Moylan vows to prioritize land return
Updated: Oct 26, 2022
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Sen. James Moylan, the Republican Party's candidate for the Guam delegate seat, vowed to advocate for the return of ancestral lands to their original owners.
"Among our initial priorities will be to amend U.S. Public Law 106-504, to benefit the heirs of the original landowners of any transfer of excess real property," Moylan said in a statement.
The statute, which was authored by former Congressman Robert Underwood, stipulates “any transfer of excess real property to the Government of Guam may be only for a public purpose and shall be without further consideration.”
Moylan said while the law was drafted more than two decades ago, "it can and should be given the opportunity to be updated to address the present need as well as future impact."
The excess lands were returned to the local government during the Navy’s Base Realignment Closure or BRAC in the 1990s.
The lands’ return, however, came with restrictions set by U.S. Public Law 106-504, which bars the transfer of real estate assets to their original owners.
More than 53 families owned properties around the Navy land area in Mangilao, commonly referred to as “Eagles Field,” which is being eyed by the administration as the site for a new hospital.
"U.S. P.L. 106-504 amended the Organic Act of Guam, hence is customized for Guam, and is not a blanket statute stretched across the nation," Moylan said.
"While it is understood that moving any legislation in Congress is no easy or expeditious feat, our team is committed to pursuing this endeavor to not only address the current situation which original landowners and/or their heirs are facing with the property at the Eagles Field in Mangilao, but also for future transfers," he added.
Moylan said if elected to Congress, he would bring back a draft for the people to provide their input on within the first quarter of 2023.
"I simply ask the Governor to reconsider her decision on allowing for a medical campus to be constructed on Eagles Field, and instead seek alternative options," he said. "This endeavor will require a unified front, if indeed our ultimate objective with this effort is to return the excess real property to the original landowners and/or their heirs. "