Guam – As the mastermind behind the Blue House human trafficking case was sentenced to life in prison today, students at Simon Sanchez High School are calling for more justice to be served to the victims in that case and to the victims of other crimes throughout the island.
The students have organized a wave for civic justice which will be held at the ITC Intersection on Monday from 4pm to 5pm.
“We just wanna remind the people that even though we’re still young students we are the future, we can take charge of things,” Simon Sanchez student Andrew Penaranda told PNC. “We just wanna remind everyone that the system does still work for people you know that it isn’t as corrupt as everyone wants to believe it is. And if you know with the right amount of movement and motivation that you, you can change something.”
The students in Mr. Baynum’s AP Government class, Grethen Andres’ Leave Your Mark Program, the Social Students Department and Legacy classes are organizing the wave, which also calls for justice to be served to the school.
Earlier this month former SSHS Administrative Assistant Jerome Cris Tomagan pleaded guilty to taking money from the school’s graduation fund in 2010. Tomagan was given five years probation for a suspended sentence and ordered to pay the school $2,000 but students say the sentence did not bring justice to the student body.
“He got basically a slap on the wrist,” said Kevin Quijano, who was a freshman at the time the theft took place. “It was money that students raised and I don’t think that it was fair for him, for anyone to steal and it just leaves a sour taste in your mouth. I just don’t feel that its right.”
The students say they also want to represent the victims in the Blue House case, including the 16-year old girl who was a witness in the case.
“We wanna be her voice and show her that justice is still there,” said student Ana Capata. “We wanna show her that we know what happened to her and she’s not forgotten and we’re still pushing for justice in her name.”
71 year old Song Ja Cha, the owner of the Blue House Lounge, was sentenced to life in federal prison in District Court today. Several young women from Chuuk were victimized in the human trafficking scheme while the bar was open from 2004 to 2008.
Island leaders and candidates in the upcoming election are invited to participate in the wave for civic justice and sign a pledge.
“We invite the senators, and the candidates, and pretty much any government official, anyone who can come down and just stand with us for at least five minutes” stated AP Government student Kaeshier Fernandez. “Take the time to just sign the pledge and you know just to support us in the things that we believe in.”
Students from other schools and all other island residents are also encouraged to participate.
“I believe that everyone should take part in this wave to show their support to show that we have to take a stand for the injustice,” Leave Your Mark President Raiden Redila said.