Respicio Cautions Both Governor & Chamorro Rights Groups On Importance of Selection of Guam First Rep

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Guam – Senator Rory Respicio released a cautionary statement today [Monday] emphasizing to both the Calvo Administration, and Chamorro Rights groups, the importance of a selecting  a chamorro rights member to the Guam First Commission.
4 nominees were selected from the island’s Chamorro Rights organizations, but on Saturday they were unable to reach any agreement on who among them would represent their organizations on the Guam First Commission. The 4 nominees are Trini Torres, Frank Schacher, Antonio Artero Sablan and Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua.

Respico cautions the Calvo Administration not to use “this situation as another opportunity to delay the convening of its first meeting.”

And the Senator also writes: “I trust that these four individuals understand what’s at stake”

Respicio, who authored the Guam First Law, points out that “in the event there is a stalemate” in the selection of a representative, then Governor Calvo will be forced to make the decision for us, and select one person from the four remaining.”

READ Senator Respicio’s Statement below:

The law creating “Kumision Guåhan Fine’nana” (Guam First Commission) on the Military Mission in Guam was designed to bring our government, community and business leaders together. We need this kind of structure and unwavering mission to stand up for our island by conveying one, strong message to the United States that we must put Guam First.

This commission is mandated by law, and is a matter of public policy, requiring that historical injustices, i.e., war reparations, political status, self-determination, to name a few, be addressed prior to even entertaining this massive military move from Okinawa to Guam. We are not going
to get any other opportunity to have the US redress wrongs committed on our people decades ago, and we want to make sure that this Buildup is done right, or it shouldn’t happen at all.

My sense is that Mr. Joseph Artero Cameron, President of Chamorro Affairs, is working very hard to come up with this one person for Gov. Eddie Calvo to appoint. The process to select this person is by design, so that we begin to unite all the various Chamorro rights organizations, and have them select one person to sit on this Commission. Seems like great progress has been made thus far. In the event there is a stalemate, meaning these four individuals cannot come to an agreement to choose their representative, then Governor Calvo will be forced to make the decision for us, and select one person from the four remaining.

As the author of this law, I hope the Calvo Administration will not use this situation as another opportunity to delay the convening of its first meeting. I trust that these four individuals understand what’s at stake. It is very important for me, along with Sen. Judi Guthertz, our Buildup Chair, Speaker Won Pat, Sen. Frank Blas, Jr., Governor Calvo, and many others, who pushed for the creation of this Commission over the years to give our government, business and private sector individuals a seat at the table. This Commission will determine how much we are willing to accept or not accept from this Buildup, and afford all of us this real opportunity to sit at the same table and ensure that we put Guam First.

I know each of these four individuals, and recognize their tremendous work to preserve our Chamorro culture, as well as the environmental, sociocultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic impact this Buildup will have on everyone living in Guam. In my opinion, the selection of any
one of these Chamorro Rights activists will do right by our Chamorro people.