Governor Lou Leon Guerrero has expressed her disappointment with the Legislature’s decision to discontinue deliberations on Bill 181-35, the local war claims legislation.
In a statement, the governor said Adelup was hopeful that the Legislature would have acted swiftly to pass legislation to begin paying survivors of Guam’s occupation during World War II because the federal government is unable to do so today.
“Our Administration has spent many months pursuing a local War Claims program,
working closely with the U.S. Department of Treasury which has the authority to begin the administration of our efforts,” the governor said.
She added: “I’m not happy and I’m very worried by the Legislature’s decision to suspend discussions on Bill 181-35 despite the assurances provided to them by our
Administration and Department of the Interior Assistant Secretary for Insular and
International Affairs Doug Domenech that a local program is achievable.”
The governor stressed that Guam’s war survivors have waited for 75 years and they are dwindling in number. She vowed that her administration will continue to aggressively pursue ways to give them their deserved war claims and bring them closure.
Tony Babauta, Adelup’s chief of staff, told the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57 that Bill 181-35 and H.R. 1365 can co-exist and proceed in parallel paths contrary to what San Nicolas said.
He added that Adelup has been in communication with the Department of Interior, U.S. Treasury and the White House, and the officials there sure supportive of both Bill 181-35 and H.R. 1365.
He said the federal officials were aware of the dual track that Guam’s war claims are going through, adding that there were no flags raised and everybody thought Bill 181-35 it offered a quick solution knowing that H.R 1365 is still in Congress.
Babauta said the governor remains committed to local war claims legislation and she will continue to push this with federal officials.