GUAM DELEGATE CRITICIZED FOR POOR REPRESENTATION

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Senators tired of Bordallo dismissing Guam’s interests

By Therese Hart HAGÅTÑA, Guam (Marianas Variety, Jan. 26, 2010) - Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo will deliver her biannual congressional report to the people of Guam next month amid criticisms from some local senators who are not happy with her representation of the island in the nation’s capital.

Bordallo will deliver her report during a legislative session that will be called by Speaker Judi Won Pat on Feb. 18 at 6 p.m.

During last week’s session some senators expressed their dissatisfaction with the Democrat’s work in Congress on behalf of the people of Guam.

Vice speaker B.J. Cruz said Bordallo "is supposedly Guam’s representative in Washington, but for the last several years has been acting more as Washington’s representative to Guam."

Another Democrat, Sen. Rory Respicio, said he was tired of being scolded by Bordallo and he was equally tired of the plight of the people of Guam being misunderstood by members in Congress.

"We have a delegate who scolds us for wanting to stand up for the people of Guam, who tells us point blank, ‘oh senators, you can’t question the United States, of course they’re going to take care of you.’ How many times have we gotten scolded for standing up and facing this military in these high level meetings we had in Washington, D.C. when we bring these things up, what does our delegate say, ‘No, no, don’t worry, you’re getting more Compact-Impact money this year.’ Of course we are because the impact is greater," Respicio said.

Lawmakers passed Resolution 160 which urges the U.S. Congress acknowledge the sacrifices of the people of Guam and to grant the island full voting rights in the U.S. House of Representatives for all matters relating to and affecting the territory and the military buildup here.

The resolution also calls on Congress to conduct hearings on Guam on all legislation that relate to the buildup.

"It’s kind of sad that we have to ask the U.S. Congress to move forward on a constitutional amendment to provide for our delegate to have a voting right on issues affecting Guam and issues especially pertaining to the military buildup," Cruz said.

However, he added, "I’m not sure whether or not I want to give her the vote to make a determination, because I don’t want it said in the future that it was ‘your member of Congress who was the one that said yes, condemn’; it was your member of Congress who said ‘yes, build it up’; it was your member of Congress who said, ‘yes, bring...80,000 people...diminish the proportional representation of the indigenous people.’ I am not in support of the positions she’s been taking about this buildup and I’m not sure I’m ready or not to give her this vote."

Another Democrat, Sen. Ben Pangelinan, reminded his colleagues of Guam leaders past who stood their ground, against opposition, who stood their ground not caring if the issue was popular or not, but doing what was right and wished that Bordallo would do the same.

"I would wish that our delegate when she gets this would say, ‘I think that’s such a great idea. I’m going to sit on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and I’m not going to go in there until you give Guam the right to vote.’ And we will elect her every year and send her back," said Pangelinan.

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