Sunday, September 11, 2016


KUAM: Senators prioritize talks on child sex abuse bill, minimum wage hike
When senators head into session on Monday, at the top of their agenda will be legislation to lift the statute of limitations on child sex abuse cases. During a Committee on Rules meeting today senators voted to place Bill 326 on the agenda.

KUDOS to the Senator Frank Blas, Jr., for having the courage to introduce this bill when there was no guaranty it would be popular. KUDOS to the chairman of the bill's oversight committee, Senator Frank Aguon, Jr., for shepherding this through his committee and reporting it out in a timely way. And now KUDOS to the Rules Committee for getting the bill on to the agenda for tomorrow's (Monday) legislative session, where it could go quickly to a vote. 

I say, "could go" because in the past we have often seen where a bill was moved on to the agenda as a way of getting rid of it. However, this time, this doesn't appear likely. Nevertheless, many races are won and lost in the last few yards or even at the finish line. Let us NOT "get weary in well-doing." Let us press on! 

For those who can make it, SHOW UP at tomorrow's session with your signs. During the session you can assemble in the public hearing room and your signs and presence will be visible through the glass. Session is scheduled tomorrow, Monday, for 10AM. 

While we are confident in the bill's success, we have some concern over the pressure some senators are receiving through the alumni organizations of a couple of archdiocesan schools. The alumni organizations are very powerful. We understand their concern about the potential vulnerability of certain assets. But that concern should have been addressed long ago. The horrible events that have led to the current state of affairs were not previously unknown to many of Guam's power brokers.

Here is a list of senators and their contact information. Take a moment today to send them all a note of support for the bill. Let's send a message to Rome that this is what happens when you harbor and protect the likes of Apuron and then send the likes of Hon to protect him. 


  1. Rose de los Reyes (Seattle, WA)September 11, 2016 at 2:44 PM

    This is fantastic news! Bill 326-33 is finally going to make its way for a vote in the Guam legislature. This bill seeks justice for those who were sexually abused as minors. It recognizes that the trauma of sexual abuse experienced by minors takes decades and decades to come to the surface, if at all. Childhood sexual abuse is a traumatic experience for the victim causing long-lasting damage. Survivors may be unable to understand or make the connection between childhood sexual abuse and emotional harm or damage until many years after the abuse occurs. Survivors may repress the memory of the abuse or be unable to connect the abuse to any injury until after the statute of limitations has run. These are the features that make this crime against minors one with a special nature. The latency of its effects prevents it from being lumped in with other crimes to which a statute of limitations is applied.

    If/when this bill becomes law, the positive changes it will bring will be for all. The focus has been on providing an opportunity for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice in civil court against their perpetrators. This bill is meant also to deter such predatory acts against minors. For the predators, seek professional help to assist you in dealing with this predatory compulsion lest they be subjects of a lawsuit. For those related to or a friend to a predator, encourage him/her to seek professional help lest your family member or friend becomes a subject of a lawsuit. Institutions, businesses, and even families will be forced to design and implement ways to bring about awareness and prevention of childhood sexual abuse. If/when this bill is passed, institutions such as churches, schools, businesses that work with minors will have to implement policies and provide training for the prevention of and response to childhood sexual abuse so that, if or when they are a subject of a lawsuit, at the very least, their first defense is that they have such policies and programs in place. For families, preservation of the good name/reputation of a family sometimes takes priority over helping a sexually abused family member seek help and justice. That priority is wrong. Being forced into awareness, prevention, and being responsive to childhood sexual abuse will make for a healthy island community.

  2. My letter emailed to all the Guam Senators yesterday and already received a positive response from Senator Rory:
    Subject: The world is watching...
    Dear Senators of Guam,

    Please vote in favor of Bill 326-33.

    I spent a year in Guam back in the early 1990s and love the island and its people. As a fellow Catholic, I have been following closely the developments regarding the revelations of the terrible child sex abuse that has taken place at the hands of Apuron and other Catholic priests and religious. As a parent myself, my heart goes out to all vulnerable children and families who trusted their church officials and pastors and were so cruelly betrayed. The nature of these psychological wounds demands that the statute of limitations finally be lifted on cases of sexual abuse of minors so that justice may be done. Frightened, tormented children are not going to come forth willingly until sometime in their later adult life, and some may never come forth with the sordid tale of what they have been made to suffer. Horrific crimes against the most defenseless go unpunished and the perpetrators continue to offend with impunity!

    The arrogant and truly scandalous way Apuron has conducted himself in the face of the accusations is all the more reason that he needs to learn that he is not above the law. As a Catholic I have been thoroughly frustrated at the unfolding of this veritable circus with Hon, and deeply disappointed in the callous way my Church has dealt with innocent victims of crime and vile sin on the part of her perverted ministers. Better for those predators, the millstone, out of the mouth of Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

    Enough already! If the Church will not protect children, please, let the Government of Guam set the example!!

    Si Yu'us Ma'ase.

    Hannah L. Carter
    Pleasant Hill, CA