The Office of the Governor issues the following statement in response to a statement made by Speaker Therese Terlaje this morning:
Speaker Terlaje has chosen to be an obstacle instead of a leader. She has gone far beyond healthy skepticism—surrendering common sense and good judgment to her paranoia and animosity toward the U.S. military. Her statements are either purposefully misleading or simply false on their face.
The new hospital will be run by and for the people of Guam. All patients will pay but common sense dictates that the military will be our partner in emergency circumstances regarding helicopter transport or mass casualties.
At a time when serious threats lurk throughout the Pacific, it is critical for the future of our island that we pursue a partnership with the military that will give all people on Guam access to increased security and better healthcare.
For over a year, military leaders said if GovGuam does not use the Eagles field area for a new hospital that will benefit the entire island of Guam, the Department of Defense will use this land for the nation’s defense. Yesterday, Governor Leon Guerrero met with Republican Minority Leader Senator Frank Blas Jr. and key open-minded Democratic Senators to discuss the use of Eagles Field and directly ask questions of Admiral Nicholson, who has made clear that he is willing to meet with any Senator who asks.
Instead of asking to meet with Admiral Nicholson, the Speaker chooses to engage in political rhetoric that stokes the flames of anti-American and anti-miliary sentiment. Speaker Terlaje has used this process to pander and give false hope to original landowners, and manipulated their personal circumstances for her political agenda and ambition—continuously misleading them to believe in the possibility that these lands will be returned.
We should not allow a few paranoid politicians to stand in the way of progress for all of Guam’s people because they distrust our military on everything from the disposal of old explosives to a partnership that moves our island’s healthcare forward. That’s an insult to those who keep us safe, and it’s an example of the ‘divide and conquer politics’ that has held us back for too long.
The island needs a new hospital, and we have an unprecedented opportunity where the military has agreed to lease over 112 acres of property to GovGuam at no cost, so we can build a facility that will benefit the health and welfare of everyone on this island, residents and military alike.
Speaker Therese Terlaje was a senator two years before this administration took office. But she’s spent more time opposing other people’s solutions than offering any of her own. We are calling on her to be a part of the solution and not a part of the problem.