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Statement of Witnesses—Continued

Filipino-American President's Club of Guam, prepared statement of
Forbes, Hon. Mark, Senate Majority Leader and Chairman, Senate Com-
mittee on Federal Affairs, Guam Legislature

Prepared statement of
Garamendi, Hon. John R., Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of the
Interior

Prepared statement of
Guam Chamber of Commerce, prepared statement of
Guam Commission on Self-Determination, prepared statement of
Guerrero, Hon. Carlotta Leon, Senator, Guam Legislature, prepared
statement of ....

Prepared statement of

Additional material submitted for the record by
Guevara, Jose, Vice President, Filipino Community of Guam
Gutierrez, Hon. Carl T.C., Governor of Guam

Prepared statement of

Additional material submitted for the record by
Howard, Chris Perez, Chairman, Organization of People for Indigenous
Rights

Prepared statement of
Lamorena, Hon. Alberto C., III, Presiding Judge, Superior Court of
Guam

Prepared statement of
Lujan, Pilar C., prepared statement of
McDonald, Hon. Paul M., Mayor, President, Mayor's Council of Guam,

prepared statement of .
Moses, Susan J., President, College of Micronesia-FSM, prepared state-

ment of
Nicolas, Frank C. San, Tamuning, Guam, prepared statement of
Organization of People for Indigenous Rights, prepared statement of
Pangelinan, Hon. Ben, Senate Minority Leader, Guam Legislature

Prepared statement of
Quinata, Debtralynne K., Nasion Chamoru

Prepared statement of
Quinene, Frederick R., GMF, Guam, prepared statement of
Rivera, Ron, prepared statement of
Siguenza, Hon. Peter, Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Guam

Prepared statement of

Additional material submitted for the record by
Staymen, Allen, Director, Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of
the Interior

Prepared statement of
Troutman, Charles H., Attorney General of Guam (Acting), prepared

statement of
Tydingco-Gatewood, Hon. Frances M., Judge, Superior Court of Guam,
prepared statement of

Additional material submitted for the record by
Unpingco, Hon. Antonio R., Speaker, Twenty-Fourth Guam Legislature,

prepared statement of Additional material submitted:

Title 48, United States Code Annotated

176

84 344 313

67 199

91 333 299 98 69 100 211

32 134

240

236 526

389

102

HEARING ON: H.R. 100, GUAM COMMON

WEALTH ACT, TO ESTABLISH THE COMMONWEALTH OF GUAM, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES H.R. 2370, GUAM JUDICIAL EMPOWERMENT ACT OF 1997, TO AMEND THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM FOR THE PURPOSES OF CLARIFY. ING THE LOCAL JUDICIAL STRUCTURE AND THE OFFICE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL S. 210, TO AMEND THE ORGANIC ACT OF GUAM, THE REVISED ORGANIC ACT OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS, AND THE COMPACT OF FREE ASSOCIATION ACT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1997

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES,

Washington, DC. The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in room 1324, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Rick Hill presiding.

Mr. HILL. (presiding] The Committee on Resources will come to order.

The Committee is meeting today to hear testimony on legislation affecting the insular areas, including measures providing for increased self-government for Guam. The pending legislation being considered today includes H.R. 100, the Guam Commonwealth Act, H.R. 2370, the Guam Judicial Empowerment Act, and S. 210, the Omnibus Territories Act.

Under Rule 4(g) of the Committee rules, any oral opening statements at hearings are limited to the Chairman and the Ranking Minority Member. This will allow us to hear from our witnesses sooner and help members keep to their schedules. Therefore, if other members have statements, they can be included in the hearing record under unanimous consent.

It is a pleasure today to welcome the distinguished witnesses for today's hearings on certain measures affecting some of our United States territories and the separate, sovereign freely associated States. These issues affecting U.S. Nationals and citizens in the territories, as well as residents of the Pacific freely associated re

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publics, are part of the unique and important jurisdiction of the Committee on Resources for the insular areas. That is why Chairman Young scheduled these hearings on matters which could provide for increased local self-governance for the people of the insular areas.

Let me thank the witnesses from the distant Pacific islands for agreeing to appear before the committee. You've traveled thousands of miles to testify, and your efforts are appreciated. You are providing a substantial set of information for the committee record. Your statements have been provided for review by all of the committee members and will be available for all of those in the Congress, as well, who are not members of the committee or are not here today.

One of the primary purposes of this hearing is to assist the insular areas, including Guam, in advancing toward greater local selfgovernment. The statements by the witnesses today will help Congress in evaluating the merits of the proposals contained in $. 210, the omnibus territories act, H.R. 2370, the Guam Judicial Act, and H.R. 100, the Guam Commonwealth Act.

I will now recognize the ranking member for an opening statement. STATEMENT OF ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE TERRITORY OF GUAM Mr. UNDERWOOD. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I'd like to welcome everyone to the committee, and I appreciate, certainly, the appearance of not only a very large delegation from Guam, but also three members of the body.

Mr. Chairman, today is a momentous day for the people of Guam after a long and sometimes erratic journey. The proposal of the people of Guam for a new Commonwealth agreement has come back to the committee where its disposition will ultimately be determined.

I will leave it up to the many fine speakers today, most especially the elected leadership of Guam, to explain the details of the proposal and the trials and tribulations the proposal has endured since its ratification by the people of Guam in 1987.

The proposal in its current numbering in the 105th Congress is H.R. 100, in commemoration of the fact that next year marks the centennial of the raising of the American flag over Guam. When that flag was raised in 1898, it was raised over a few Spanish nationals and the indigenous people of Guam. Since that time, the people of Guam have endured U.S. military rule, a cruel Japanese occupation, the taking of large tracts of land, and the violation of many of the democratic principles we hold dear.

But the people of Guam have also prospered in spite of the obstacles, they have learned the lessons of American democracy even if they could not fully implement them, and have enjoyed much political progress. The people of Guam are ready to go to the next stage in their political development. There is no more appropriate place in Washington where these issues and those challenges should be fully explored than in this committee room. There is no other location in Washington which displays the flags of the insular areas as a critical part of the room.

The Resources Committee alone has the responsibility to deal with insular issues. The people of Guam come to this committee as partners in the democratic experiment we call America. They appeal to you as arbiters of their fate. The message will be that the people of Guam want Commonwealth, and that they are frustrated by the lack of clarity in the process. Some messages will be strong, some will be strident, and some won't even be in support of H.R. 100, but all messages are being delivered to the right location—the Resources Committee of the House.

Many of us are familiar with various quotations which are on the walls and ceilings of the Capitol Building. My favorite is from William Henry Harrison, who said in his Presidential inaugural address on March 4, 1841 that, quote, “The only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed.”—unquote. We all know that this is not the case with the territories, and maybe President Harrison knew something of this experience. As the elected representative of the Northwest Territory, he was the first territorial delegate to be elected President. So it can happen for even territorial delegates, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, I commend you for your leadership in holding this hearing this morning, and I thank the members of the committee for their attention. And on behalf of the people of Guam, (speaking in Chamorro] “Dangkolo na si Yu'os ma'ase.

[The prepared statement of Mr. Underwood follows:) STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT UNDERWOOD, A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE

TERRITORY OF GUAM, ON H.R. 100 Mr. Chairman, today is a momentous day for the people of Guam. After a long and sometimes erratic journey, the proposal of the people of Guam for a new, Commonwealth agreement with the United States has come back to the Committee where its disposition will be ultimately determined.

I will leave it up to the many speakers today, most especially the elected leadership of Guam, to explain the details of this proposal and the trials and tribulations the proposal has endured since its ratification by the people of Guam in 1987.

The proposal in its current numbering in the 105th Congress is H.R. 100—in commemoration of the fact that next year marks the Centennial of the raising of the American flag over Guam. When that flag was raised in 1898, it was raised over a few Spanish nationals and the indigenous people of Guam, the Chamorros.

Since that time, the people of Guam have endured U.S. military rule, a cruel Japanese occupation, the taking of large tracts of land under military courts and the violation of many of the democratic principles we hold dear. But the people of Guam have also prospered despite obstacles, learned the lessons of American democracy even as they could not fully implement them and enjoyed much political progress. In 1898, not too many could have imagined that the people of Guam would have the vibrant democracy in gubernatorial and legislative elections that are now a regular feature of life.

The people of Guam are ready to go to the next stage in their political development. Cognizant of the fact that the ultimate decision for full integration as a state or separate sovereignty may be a little distant, the people of Guam have crafted an innovative approach to the implementation of democracy in a small territory on the other side of the international dateline. The proposal admittedly raises many Constitutional issues and challenges us to think counter intuitively about the relationship between the territories and the Federal Government.

But there is no more appropriate place in Washington where these issues and these challenges should be fully explored than this Committee room. There is no other location on Capitol Hill which displays the flags of the insular areas as a central part of the room. The Resources Committee alone has a responsibility to deal with insular issues. The people of Guam come to this Committee as partners in the democratic experiment we call America. They appeal to you as the arbiters of their fate. The message will be that the people of Guam want Commonwealth, but that they are frustrated by the lack of clarity in the process. Some messages

will be strong, some will be strident and some won't even be supportive of H.R. 100, but all messages are being delivered to the right location—the Resources Committee of the House.

Many of us are familiar with various quotations which are on the walls and the ceilings of the Capitol Building. My favorite was from William Henry Harrison, who said in his Presidential inaugural address on March 4, 1841, that "the only legitimate right to govern is an express grant of power from the governed.” We all know that this is not the case with the territories. Maybe President Harrison knew something of this experience. As the elected representative of the Northwest Territory, he was the first territorial delegate to be elected President.

Mr. Chairman, I commend you for your leadership in holding this hearing this morning. I thank the other members of the Committee for their attention and on behalf of the people of Guam,Dangkulo na si Yu'os ma’ase.

STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT UNDERWOOD, A DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE

TERRITORY OF GUAM, ON H.R. 2370 Mr. Chairman, I am pleased that H.R 2370 is being heard by the full Committee this morning. H.R 2370, the Guam Judicial Empowerment Act will do 'much to correct current defects in the Organic Act of Guam relative to the Judicial Branch of the Government of Guam. As you know, the Organic Act of Guam afforded Guam a certain degree of local self-government. Over the years, the Act was amended to provide the people of Guam with an elected Governor, has improved other systems of local self-government, and has made accommodations for an elected Board of Education.

My legislation is consistent with this development. It seeks to affirm that the Supreme Court of Guam is the head of a unified judiciary. It confirms that the Supreme Court has authority over the administration of the Court System, including the subordinate courts of Guam. But most of all, it ensures that the judiciary is separate and co-equal to the other branches of our government. It affords the Judiciary the same Organic Act status given the Legislative and executive branches. It is necessary to pass this bill, to remove the possibility of political influence over the judiciary. Currently, the local law which created the Supreme Court can be repealed by the local legislative process. It is unconscionable that there remains an opportunity to influence Court decisions and so it is imperative that we invest integrity in the Guam judiciary.

The legislation brings the Guam Courts to a level that is standard with the other states and territories. It establishes a framework that is consistent with the powers of the other branches of Guam's government and does much to empower our people.

There is wide public support for this legislation. The Guam Bar Association, which is a non-profit organization that represents all attorneys licensed in Guam, has endorsed this section and has submitted an official statement. The legislation is also endorsed by Charles Trouhnan, the Guam Compiler of Laws and the Acting Attorney General; the Honorable Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood of the Superior Court of Guam; and the Honorable Pilar C. Lujan, former Guam Senator and sponsor of the law that established the Supreme Court of Guam.

The second part of my bill seeks to empower the Guam Legislature to provide the people of Guam with an elected Attorney General. Mr. Chairman, several months ago, my office conducted a questionnaire on this issue. Although the questionnaire is only a measure of public opinion on this matter, my office received nearly four thousand responses. Of those responses, 32 percent were in favor of language that would mandate an Elected Attorney General, 37 percent were in favor of language that would authorize the Guam Legislature create an Elected Attorney General, and 24 percent were in favor of continuing the current system, an appointed Attorney General.

I firmly believe that the decision to provide the island with an Elected Attorney General should be made in Agana rather than in Washington. I do not support mandating an Elected Attorney General and I believe that this language will directly empower the people of Guam.

I am pleased that the Administration is in support of this legislation. I hope that the Committee will take expedient action on this critical measure. I look forward to working with you to advance the legislation and I thank my dear colleagues, Congressmen George Miller and Neil Abercrombie for agreeing to be original co-sponsors of the legislation. I encourage my other colleagues to do the same.

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