By Nancy I. Maanao
(Tumon, Guam) On Monday, senators may debate legislation that will send you to jail for up to a year if you violate a written unilateral order of the governor. The details of how violators will be caught are left up to Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero's administration in Bill No. 334-35, otherwise known as the Dictator Act.
The bill is aptly named as such because it will give the governor the authority essentially to enact criminal law without the legislature by couching written orders as related to addressing the public health emergency that exists.
The most important of the governor's orders to stop the spread of the Coronavirus on Guam is her social isolation order. It states that people are not allowed to gather at the households of other people. If the Dictator Act becomes law, the governor will have the power to arrest people who gather at other people's homes. Residents already are able to report each other for violations of these orders by calling 311.
The governor also wants a curfew implemented for non-essential personnel, business, and functions. These are listed in Executive Order No. 2020-04 and DPHSS Guidance Memo 2020-5.
You know who's not on those lists? Senators. Ironic, isn't it?
As such, if senators gather at other people's homes or even in the Guam Congress Building to conduct session, or if they leave their homes past curfew or gather in session past the curfew time, they would be subject to arrest if their bill becomes law.
So, if senators are intent on passing the Dictator Act into law, they should be subject to the same Gestapo monitoring of their movements as anyone else not considered to be 'essential personnel.'
Kandit will be live casting session Monday, starting at 9 a.m., when senators go back into session. We will report which senators support this bill, or whether any major amendments are made to remove the provisions giving the governor dictatorial lawmaking powers.