Navy has returned only 50% of excess lands it pledged to transfer to GovGuam

Tan Maria never gave up. She spoke up and firmly stood her ground, even well into her 90s.

“The only way to remove me from here is to take me to Pigo cemetery,” Julia Garrido Limtiaco quoted her mother as saying. “Our mother Tan Maria died not seeing the full return of our ancestral lands.”

Limtiaco was one of the landowners who testified during an oversight hearing held Thursday by Speaker Therese Terlaje.

“She experienced the heartache and sorrow of being threatened by government officials to be removed from her father's land again and again,” Limtiaco said of her mother.

Prior to signing the Record of Decision in 2011, the Navy promised to pursue a “net negative strategy” for the marines' relocation from Okinawa to Guam. The plan involved reducing the military’s footprint on Guam and return underutilized land to the government of Guam.