Vice Speaker: Guam should be united on war claims

Vice Speaker Telena Nelson

Sen. Telena Nelson, the Vice Speaker of the 35th Guam Legislature, has asked Adelup and Congressman Michael San Nicolas to stop feuding over Guam’s war claims.

“Though your offices may not answer to each other, we all answer to the people of Guam. For the sake of our war survivors, we plead to you both to work together for sound solutions based on the values of our CHamoru culture, especially inafa’maolek, which calls for collaboration and reciprocation in the overall goal of harmony,” Nelson said in an open letter sent to both Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Congressman Michael San Nicolas and released to the media.

She added: “The people of Guam and our war survivors deserve nothing less and are watching as we try to close the chapter on this nearly 75-year-old story. Please, let us come together and continue to search for the crossroads that will lead our people to the rightful compensation they deserve before it is too late.”

San Nicolas has been at loggerheads with the Leon Guerrero-Tenorio administration over the approach to getting war claims.

The congressman said his office was not consulted in Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero’s decision to use local funding for war claims.


But Nelson said the war claims issue should have galvanized island leaders to work together.

“When we were running for our respective seats, we promised the people of Guam an end to the long wait our remaining war survivors have had to endure before receiving the money they need and rightfully deserve. Compensation for many atrocious acts, including murder, rape, forced labor, and abuse of all kinds, should be one of our island’s top priorities,” Nelson said.

Instead, Nelson said Guam’s branches of government appear divided and those that bear the weight of this division are the same people who have patiently waited 75 years to see compassion from island leaders and compensation from their government.