Buildup the Focus of GW Senatorial Forum


Guam – George Washington Highschool students held a forum for the candidates for senator in this upcoming general election. Today the students had a chance to hear from both Democratic and Republican candidates.

Out of the 30 candidates running for office only ten showed up. For the Democrats Jonathan Diaz, Tina Muna Barnes, Rory Respicio, Judy Guthertz, Ben Pangelinan, and Sarah Nededog showed up. For the Republicans only Senators Mana Silva Taijeron, Chris Duenas, and Frank Blas Jr. were able to make it.

 Students began by asking each candidate a question. Most of the questions focused on the military buildup. Jonathan Diaz was asked what he would do to protect the environment at Pagat.”If you haven’t paid attention to the news there is a new alternative in senator Guthertz’s proposal to use Tinian as an ideal place to do this firing range,” said Diaz. The Democrat candidate for senator says that if Tinian isn’t used then GovGuam will have to work closely with DOD to ensure that there is minimal impact to Pagat.

 Mana Taijeron was asked what she would do about the dredging of Apra harbor. “It’s something that we definitely need to look further into with the military buildup there are a lot of environmental issues that need to be addressed and Pagat is one of them we have to look to protect our environment our life our sea life underneath and look at alternatives,” said Taijeron.

 Tina Muna Barnes was asked how she would ensure that Guam has adequate infrastructure during the course of the buildup. “We need to make sure as policy makers that if they want to build inside the base they have to be able to share the burdens that will be needed outside the base,” said Barnes.

 Chris Duenas was asked what he would do to ensure that the Guam Memorial Hospital has adequate funding.”The problem we have at the Guam Memorial Hospital right now is that we have approximately 45-50 percent of actual payers most of the time in our emergency room,” explained Duenas. The Republcan candidate for senator says they must improve collections and find a way to get more people insured so that the hospital gets the money it needs for treating patients.

 The Guam Medical Association will host a senatorial forum tomorrow night at the Hyatt Regency Guam. The forum will focus on health-care issues, and include questions on the military buildup, education and other issues affecting the people of Guam.