Gutierrez a no-show at AGA forum - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Gutierrez a no-show at AGA forum

by Janjeera Hail

Guam - Members of the Association of Government Accountants were prepared to hear from the two gubernatorial candidates today on issues relating to finances of the government and money matters.  Instead, there were a few last-minute changes.  

What was supposed to be the first head-to-head meeting of the gubernatorial candidates turned out to be a disappointment for those in attendance at today's AGA forum.  President-elect Vince Duenas says the organizers took care to select questions that would be relevant to the accountants in the audience.

"We put so many hours into this and it's unfortunate that we didn't get both the candidates here," he said.  "But from what we did hear today, I am grateful that they both showed up. I'm grateful for all the candidates that did show up."

Former governor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Carl Gutierrez pulled out of the event at the last minute, sending his running mate Frank Aguon, Jr., to take his place.

Accountants were told that Gutierrez was in a meeting that prevented him from attending the forum that was planned to give each gubernatorial candidate equal time to answer five questions on a variety of topics ranging from procurement, the deficit, tax refunds and government organization.

Duenas announced, "Thank you for all the hard work and the preparation that your organization made for today's presentation, and again, our humblest apology for the snafu."  Gubernatorial candidate for the Republican Party of Guam Eddie Calvo said, "I believe it's important for a gubernatorial candidate to be here with the people."  and Aguon said, "I believe that I stand comfortably representing Gutierrez-Aguon. If I can speak on behalf of Gutierrez-Aguon, why is it that we're refraining from the regular format of the debate?"  Said Calvo, "Commitments made should be kept."

Due to the last-minute changes, they settled on providing each lieutenant governor candidate 15 minutes each to address the audience on whatever topic they chose.  "Who you trust to be completely transparent and open to show the public that these funds are being properly allocated?" asked Ray Tenorio. "My partner Eddie Calvo and I have a very clear record of promoting accountability and transparency in our government."

Aguon spent his time discussing what a Gutierrez-Aguon administration in Adelup would be like.  "That's what the agreement that Governor Gutierrez and I have - I will run the day-to-day operations, and in conjunction with that he's going to go to Washington, DC; he's going to go to the powers-that-be, he's also going to travel to Asia and other regions and bring the resources to Guam."

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