Monday, March 23, 2009

Ben's Pen

ben's Pen : Conspiracy theorists line up here
Tuesday, 24 March 2009 04:03
by Sen. Ben Pangelinan
Marianas Variety

LAST Friday, as it seems to be the practice of our esteemed federal court chief judge to release orders right before the weekend, found the government of Guam in contempt for the failure to deposit $993,700.00 as ordered by the court in its Feb. 13 order.

The court only cited this section of her order and did not even comment on the other aspects of Public Law 30-1, which was crafted by the Legislature after careful and deliberate and repeated reading of the entire order.

The court did order the payment of the $993,700.00 beginning on March 1. The court also encouraged the legislative and the executive branches to continue efforts to find “viable alternatives” means of financing the consent decree projects at a later time. Public Law 30-1 did not wait for a later time and instead gave the court a viable financing plan prior to March 1.

In the proceedings of the committee of the whole, prior to passing Bill 51 which became P.L. 30-1, I asked point blank the government of Guam’s financial advisor and the underwriter of the bond issue if the conditions for the security of the bond issuance in the bill was viable. These conditions are:

1. It authorized the issuance of the entire amount estimated by the receiver as what is needed to fund the consent decree projects, $202 million.
2. It pledged the full faith and credit of the general fund as a guarantee for the payment of the debt service.
3. It sets the maximum interest rate for the bonds at 9 percent.
4. It approves the terms and conditions and authorizes the Governor to issue the bonds

Both financial experts stated that this was a viable financing plan. Quoting from the same order: “Should this occur, the court will suspend the weekly payments provided the court is satisfied that at a minimum, authorized without the need for further legislative authorization or action, the maximum amount of bonds.” The Legislature clearly did that in the bill it passed.

The court also required that the “governor and the Guam Economic Development Authority in good faith and to the court’s satisfaction move to sell the first series of these bonds as soon as possible and such other bonds as soon as possible and such other bonds at a later date as required to keep the Consent Decree projects and on schedule.”

The court did not even ask the governor or GEDA if they “move to sell the first series of these bonds.” Why? It is clear that the court is not interested in what the Governor is not doing and it remains unknown to everyone, except the court. It is clear that she remains fixated on not only what the Legislature is doing, but on what it is not doing that displeases the court.

It appears that the court as well as the federal government wants a landfill built that serves the needs of someone else other than the people of Guam.

What is your theory?

ben pangelinan is a Senator in the 30th Guam Legislature and a former Speaker now serving his eighth term in the Guam Legislature. E-mail comments or suggestions to

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