Vice-Speaker Cruz and We Are Guahan Object to Signing Programmatic Agreement

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Guam – Vice-Speaker BJ Cruz and the “We Are Guahan” coalition are both opposed to to the signing of the programmatic agreement between DOD and the Guam Historic Preservation office.

 

In fact Cruz has drafted a resolution objecting to the agreement. As you may recall
Guam Historic Preservation Officer Lynda Aguon admitted to PNC News that she felt presurred by federal officials to sign off on the programmatic agreement. Although she hasn’t signed it yet, Aguon says federal officials want her to sign the agreement by September 8th otherwise DOD would lose out on some funding necessary for military construction projects. Vice-Speaker BJ Cruz said, “We need to make sure that we’re not waiving our right to file suit under the NEPA law by signing this and I understand that the SHPO feels very threatened by her being urged to sign at the earliest possible day so I wanted the legislature to weigh in and say that we support the SHPO’s request to have additional time to have public input.”

Today was the last day to submit comments on the programmatic agreement and the “We Are Guahan” coalition has done so. Basically this agreement outlines how DOD will deal with cultural and historical properties that it impacts as a result of military construction. “We Are Guahan’s” Leevin Camacho believes the current programmatic agreement is simply unacceptable. “Let’s say they come upon an ancient chammorro village what they’ve agreed to do in the programmatic agreement is take pictures while they excavate or remove all the ancestral remains and artifacts and upload that onto a website and print out a hundred copies to provide to parks and rec and we don’t think that’s really mitigation,” said Camacho.

Camacho says they only received a copy of the programmatic agreement last week Wednesday. He says most of Guam’s public isn’t aware of this agreement at all which is why they are asking for more time to generate public awareness so that more of Guam’s people can get involved and make informed comments.