Tuesday, December 13, 2016

AGUON: "I HAVE TO WONDER WHERE WERE THESE CONCERNS..."

KUAM: Aguon question church's sudden interest in legislation

Senator Frank Aguon, Jr. is questioning the church's sudden interest in Bill 326. If you recall, the controversial legislation was introduced after several allegations of molestation were made against clergy. Although three public hearings were held, Aguon recently received a Freedom of Information Act request from Attorney John Terlaje who represents the Archdiocese of Agana. CONTINUED




SENATOR AGUON QUESTIONS THE INTENTION OF THE COUNSEL FOR ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF AGANA, A CORPORATION SOLE  

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 13, 2016

Following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Attorney John C. Terlaje, Counsel for Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, a Corporation Sole, Senator Frank Blas Aguon, Jr. releases the following statement:  

"Bill 326-33 had more public visibility than most legislation in the 33rd Guam Legislature.  In addition to constant media coverage, my Committee scheduled three public hearings where many, many members of the community attended and provided both oral and written testimony.  The committee report was compiled, circulated amongst its members, reported out of my committee, and the substitute bill presented before the legislative body and unanimously passed.  At no point during this legislative process did the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, a Corporation Sole, voice any concern or objection to the legislative process or the bill.  Attorney John C. Terlaje, who has, on occasion, served as legislative counsel to the 33rd Guam Legislature, is well aware of the legislative process.  While I welcome his FOIA request on behalf of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Agana, a Corporation Sole, I have to wonder where were these concerns during the legislative process,"Senator Aguon said.  "Attorney Terlaje requests for any and all opinions of the legislative counsel (sic) regarding Bill 326-33.  However, the information requested remains confidential under attorney-client privilege- a privilege heavily relied on by any client seeking legal advice.  Why would Attorney Terlaje request such information in his FOIA request?  Additionally, any request for audio, video and visual recordings, including public hearings and legislative sessions should be made with the Sergeant-At-Arms of the legislature and not with my committee.  This request falls short of a subpoena which begs the question, what is the true nature of this request? My office is in the process of compiling any and all information requested in the FOIA and will respond where legally possible.  Just to be clear, once compiled, I will make these documents available to the public."
            
Attached: FOIA Request

For more information, please contact Senator Frank Blas Aguon, Jr. at 475.4861.




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