by Mindy Aguon
Guam - While lawmakers decided not to conduct a walkout, as their predecessors did nearly 62 years ago to send a strong message against the abuses of the military at that time, lawmakers said they were looking for more substance in Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo's State of the Island Address.
Speaker Judi Won Pat said, "There's so many things - I urge you to do this, I urge you to do that, but it's not really so much that I'm gonna take this strong position, I'm gonna go in there I'm gonna fight this, win or lose, I'm gonna try. That I didn't get."
She added, "I think what she needs to is take a message back to Congress, as well as the Department of Defense and the Department of the Navy, is that they need to respect the people of Guam. They need to be up front with us. They need to tell us what they're planning none of this stuff that we have to find out later on because they're so far away that we have to watch C-SPAN to find out what they're doing behind our backs. They told us they're listening; well, apparently they're not. And that's one thing we told them is you gotta show respect to the people of Guam."
Senator Frank Blas, Jr. also said, "We had an hour of...what?"
Several lawmakers said that it's clear that Guam's political status must be addressed immediately. Senator Ben Pangelinan commended the congresswoman for her assurances to make a self determination vote a reality, saying, "Without really with having a signature on the Programmatic Agreement, with everything else we're losing ever opportunity to set the state for what I believe is would be fair and equal treatment to the people of Guam in relation to the military expansion on Guam. Otherwise, it's just continues and perpetuates the domination that they've had on Guam."
Senator Judi Guthertz said, "I think the congresswoman is very conscious of our concerns regarding the buildup and regarding in particular the Fena issue and the Consolidated Commission on Utilities issue, and I'm very optimistic that she's going to work to get those particular issues resolved regarding Fena and the CCU and getting that language removed."
"Now it's up to the governor," said freshman senator Aline Yamashita. "And the U.S. to negotiate and address what's in 111, and I just think it should never have been there to begin with. We really need to pay attention to what's going on. And I stand by my statement that we need to be smarter and we need to be bolder and sometimes drama works and sometimes it doesn't. In the spirit of inafa'maolek, it is our Guam way to be respectful, but sometimes I think it's to our demise."