Respicio to report GTA to the FCC for alleged false statements on federal petition for funds

Among statements GTA Teleguam made in a June 20, 2023 petition to the Federal Communications Commission was an assertion that the island’s seaport has been “hobbled” by Typhoon Mawar, and that the storm “impeded the transportation of goods and supplies onto the island.”

The statement, among other assertions about the state of the island as of June 20, was made by GTA in support of its request for funding and waivers from the FCC in order to fix its systems. According to GTA, “GTA’s network in Guam has suffered unprecedented and catastrophic damage that has not yet been fully quantified, and thousands of U.S. military personnel and residents remain without service.”

The statements in the GTA petition regarding the Port Authority of Guam differ entirely from news released by the seaport authority in the days and weeks following Mawar. In fact, three days after Mawar passed Guam, the seaport issued a statement declaring full operations. Several statements succeeding that news release maintained the seaport had not fallen behind on shipments.

GTA’s assertions to the FCC about the seaport raised the ire of its general manager, Rory Respicio, who said:

Rory Respicio

“We are shocked that GTA TeleGuam would provide misinformation in their federal FCC filings regarding the Port’s operations as well as our successful and swift recovery from Typhoon Mawar,” said Port Authority of Guam General Manager Rory J. Respicio. “Many of our Port Strong employees left their families and homes to ride out the typhoon here at the Port and many reported in to begin cleanup immediately once the road was cleared for passage. Three days after the storm passed, U.S. Coast Guard Captain Nicholas Simmons, Captain of the Port, issued the all-clear to open from the waterway perspective and I immediately issued the all-clear from the dockside. This was done after Governor Lou Leon Guerrero gave the directive to place the island back to COR 4. It was at this point that we became fully operational.”

Respicio added that despite the damage done to the Port, the island’s only commercial seaport was able to open up 100% operational only three days after the storm passed with normal operations and normal vessel sequence within four days.

The petition’s claims have the potential of affecting the seaport’s revenue bonds and credit rating, as creditors watch this type of activity.


Reckless statements to be reported to FCC

“The statements by GTA TeleGuam are reckless as they create a false narrative about what really happened and this can have an extremely negative impact in the bond markets,” Respicio said. “It is also an insult to our hard-working men and women who showed their true Port Strong Spirit and their dedication to public service and commitment to our island community by getting our Port fully operational in only three days.”

Respicio further added that the federal filings do not present true facts about the power and water restoration efforts on the island following Typhoon Mawar.

Respicio adds that he will be writing to the FCC to refute’s GTA’s erroneous claims.


Other claims in the FCC petition

Krystal Paco-San Agustin

GTA made other claims in its FCC petition that also do not match public statement issued by the Joint Information Center about the state of the island as of June 20, the date of the filing.

For example, GTA used an outdated figure of power and water utilities restoration, rather than the report closest to June 20, which showed near-complete water service restoration, and electrical service restoration above 80 percent of subscribers.

The petition also has raised eyebrows at Adelup.

“The Office of the Governor remains confident in the response and recovery efforts executed by the Government of Guam immediately following Typhoon Mawar,” governor’s director of communications Krystal Paco-San Agustin said in a statement responding to the petition’s claims. “We take issue with the misleading claims made by GTA and will be providing a more comprehensive response shortly.”

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