Senators Dispute Governor’s Assessment of Status of PA on Pagat

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Guam – A joint release from Buildup Chair Senator Judi Guthertz and Rules Committee Chair Senator Rory Respicio states that “Pågat is still on the table, contrary to Governor Calvo’s assessment of his meeting with Navy officials.”

The release states:

“It is clear that Pågat is still the preferred site for the Marine training range, including a grenade firing range. It is clear that no new concessions have been made nor have plans changed for the federal footprint to shrink.”

“After Thursday’s 2‐hour meeting with the Undersecretary of the Navy Robert Work and Assistant Undersecretary Jackalyn Pfannenstiel, it became clear that the Department of Defense has not changed its plans.  While firing will not occur directly at the ancient village, firing will be over and around the village, and will compromise the environmental and cultural sanctity of Pågat village.”

“The firing range at Makua in Hawai’i was recently closed due to the environmental degradation and impacts to that culturally important area.  “No amount of money will make it okay to make Pågat  a  firing  range.    Pagat  is  not  for  sale,  and  not  for  lease,”  Speaker  Judi  Won  Pat commented. “

“It is the same message from the Department of Defense,” Won Pat said. “They still have not addressed  any  of  the  issues  the  people  of  Guam  and  this  Legislature  have  demanded  be addressed before this buildup continues.  Congress has denied our vote in the Committee of the Whole and denied funding for War Reparations.  This is just a media spin to try to get us to agree to something that will hurt our culture, our people, and our island forever.”

Senator Rory Respicio, Chairperson of the Committee on Federal Affairs adds, “These officials can only be held to what is written in the Record of Decision.  Their verbal agreements are non‐binding  and  it’s  unfortunate  that  the  Calvo  administration  is  being  bamboozled  by  the continued promises made by these officials without any tangible deliverables to date.”

“Today’s meeting just underscored the need for Governor Calvo to convene the first meeting of the  Guam  First  Commission,  of  which  this  issue  should  be  agenda  item.   The  design  of  the Commission  is  to  ensure  the  true  interests  of  the  people  are  protected  and  to  prevent  the
Governor from making any unilateral decisions relative to the buildup,” Respicio concluded.