By Eric Rosario
GTA TeleGuam vice president Dan Tydingco went before the Chamorro Land Trust Commission with a sole source proposal for GTA to pay CLTC pennies on the dollar for parcels of submerged land in Alupang, and Agat.
Pika Fejeran, commission chairwoman, basically told him to go take a hike.
Ms. Tydingco was trying to acquire even more government-owned land through lease with GTA for the installation of undersea cables. The company, as part of a conglomerate effort, anticipates the project to create billions in opportunity, yet has leased other parcels of land for only thousands by month. One such property, which Kandit reported on, is prime land facing Marine Corps Drive in Piti. The GTA deal left the small village without a basketball court and other facilities.
GTA submitted an unsolicited proposal to CLTC for the lease of land in Alupang and Agat to continue its undersea project.
"I have concerns about the procedures through which this should be done," CLTC attorney Nicolas Toft told Ms. Fejeran. "There are some questions about whether submerged lands should be considered commercial lands."
Mr. Toft said the GTA proposal "should not proceed under the CLTC rules and regs, but under the standardized govguam procurement process." He said the CLTC should follow the process put in place regarding unsolicited proposals and issue a request for proposals.
"Should it be sole source or open competition? You're supposed to err on the side of opening competition up. It is my recommendation that this should be put out to bid. We cannot do a commercial license under the CLTC commercial rules and regs. You cannot fit this in the process and have it work."
Ms. Fejeran began telling Mr. Tydingco that opening the process to competition will remove any future cloud or protest over any such CLTC lease with whatever company is awarded the land lease in question. Dan Tydingco quickly interrupted the chairwoman as she spoke, saying the company followed recommendations made by Sen. Therese Terlaje, who has oversight of the CLTC.
"We have to follow the proper channels," Ms. Fejeran shot back. "We have to do it the proper way. In the process, the commission will be able to learn the true value of these submerged lands."
Tydingco said GTA was in the process of having an appraisal done on the value of the submerged lands, and then implied GTA was following recommendations made by Ms. Terlaje in order to approve the lease with CLTC. Tydingco referenced a letter by Ms. Terlaje, and said the letter shows her recommendation.
Kandit read the June 17, 2020 letter, and no where in it does Ms. Terlaje endorse GTA's program. As a matter of fact, the senator questions the wisdom of leasing the submerged lands to GTA without CLTC first understanding the value of the land.
This is the same point Ms. Fejeran made, both in her discussion leading to the rejection of the GTA unsolicited proposal, and again in her farewell remarks to the board, where she rebuked the politicians and companies trying to corrupt the Chamorro Land Trust for its valuable land inventory.
Mr. Tydingco immediately left the meeting after the CLTC rejected his company's unsolicited proposal, and after Ms. Fejeran welcomed GTA to submit a proposal once the competitive period begins. He didn't even say 'thank you.'