The Guam Daily Post

12 23Wed11252015


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Resolution 127 passage lauded

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DURING its last session, the Legislature passed Resolution 127 which requests that Guam be included in the Radiation Compensation Act (RECA) of 1990.

Sen. Ben Pangelinan, who introduced the resolution, thanked his colleagues for unanimously passing the resolution, which also seeks to improve and increase compensation for those affected by ionizing radiation, including those from Guam.

During the public hearing for Resolution 127, there was overwhelming support from the community, including cancer survivors.

Robert Celestial, a long-time advocate and president of the Pacific Association for Radiation Survivors (PARS), presented a slideshow on the history of Guam’s journey for the inclusion of Guam in the compensation act.

Anjelica Kulani Okada, a graduate student at the University of Guam, also presented a slideshow that outlined the legislation introduced in the U.S. Congress and House of Representatives to support Guam’s inclusion.

According to Pangelinan, Resolution 127 was the fifth resolution passed by the Guam Legislature since 2005 for Guam’s inclusion to RECA.

“We once again are sending a message to the U.S. Congress and the U.S. House of Representatives by way of Resolution No. 127, that there is documented evidence to prove that Guam was affected by ionizing radiation between the years of 1946 to 1962 and should be added to the category of 'down winders' and that individuals identified be justly compensated. I am hopeful that our friends, Sen. (Tom) Udall (D-NM) with his introduction of S.773, and Congressman Ben Ray Luján with his introduction of H.R. 1645, and with the support from our Congresswoman (Madeleine) Bordallo, this issue will finally be put to rest. We will not stop until Guam is finally include into RECA,” Pangelinan said.

The United States’ largest fusion hydrogen bomb, code-named “Bravo,” was 1,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima atomic bomb, and deposited a liberal sprinkling of radioactivity over a wide swath of the Central Pacific and the inhabited atolls in the Marshalls archipelago in March 1954 during Operation Castle.

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