Republican senatorial leader Sen. Frank Blas, Jr. Issued a statement Friday night on behalf of the six republican members of the legislature. The statement was in response to the legal memorandum issued by Attorney General Douglas Moylan Friday afternoon effectively killing the governor’s mad dash to build a $1 billion medical complex at Eagle’s Field, Mangilao.
Mr. Blas’s statement follows:
“In the Attorney General of Guam’s letter to Governor Lou Leon Guerrero [Friday], AG Doug Moylan addressed the concerns that every member of the Republican Caucus presented on the floor during the discussion of Bill No. 12-37. We thank the Attorney General for his thoroughness and legally sound explanation on why his office could not sign the lease agreement for the Eagles Field/Lalo area between the Government of Guam and the United States government. This development does not negate the need for all of us to roll up our sleeves and now focus on building a hospital that our people support and sorely need. Furthermore, this focus must be transparent and have the direct engagement of our people and the medical community.”
For about two years, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and her office have been planning the medical campus behind closed doors, creating significant resistance to her secret plans that will cost the tax payers at least a billion dollars in development costs if constructed at Eagle’s Field. The site selection generated its own controversy because of its distance from the population center, and a debate over the ownership of the land that was never fully communicated by Adelup until this year. Part of that debate included a 2021 letter from the U.S. Secretary of the Navy indicating his intention to have the Eagle’s Field property declared as excess land to the military.
Senators, doctors, and members of the public have been suggesting to the governor that she use government of Guam-owned land in Tamuning to build the medical campus. According to the governor, that site is too small despite the fact that it once contained the original Guam Memorial Hospital.
All 15 senators in February voted for legislation that would have required Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero to 1) open up her hospital development planning process to the public; and 2) receive legislative approval before signing any lease with the Navy. The governor vetoed the legislation. On Thursday, six democrat senators voted against overriding the governor’s objections to the bills, denying the override by one vote. All six republicans joined with democrat Speaker Therese Terlaje, and Sens. Chris Barnett and Sabina Perez in the override attempt.
The six democrats who aligned with the governor were:
Vice Speaker Tina Muna Barnes
Sen. Will Parkinson
Sen. Roy Quinata
Sen. Amanda Shelton
Sen. Joe San Agustin
Sen. Dwayne San Nicolas
The six senators’s votes against the override of legislation into law seemed to have dashed all hopes of stopping the governor from committing Guam’s residents to her $1 billion plans and lease… until Mr. Moylan issued his memorandum, returning the lease without his signature.
The lease was the lynchpin of the deal. Admiral Benjamin Nicholson gave the government of Guam an ultimatum and deadline: sign the lease by April 15, or lose the opportunity to build a hospital there.
According to the memorandum, the admiral had already signed the lease. Only two signatures were needed after that: the governor’s – and, before hers – the attorney general’s.
Mr. Moylan, in the 12-page memorandum, reminded the governor of the legislative power to appropriate money, pointing out that the lease cannot be valid without a legislative appropriation of money to fund the lease terms.
The attorney general also cited violations of the Guam Procurement Law if the lease were to be executed, and other provisions that make the lease illegal to sign.
The nine senators who were trying to override the vetoes – as Mr. Blas explained in his statement – explained many of these points to their six colleagues who ended up siding with the governor.
Unfortunately, we elected six senators into office who do not understand or don’t care to defend the fact that the legislature – and only the legislature – has the power of appropriation.
Alan San Nicolas
04/01/2023 at 8:14 AM
Kao put kréditu este na bida ? na asuntu ? I po ma na tungo’ I pupbliku na siha chogue I checho. Ombre lai, basta fan I huegu politika. AFAÑELOS ESTA I OTRU BIRADA.