Guam – Senator Ben Pangelinan is challenging Navy Under Secretary Robert Work’s declaration last week that the military would occupy less land on Guam after the buildup than it does now.
In a release, Pangelinan is quoted as saying “this farce regarding a ‘net negative’ DoD footprint still implies that land will be taken. The people of Guam will not be so easily fooled by such deceptive semantics.”
The release says Senator Pangelinan wrote a letter to Work seeking clarification on the so-called “net negative” footprint.
If DoD insists on having the firing range along Route 15, then Pangelinan says they should “proceed a couple of miles up Route 15 and bulldoze the Palm Tree Golf Course to do so.”
“If there has been land controlled by the DoD, that it is willing to return, why only now are we seeing these statements? Instead of a ‘net negative’ DoD footprint, I insist that the people of Guam experience a ‘gross positive’ position, where lands will be both returned and not taken.”
Pangelinan also wants clarification on just what portion of Pagat DoD plans on taking. “The area of Pågat is not confined to the hiking trail leading to the Pågat Cave, rather it extends far beyond that to include the preferred site for the DoD live firing range. When Governor Calvo or any other individual mentions the area of Pågat, we need to understand that the preferred site for the DoD firing range is located within that area. Pågat is a symbol and beacon of the Chamorro peoples’ heritage and should not be sold to the highest bidder.”
The Senator urged the DoD to remain within its current footprint.