The Republican Caucus Aims to Get to the Bottom of the Fraudulent Amendment

Republican Caucus
The 37th Guam Legislature's Republican Caucus during a press conference discusses Resolution No. 67-37.

The legislature’s Republican Caucus held a press conference today to discuss Resolution 67-37, which aims to establish a Special Investigating Committee to look into the dissemination of a fraudulent amendment to bill 32-37 in an attempt to influence the legislature.

The Committee would consist of three members of the majority and two members of the minority.

Sen. Christ Duenas explained what the Committee would do if the resolution passed, “what this legislation would do is allow for subpoena power, allow for forensics to be done in terms of what will happen if we start taking a look at how this document was generated” said Duenas. “So we’re gonna do a lot of work to uphold the integrity of the legislature and to put out a statement once and for all, that this kind of activity will not be tolerated”

The Guam Police Department is also involved in the investigation and initial forensics are underway.

Although senators were unable to disclose much information on the evidence they have so far, they said that on or about late evening on March 20, the fraudulent document went through a server at the University of Guam. The following day at 4:05 p.m. the document began to be circulated.

The Caucus shared their intent is to stop and prevent this situation from happening again. Although this time it was a fraudulent document with Sen. Duenas’s initials, that doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen to anyone else in the future.

“This is not just a republican issue, this is a legislative issue. This is not just six, this is 15, and future 15’s down the line” said Senator Jesse Lujan.

On another note, Sen. Chris Duenas claims that Adelup’s tone has changed towards the legislature. Following what could be argued as “offensive” emails sent by the Governor’s office after vetoing bills 12 and 13.

“We understand that there are different views, we understand there are different agendas and that’s healthy. But, where it’s getting now where the dialogue, as you mentioned (Sen. Chris Duenas), with the Governor’s letter.” said Sen. Joanne Brown.

“I’m very disappointed. It’s almost like my way or the highway and that’s just not how it’s set up. We don’t get to decide all on our own either. We have to make sure we get consensus and eight votes on our side and 10 votes for an override and it’s unfortunate that it’s not healthy dialogue between the legislature and the Governor,”

Brown added that the lack of healthy dialogue and the intents of controlling and influencing the legislature prevents them from addressing other challenges in the community.

Sen. Duenas said he finds it very interesting there haven’t been any statements made by the Governor on the fraudulent document. Saying that if her or anyone in the executive branch were the subjects of this attempt, they would not be standing for it.

“I haven’t seen one statement from the Governor or Krystal or anybody else condemning this. I haven’t seen one statement saying ‘we do not engage in this type of activity’. We not only disavow having anything to do with it, but we condemn it on its face.”

Duenas also encouraged Julian Janssen, Chapter Leader of the Progressive Democrats of Guam organization, which initially disseminated the documents through social media, to give up the source.

“We encourage Julian to remember and to report that individual or individuals who put the document out and gave it to him to disseminate on the Progressive Democrats of Guam. This can all be over tomorrow, so Julian, do what’s right. Give up your source,”