speak on behalf of Gutierrez-Aguon then why is it that we are refraining from the regular format of the debate.”
Calvo and Gutierrez were supposed to answer a series of questions in a debate format. Because Gutierrez didn’t show up Calvo and Aguon were offered the chance to speak openly for 15 minutes each. Calvo opted instead to have his running mate Senator Ray Tenorio speak on his behalf. “My partner Eddie Calvo of course was here to make this presentation but asked me to do so because it’s protocol and it’s fitting with the policies that have been recognized for many years in politics that a gubernatorial candidate would be debating and presenting issues against or in contrast to another gubernatorial candidate,”
Both talked about seizing the opportunity of the military buildup and Tenorio specifically spoke about the importance of managing money. “In the face of what is to come who do you to trust to manage these federal dollars and these federal funds wisely and invest it in ways which truly benefit all of the People of Guam equally and not just a select few,” said Tenorio.
Senator Frank Aguon Jr. said he is the one to trust to manage the money because if elected he will actually be tasked with running the government’s finances. “Governor Gutierrez and I have agreed that I will be running the government operations on a day to day basis that’s the reason why I stand here before you because I’ve offered myself and I say governor you and I share very similar concerns in terms of exactly how this government and this community will be led over the course of the next few years let me step in while he takes care of another obligation and I certainly hope that when you hear from Frank Aguon that you feel absolutely assured that you are hearing from Governor Gutierrez also because there’s one team and there’s no seam in a team,” said Aguon.
Nevertheless Calvo felt snubbed.”The gubernatorial candidate did not show up for this commitment it’s disrespectful to the people of Guam and it’s disrespectful to the office of governor. I think it’s important that when you present yourself to the people you have to be available to the people and again this is an unfortunate start to the campaign,” said Calvo.
Aguon on the other hand said, “I think it’s very unfortunate that the opposition thinks its a disrespect it’s no disrespect we just had other obligations I encouraged the governor to allow me to be able to step in and participate in this discussion and that’s exactly what we did.”
PNC news asked exactly what the obligation was that precluded Gutierrez from making it to the debate.
“Well there was an obligation that we had previously scheduled at ten o’clock and because of the Record of Decision statement coming out from the senators speaker Wonpat invited governor Gutierrez to be able to join in and be part of the audience during that presentation the governor was able to change his schedule around and commit an hour and thirty minutes and after that he had to go take care of another obligation,” answered Aguon.
Calvo said he hoped that this wouldn’t be a sign of things to come, “I’m hopeful that in other public forums that when the commitment is made by that team that they do keep to that commitment 24:39
Aguon on the other hand felt that they had kept their commitment saying, “I have no idea was there was even a concern about me as lt. governor candidate speaking on behalf of the team.”
After the debate the Gutierrez-Aguon team issued a statement saying that they were disappointed that Calvo refused to debate against Aguon.