By Jacob Nakamura
Sen. Telo Taitague told Kandit News she received the following WhatsApp message from Guam Homeland Security Advisor Tim Aguon this morning about Haig Huynh's sworn testimony before an oversight hearing of the Guam Legislature:
"Haig is lying."
Mr. Huynh is the governor's son in law and legal counsel. The subject of the oversight hearing was the illegal procurement of hotels with ties to the Bank of Guam. The procurement was led by Mr. Huynh, according to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero, Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association president Mary Rhodes, and the disclosed documents of the procurement.
Ms. Taitague first broke this news on KUAM's morning show, Containing COVID. Right after her revelation, Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio confirmed on the same show that Mr. Aguon had told him the same thing: Haig Huynh had lied to senators about his role in the procurement.
Millions of dollars were paid to these hotels, for which there is no record of a contract, purchase order, requisition, request for direct payment, or so much as a price quote. One of the hotels, the Pacific Star, took out a $32 million loan with the Bank of Guam in 2016.
Mr. Huynh worked at the Bank of Guam prior to his mother in law's election as governor. Ms. Leon Guerrero herself was the CEO and chairman of the bank prior to her election. Her family holds the majority of shares in the bank.
When asked by Sen. Jim Moylan at the oversight hearing whether Mr. Huynh considered his conflict of interest with the Pacific Star in negotiating a multi-million dollar arrangement with the hotel, Mr. Huynh claimed he wasn't aware of the mortgage.
Mr. Huynh also contradicted his mother in law and told senators he didn't lead the procurement of the hotels. He tried to blame Ms. Rhodes for handling the procurement. Ms. Rhodes quickly entered the oversight hearing and set the record straight for senators, describing to them in detail her involvement as a facilitator for hoteliers since January.
"I went to screen shoot it after talking to Chris Barnett about it on KUAM this morning, and he deleted the message," Ms. Taitague said about the message train between her and Mr. Aguon.
Mr. Aguon was the other person Ms. Rhodes singled out as having been involved in the procurement of the hotels with Mr. Huynh. While he was involved in the meetings, there is no record of him signing any documents leading to or arising from the procurement, nor are there records of Mr. Aguon directing the certification of funds or payment from his agency.
Mr. Huynh, on the other hand, directed the governor's financial and procurement officers to make advance payments to the hotels without any of the required procurement documents, and in direct violation of the law.
Ms. Leon Guerrero, who was named by her own staff assistant Carlo T. Branch, as the procuring authority for the hotels, now claims that Guam Homeland Security was initially in charge of the procurement after being confronted with Mr. Aguon's statements by a KUAM reporter during her news conference now.