August 3, 2014 @ 3:08 pm
(co-hosted by Vivian Dames, Victoria Lola-Leon Guerrero, Lisa Linda Natividad, and Michael Lujan Bevacqua with production assistance of Samantha Marquez-Dauglash and Alan Grossman) airs 8/1/14.
In this episode we pay tribute to the Honorable Vicente “ben” Cabrera Pangelinan who lost his battle with cancer on July 8, 2014 at the age of 58. He was a ten term senator (22nd-32nd, except for the 28th) who also served as the Speaker for the 27th Guam Legislature. During his legislative career, he introduced over 200 bills which became law.
Prior to his resignation on June 29, he served as the Chair of the Committee on Appropriations. Public Debt, Legal Affairs, Retirement, Public Parks, Recreation and Land, an oversight role which reflected his diverse interests and commitments.
Senator Pangelinan , or ‘sen ben’, as he liked to be called, was a son of the Marianas who was born in Saipan and came of age in Guam. ‘Sen ben’ was lauded by many as a man of principle and a champion for the common person. He was known for diligence in his research and analysis and for his tenacity in fighting for what he believed, even when the odds were against him. He was a tireless advocate for Chamorro cultural preservation and self-determination and a careful steward of public funds. He was also an outspoken critic of the proposed military buildup who used his leadership role to obtain information, to inform, and to encourage civic participation. As recently as May 13, for example, he conducted a round table meeting to obtain a Status Update on the Programmatic Agreement by the Guam State Historic Preservation Office to make sure that all necessary steps were being taken to safeguard and provide public access to cultural and historical resources affected by military and other activities. We provided coverage of this roundtable on Ep. 185 (5/15/14) “Cultural and Historical Resources - Protection and Public Access.
As our tribute to ‘sen ben’, we are re-broadcasting segments from five other episodes, in chronological order, to which he contributed over the past three years. We begin with Ep. 68 (5/20/11) “Exploring a Sustainable Economy: A Look at the State of Our Island’s Economy and Creative Options for the Future.” ‘Sen ben’ was interviewed by Victoria-Lola Leon Guerrero, a writer and teacher, who reflects on her earlier contacts with the senator and his role as an advocate for public fiscal transparency and accountability and developing a sustainable island economy.
‘Sen ben’ was also a stalwart advocate for environmental and compensatory justice issues, what the U.S. Navy refers to as ‘legacy issues’ which are not addressed in the FSEIS or the DSEIS on the military buildup. On Ep. 153 (7/5/13) “Guam ‘Downwinders’ and RECA: Another Push for Social Justice” we provided coverage of the June 7, 2013 public hearing he conducted on Resolution 127 which petitions the US Congress to amend the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) of 1990 to include several additional geographic areas, including Guam, and to improve and increase compensation for those affected by ionizing radiation resulting from U.S. nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands from 1946-1962. In his introduction, he explains the purpose of the hearing and the intent of Resolution 127. Dr. Lisa Linda Natividad, who has hosted several episodes on nuclear issues, comments on the senator’s long standing support for the advocacy of the Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors (PARS), led by Mr. Robert Celestial.
In the second half, we re-broadcast a segment of Ep. 163 (9/13/13) “Political Futures for the Marianas” which features a lecture by ‘sen ben’ at the 2nd Annual Marianas History Conference held August 30-31, 2014 at the University of Guam. The theme of this conference was “One Archipelago, Many Stories; Integrating Our Narratives”. Dr. Michael Lujan Bevacqua provides comment on the significance of ‘sen ben’s’ contributions and of this lecture, “Galvanizing Past and Present Threats to Chamorro Homelands.”
Early this year we aired Ep. 172 (1/10/14) “The MITT, International Law, and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.” The touchstone for this episode was the November 14, 2013 opinion piece about the MITT Draft EIS/OEIS penned by ‘sen ben’ entitled ‘Preferred alternatives for our people” which was published by the Marianas Variety and recorded for this program. In this column, ‘sen ben’ discusses the MITT EIS process and places this process within a global perspective, referencing the adoption by the United Nations General Assembly of the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples, in particular Article 30, concerning the conduct of military activities.
On May 19, ‘sen ben’ was one of three Guam senators who provided testimony, albeit noticeably hoarse from failing health, at the second public hearing conducted by the U.S. Navy on the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) on the Guam and Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Relocation. We provided coverage of this hearing on Ep. 190 (6/16/14) “DSEIS Public Hearing in Mangilao, Part 1 of 2.”
Music selections: Saina and Adios Esta Ki performed by Pa’a Taotao Tano at the July 16 State Memorial Service for ‘sen ben’ held at the Paseo de Susana.