By Johnnie Rosario
Speaker Therese Terlaje provided the strongest anti-corruption statements among her Democratic colleagues in the 36th Guam Legislature to date. The speaker, responding to questions about police corruption, public safety chairman Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje, and chief of police Stephen Ignacio, said "Corruption in law enforcement is especially concerning because of the power law enforcement officers have to impact lives and the potential to impede the entire justice system."
Unlike her colleagues who have answered Kandit's questions thus far, Ms. Terlaje left the door open for further scrutiny of Mr. Ignacio, if the findings of investigations reveal corruption within the Guam Police Department.
Here is her full statement:
"Yes, of course I am concerned with corruption in the government of Guam and ran for office and worked hard to expose the truth as much as I can. I have been an advocate of checks and balances between the branches of government. It takes all of us on Guam to help expose uncomfortable truths in our government. Corruption in law enforcement is especially concerning because of the power law enforcement officers have to impact lives and the potential to impede the entire justice system.
"While we look for the Chief of Police to fully explain and conduct appropriate action relative to the Jerry’s Kitchen incident and the persons and officers involved, it is on its face very concerning, especially with the newly released information. I support Sen. Pedo’s decision to recuse himself from GPD oversight while allegations against his immediate family are pending, and I support the recusal of elected and appointed officials in all capacities from oversight matters involving their immediate families or from voting on bills that will grant special benefit to their families or family businesses. I am anxiously awaiting the results of the AG investigations into allegations made against law enforcement officers in the federal cases.
"The Chief of Police has promised a thorough investigation and I look forward to those findings being put on the table. If additional action is warranted at that time, I will support action to ensure trust and fairness in the police department."