From Broadcast To Broadband - News You Can Trust Pacific News Center - The most breaking news, local news and sports news for Guam and the Marianas, along with K57 Interviews. Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:11:18 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb VIDEO: Cruz Says $22M in Additional Sec 30 Money Needs to Be Accounted For; Administration Says It'll Pay Tax Refunds Guam - Vice-Speaker B.J. Cruz says the Calvo Administration has not been transparent with the Government's finances particularly with the amount of Section 30 revenues GovGuam has received. The Vice-Speaker says that the administration appears to have been holding out so he has filed a Freedom of Information Act or FOIA request with the Department of Rev and Tax.

 "The basic responsibility of the legislature is to appropriate funds,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz. The Democrat lawmaker says that there are millions of dollars that the legislature has not been allowed to appropriate because the Calvo administration has not told them that these funds are available. Specifically Vice-Speaker Cruz is referring to Section 30 funding and he points to the recent FY13 audit conducted by Deloitte and Touche. "The audit came out and it said there was $90 million in Section 30 there's $40 million there that the legislature never had the opportunity to appropriate and it seems to have been spent but we've never appropriated that money because we were never told about it,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz.


 Shortly before he passed the late Senator Ben Pangelinan and Vice-Speaker Cruz introduced bill 309 to appropriate an expected windfall of $22 million dollars in Section 30 funding. However, the Calvo administration contended that the $22 million would not be available and the administration accused Senator Pangelinan and the legislature of appropriating phantom money. "When the Governor vetoed the Bill 309 on June the 27th in the letter he explicitly says this money does not exist. The entire month of June they kept chiding senator Ben saying that this is phantom money it was being irresponsible there is no such money." 7

 However Vice-Speaker Cruz points out two screen shots he took of GovGuam's AS400 financial data system. On June 23rd it shows a posting of $7.8 million dollars with remarks that state "TO ACCRUE ADD'TL SEC30 BASED ON DRT/IRS". Then on June 26th there's a posting of $15 million dollars also with remarks stating "ADDTNAL SEC30 BASED ON PY REC: DRT/IRS." "That's the $22 million Senator Ben has been talking about all along but we knew nothing about it,” said Vice-Speaker Cruz. The Senator says he's not so sure that the administration knew nothing about it. "The bill was vetoed on the 27th the first entry for $7.8 million was on the 23rd of June and the entry for $15 million was on the 26th of June and the very next day the Governor wrote a veto message in it saying the money does not exist,” said Cruz.

 "If he reviews the veto message in 309 the Governor did actually say that the $7 million that did come in section 30 money and an anticipated $15 million that had not come in yet at that time in section 30 money,” said Governor's Spokesman Troy Torres. Actually the veto message states "Today we confirmed with our federal partners that $7.8 million is on it's way to Guam with a total commitment not exceeding $15 million to date." However, the veto message was made on the 27th of June and on the 26th the AS400 shows a posting of $15 million which when added with the earlier $7.8 million makes a total of $22.8 million which does exceed $15 million. "The posting on the 26th does not say that the money was received it says that the money was recorded," said Torres. The AS 400 reads exactly: "ADDTNAL SEC30 BASED ON PY REC: DRT/IRS."

 In any event Torres is admitting that GovGuam will have this $22 million in additional section 30 money but he says the money will be used to pay out tax refunds just as it states in the veto message. However, tax refunds have already been budgeted for and if GovGuam is meeting it's revenue projections there should be no need to use this windfall of additional section 30 money. “That's correct and that again would mean the difference between cash and revenue we're getting in cash faster that mean we're able to pay out cash faster,” said Torres. However, if the cash from the additional section 30 is used for tax refunds and GovGuam is meeting revenue projections that still means there would be an extra $22 million dollars of cash that would've gone towards refunds but didn't because Section 30 money was used instead. "It means that next years tax refunds come out even faster,” said Torres. But it still means an additional $22 million dollars in unappropriated cash for this current fiscal year that Vice-Speaker Cruz says needs to be accounted for.

 Cruz says bill 309 was really a bill about transparency which would require the administration to report any additional money to the legislature for appropriations.




]]> (Clynt Ridgell) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:45:29 +0000
VIDEO: 4 Days of Deliberations, But No Verdict in DeSoto Trial; AG Says Prosecuting the Case Has Cost $350K, So Far Guam - Day 4 and still no verdict for the Jury weighing the fate of Chad DeSoto.

Court Probation Officer Roseanna Castro says the 10 women and 2 men have made some requests to review evidence from the trial, but there is no indication of when their deliberations may conclude.

Meanwhile, the Guam Attorney General Thursday released figures on the cost incurred as a result of the Tumon Tragedy, and so far it has cost the people of Guam $350,000 dollars. But according to Attorney General Lenny Rapadas, that doesn’t include salaries and overtime for prosecutors and investigators.

It is undoubtedly difficult to put a dollar amount on the cost of a tragedy that has affected so many lives. Three lives were lost in the February 12, 2013 Tumon rampage, 11 others were injured, but dozens, if not more, were certainly traumatized. Many still wonder how much it cost the people of Guam to pay for one man’s acts, whether guilty or not guilty by reason of insanity.


Read the Attorney General's Report on Travel Expenses HERE. 

According to expense reports provided by the Guam Visitor’s Bureau and the Attorney General’s Office, it’s cost the island $350,000. And that does not include salaries and overtime for AGO employees. On travel alone for the DeSoto murder trial, AG Lenny Rapadas says it’s cost his office $60,000.

"GVB has generously donated about $43,000 and that’s being spread out anywhere from the actual travel to the hotel. We’ve allocated from the beginning of this trial about $20,000 out of our own budget and we’ve probably spent close to three quarters of it, so about $15,000 of it has been spent. So total about $60,000," notes Rapadas.

In fact, says Rapadas, the $15,000 the AG’s Office has spent out of its own budget for the DeSoto trial well exceeds the annual travel budget for the entire AG’s Office. 

"We knew from the very beginning that this would be an unsual case. Not in the sense of what was charged and what was alleged, but in a sense that we have a large number of victims that are from off island," he points out.

Read GVB's report on the 2/12 Memorial Fund HERE. 

According to GVB documents, as a result of the Tumon Tragedy, the GVB Board authorized the use of all $200,000 from GVB’s Rainy Day Fund. The money was used to pay for funeral expenses, hotel expenses, airline tickets to fly the victims and their families back to Japan and bereavement, among others.. That fund was wiped out within a few months of the tragedy.

GVB then created the GVB 2/12 Memorial Fund, collecting $130,000 in business and community donations. So far, nearly all $130,000 of that fund has been spent, according to GVB documents. 



]]> (Janela Buhain Carrera) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:54:50 +0000
Cruz's FOIA Seeks to Track the Trail of Disputed $22.8M in Additional Section 30 Revenues
Guam - Vice Speaker B.J. Cruz is calling on the Guam Department of Revenue and Taxation to provide him with all communications between Rev & Tax and the federal Government over the status of disputed Section 30 funds, believed to amount to more than $22.8-million dollars.
Senator Cruz submitted a Freedom of Information Act [FOIA] request to Rev & Tax following yesterday's oversight hearing Wednesday.
The Senator notes in a release that the disputed $22 million "has been applied to the total federal income collections for fiscal year 2013" but the "collection status has yet to be confirmed."
READ the FOIA request letter from Senator Cruz to Rev & Tax Director Camacho HERE (scroll down past news release)
In his FOIA request to Rev & Tax Director John Camacho, Cruz points out that a Deloitte & Touche government-wide audit applied a total of $22,869,385 in additional “Section 30 Funds” to the FY 2013 Section 30 Federal Income Tax Collections, even though the Senator says, "this addition was made without receipt of these funds, $15 million of which remains uncollected as of July 14, 2014."
The late Senator Ben Pangelinan had introduced a bill to appropriate these funds, although the Governor's office repeatedly said there had been no official confirmation of the amount,  nor receipt of any additional Section 30 funds. 
Speaker Won Pat appointed Senator Cruz temporary Chair of the Appropriations Committee after Senator Pangelinan's death earlier this month. 
READ Senator Cruz's FOIA request HERE
Cruz's FOIA to Track Paper Trail of $22M in Section 30 Revenues; Vice Speaker Calls on DRT to Settle Dispute Over FY13 Gov’t Audit
(July 23, 2014 – Hagåtña) In preparation for the year’s budget process, Vice Speaker Benjamin J.F. Cruz has called on the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT) to provide information regarding the $22 million in disputed Section 30 funds that has been applied to the total federal income collections for fiscal year 2013 but whose collection status has yet to be confirmed.
DRT director John P. Camacho and deputy director Marie M. Benito appeared before the Committee on Aviation, Ground Transportation, Regulatory Concerns, and Future Generations during an oversight hearing conducted this morning.
“This Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request has been addressed to the Department of Revenue and Taxation (DRT),” Cruz writes in his letter to Camacho, “because I have been informed that at least $15,000,000 of the $22,869,385 in additional Section 30 revenue that was recognized, was permitted on the basis of communications, formal or otherwise, between DRT and the federal government.”
In a government-wide audit report for FY 2013, Deloitte & Touche LLP applied a total of $22,869,385 in additional “Section 30 Funds” to the FY 2013 Section 30 Federal Income Tax Collections total of $96,104,113 for FY2013. This addition was made without receipt of these funds, $15 million of which remains uncollected as of July 14, 2014.
Cruz added that despite numerous official communications and media statements made by the late Speaker Ben C. Pangelinan, Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo, and Governor Eddie B. Calvo and his communications staff regarding these funds, there has been no official communication confirming the exact amount GovGuam stands to receive in additional Section 30 funds, the date of receipt of such funds, nor the authority of GovGuam to retain the additional Section 30 funds without a federal offset.
In the FOIA letter to Camacho, Cruz is requesting information regarding the $7,869,385 and $15,000,000 in additional Section 30 revenue that was recognized in the Department of Administration’s AS400 financial management system on June 23 and June 26 respectively, to include payment status, dates of notification and transfer, and confirmation of pending depositsfrom the federal government.
Additionally, Cruz is seeking all communications and documentation regarding these two amounts, and a determination whether GovGuam’s $22-million debt in unused funds that were paid in advance for the Making Work Pay Tax Credit will impact the additional Section 30 revenues due to Guam.
]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:31:52 +0000
VIDEO: Collateral Equipment Being Moved into UMS's Barrigada Campus, On Target for 2014/2015 School Year  

Renovations at the Barrigada campus are now down to the finishing touches with desks and chairs being moved into some classrooms, now that a Conditional Occupancy Permit has been awarded for the facility.


“We're still on target to try and get full occupancy by the first week of August,” Project Consultant Sabino Flores told PNC.

13 new classroom were built during the renovations. New air conditioning units were also installed in each classroom, and the restrooms were completely refurbished.

“We're still digging out the ponding basin and then we'll need to fence up around that,” Superintendent Jon Fernandez said of the work left to be done. “There’s still some touch ups inside of the rooms...painting towards the rear of the building.”

Everything is on track so far, Fernandez said. The Wildcats are expected to begin classes at the new campus on the first day of school, which is August 18th.

]]> (Betsy Brown) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:55:03 +0000
Guam DOE: 21 Schools to Participate in Pilot "NO COST" School Meal Program Guam - The Guam Department of Education (“GDOE”) State Agency for Child Nutrition Programs has announced school meals at NO COST to students through the Community Eligibility Provision (“CEP”).  
GDOE Superintendent, Jon Fernandez said that the CEP will be piloted in 21 of the 41 GDOE public schools throughout the island for School Year 2014-2015.
“We are piloting this program during the coming school year to validate how it influences participation with school meals,” said Fernandez. “We will also be collecting student performance data to determine the effects eating breakfast and lunch has on our students.” 
The CEP is a new option available to students participating in the United States Department of Agriculture National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. All enrolled students in schools implementing the piloted program are eligible to receive a healthy breakfast and lunch at NO COST to students each day of the 2014-2015 school year.
Additionally, enrolled students in the piloted program will be able to participate in these meal programs without having to pay a fee or having family households submit a meal application to the participating school.
Schools participating in the CEP pilot are as follows:


“We want to provide our students with the support they need to be successful,” said Fernandez. “The data that we collect during this pilot year will help determine what direction we take with school meals in all of our schools.” If families have any additional questions or concerns, please call the Guam State Agency for Child Nutrition Programs at 300-2460.

]]> (News Release) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:41:03 +0000
U.S. Attorney: Guam's District Court "Unquestionably Has Personal Jurisdiction Over Seleznev"
Guam  - It was Assistant U.S. Attorney Marivic David's turn to respond today in the ongoing back and forth over whether Guam's District court has "jurisdiction" over alleged Russian cyber thief Roman Seleznev.
In response to an order yesterday from Guam District Court Chief Judge Francis Tydingco-Gatewood, David writes that "this Court unquestionably has personal jurisdiction over Seleznev."    
READ Assistant U.S. Attorney David's response HERE
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood ordered additional briefs from both sides focusing on the defense claim that her Court can't conduct a removal hearing for the cyber thief suspect because his arrest was illegal.   
Seleznev remains in jail here on Guam after being brought here from the Maldives on Sunday July 6th. He is accused of being one of the world's most prolific traffickers of stolen credit card data.
Seleznev's attorney Pat Civille has insisted that the Guam District Court has no jurisdiction over his client because Seleznev was "kidnapped and unlawfully arrested by United States agents in a foreign country." As a result, Civille says Guam's Federal Court can't conduct the removal hearing the Federal Government wants. He's asked the District Court to release his client. 
But David responds  that "personal jurisdiction in a criminal case is established by the simple fact of the defendant’s presence before the court, regardless of how that presence was secured."
Even if another Court,  at some time in the future, prior to trial, were to agree with Civille's contention that Seleznev's arrest was illegal, "this would not change the fact that, as an initial matter, this Court [Guam District Court] has jurisdiction over Seleznev and the pending removal petition, and therefore may (and must) conduct" that removal hearing so that Seleznev can be transferred to Seattle where he was originally indicted back in March of 2011.
READ the March 2011 Superseding Indictment from the Western District of Washington state HERE   
David maintains, as she has in previous briefs, that any questions about the legality of Seleznev's arrest must be argued in the jurisdiction where he was indicted, Seattle.
Defense attorney Civille has until noon tomorrow, Friday July 25th, to file his response.
]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 06:05:56 +0000
SNAP Accuses Archbishop Apuron of "Dangerous" Behavior; Calls Father Wadeson's Parting Remarks "Self-Aggrandizing" Father Wadeson is named in Los Angeles Archdiocese records,  and in LA news reports, as having been accused on 2 occasions of being a predator priest. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has barred Father Wadeson from ministry in LA. 

The accusations date back to the early 90's,  they were never brought to trial.

Father Wadeson was incardinated on Guam by the Archbishop Apuron in 2000. Archbishop Apruon removed Father Wadeson from "active and public ministry" on Guam this past Tuesday, 4 days after SNAP issued a release calling attention to the decades old accusations against Father Wadeson.  

However, local catholic observer, Tim Rohr, was the first to bring the issue to light on his blog last Wednesday. And last Friday, Father Adrian Cristobal told PNC News that the Archdiocese was aware of  the accusations against Father Wadeson in California. But he said the allegations were just that, allegations. 

In its release today [see below] , SNAP calls Archbishop Apuron's behavior "dangerous."   SNAP Western Regional Director Joelle Casteix is quoted in the release as saying “Apuron knew that Fr. Wadeson was a predator and had been banned from Los Angeles, but he simply didn't care. That behavior is unacceptable, reckless, and against common morality.”

And SNAP's Outreach Director, Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, is quoted as saying “Fr. Wadeson should never have been allowed to work in Guam,” said   “And when local Catholics became upset, Apuron acted like a bully, silencing his critics and defending a banned priest."   

The SNAP release also accuses Father Wadeson of making "hurtful, self-aggrandizing comments" as he left Guam for California on Wednesday. Wadeson reportedly called the allegations against him, and Archbishop Apuron, as being “viciousness and lies."

READ SNAP's release below:
SNAP: Archbishop knew about abuse but did nothing, Now exposed, child molesting cleric heads to Bay Area
Abuse victims blast priest & archbishop; Twice-accused cleric lived in Guam for years
A support group for clergy sex abuse victims is blasting a twice-accused Catholic predator priest for "hurtful, self-aggrandizing comments" he made as he left Guam for California.
Leaders of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, are criticizing Fr. John H. Wadeson for calling accusations about his alleged abuse “viciousness and lies ... about me and our (Archbishop Anthony Apuron).”
Fr. Wadeson worked in Hagatna in Guam until a few days ago, when SNAP publicly exposed that he has been accused of abuse twice and has been banned from the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Archbishop Apuron then suspended Fr. Wadeson. The comments were made after Wadeson was removed.
The information about Fr. Wadeson was on the internet and posted in Los Angeles Archdiocese documents dating back to 2004.
Guam Catholics have also publicly called on the Archbishop to take action.
SNAP believes that Apuron's behavior is dangerous.
“Apuron knew that Fr. Wadeson was a predator and had been banned from Los Angeles, but he simply didn't care,” said Joelle Casteix of Newport Beach, SNAP Western Regional Director. “That behavior is unacceptable, reckless, and against common morality.”
While in Guam, Fr. Wadeson was a powerful priest with close ties to Apuron. They are pictured together on numerous websites and Fr. Wadeson even traveled with Apuron to Hawaii to celebrate the Archbishop's 30th anniversary. Victims are scared that Fr. Wadeson's comments show that he has no understanding of his past and is an even greater risk to children.
“Fr. Wadeson should never have been allowed to work in Guam,” said Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP's outreach director. “And when local Catholics became upset, Apuron acted like a bully, silencing his critics and defending a banned priest."
The group has heard that Fr. Wadeson is now on his way to San Francisco, where it is rumored that he may have “faculties,” which would enable him to keep working as a priest.
“We beg church officials in California to ensure that Fr. Wadeson is exposed and not allowed to act as a priest,” Casteix said.
“We urge anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sex crimes to immediately speak up, call police, protect children and start healing,” said Dorris. “We also want Archbishop Apuron to do what roughly 30 US bishops have done: post on his website, for the sake of public safety, the names, photos and whereabouts of all child molesting clerics who are or have been in Guam.”
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,


]]> (Kevin Kerrigan) frontpage Wed, 23 Jul 2014 21:17:56 +0000
Matson to Pay $10 Million Settlement in Alleged Shipping Fraud Case The lawsuit was filed in October 2010 by the US Government and Mario Rizzo, a whistleblower and freight consultant from Illinois. The lawsuit claims that Matson and Horizon Lines imposed ocean fuel surcharge on the shipment of goods even when the items were being transported by land once they reached the US mainland from Guam or Hawaii. Land surcharges have a relatively lower rate than ocean fuel surcharges.

Read the original complaint HERE. 

The freight bills, court documents state, were "plainly marked as DOD-SPONSORED shipments."

As a result of what the lawsuit says is fraudulent activity, the Federal Government incurred an excess of $2 million a year in damages.

Only Matson, Inc. settled the case, agreeing to pay Rizzo about $3 million of the $10 million settlement. Horizon Lines did not settle and stated that they plan to defend the case.

The case against Matson was dismissed with prejudice last Friday after the settlement was finalized.

]]> (Janela Buhain Carrera) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:03:28 +0000
Few Turn Out to Protest China's Occupation of Disputed Philippine Islands Guam - Less than a half-dozen people gathered at the ITC intersection in Tamuning Thursday afternoon to protest what they say is Chinese "aggression" in the South China Sea.

The protest was conducted in coordination with ethnic Filipinos and Vietnamese all over the world. The aim was to urge the United Nations International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea to enforce maritime laws, that would subsequently nullify China's claims in the South China Sea. 


In February China claimed land on a Filipino-claimed island, called Johnson South Reef, in order to better dock their ships.

Protest leader, Celia Lamkin, expressed her dissapointment that so few Filipino organizations joined the protest. "There are at least 50 Filipino organizations in Guam. I would like more involvement in this cause. Because they need to show Filipino solidarity," she said.

The U.S Energy Information Administration says the seas surrounding the disputed islands, also known as the Spratlys, may contain up to 11 billion barrels of oil, and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  Lamkin says that resource could help end poverty in the Philippines.

The Thursday protests around the world culminated in a demonstration outside the United Nations in New York City at 12pm EST , 2 AM Friday, Chamorro ST.

]]> (Byron Tseng) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 04:42:35 +0000
Pictorial Book on Guam's WWII Survivors Will Be Available in August Guam- Former Senator Frank Blas Jr. says that his book on Guam's WWII survivors called “Real Faces” should be available soon in fact it should be available sometime August.



 The pictorial hard bound book contains pictures and stories honoring the survivors of Guam's occupation by the Japanese during WWII. The book is a project by the Guam war survivors memorial foundation to share the war time experiences of Guam's WWII survivors. Proceeds from the book will go towards other projects that the foundation is doing to preserve and share the history and memories of Guam's WWII survivors. Blas says an order of books is on its way to Guam but he stresses that he's still looking for sponsors to pay for the printing. "The books are coming from a printer from off-island and we got notification last night that the books are actually now being loaded on a boat on a ship to bring to Guam. We anticipate that the books will be here around the second week of August and then we'll have a couple of events that would allow individuals who got them on pre-order to be able to pick up their books as well as individuals who are interested in getting the books to come by and get copies of their books,” said Blas.


To pre-order a copy you can call Blas at his office at 734-7702 or 734-7703 or email him at The book costs $70 dollars a copy or you can buy two for $125.

]]> (Clynt Ridgell) frontpage Thu, 24 Jul 2014 05:55:22 +0000