Candidates: Guam will be 'safe' under any political status

Guam is ready to rule itself and no matter what political status it may choose, the island’s security and defense system would remain in place, according to gubernatorial candidates who faced off Tuesday night in their first public debate at the University of Guam.

The One Guam Gubernatorial Debate zoomed in on decolonization as well as the candidates’ proposed transition plans and economic options for a post-colonial Guam.

Defense is one area of concern for the skeptics, who wonder how a tiny island, standing on its own, can protect itself from any potential assault.

As far the gubernatorial candidates are concerned, there is no reason to worry.

“Let’s face it, no matter what we push forward on self-determination and decolonization, who says the military will not be in the mix?” former Gov. Carl Gutierrez said. “We are significant to American defense, so we should not worry about that.”

But the status quo, Gutierrez said, is