Jose P. Deleon Guerrero
Secretary, Department of Community and Cultural Affairs
Rita C. Chong-Dela Cruz
Director, Historic Preservation Office
This is to inform you that we had previously requested both your offices, DCCA and HPO, to cease archaeological work and stop any permit issuance to Dr. Michael Dega, Scientific Consultant Services, Inc., David Perzinski, and his associates.
As you are aware, SCS Dr. Dega, David Perzinski, and his associates were paid $3.2 million as the contracted archaeologist for the Best Sunshine International Grand Mariana Casino and Imperial Pacific International Imperial Pacific Resort in 2015.
Both DCCA and HPO were aware of the 2015 desecration that occurred at the 1100 A.D. ancient Chamorro village of Anaguan, the construction site of the Grand Mariana Casino and Imperial Pacific Resort where over 400 ancient Chamorro human remains and artifacts were disinterred, removed, and displaced from their natural grave site.
This request to cease all archaeological work done and to stop the issuance of HPO permit to Dr. Dega, SCS and his associates stemmed from the serious issues and concerns raised in the two independent reviews, 2016 and 2017, conducted by Dr. James Bayman, University of Hawaii Department of Anthropology and Archaeology on the report of Dr. Dega’s and SCS’s three months archaeological work performed from March 2015 to June 2015 at Anaguan village (the modern-day Garapan business district).
To this date, DCCA and HPO have yet to respond to our inquiry on the status of Dr. Dega’s and SCS’s Final Archaeological Data Recovery Report for Anaguan that has been in “status quo” in both of your offices since 2015, and since your predecessors, Robert H. Hunter and Mertie Towai-Kani, respectively.
We have yet to be informed on the status of the mitigation on the violations, fines, and sanctions by the government against both the contracted archaeologist and the contractor — investor and developer.
We have been informed and understand that the DCCA and HPO in collaboration with other regulatory agencies continue to issue HPO archaeological permit to Dr. Dega, SCS, and his associates to dig and disturb our sacred and invaluable archaeological sites on Saipan and Tinian when there are series of grave concerns from the 2015 archaeological digging that have yet to be addressed and mitigated by the CNMI regulatory agencies, the investor and developer, Imperial Pacific International, LLC., and Dr. Dega, SCS.
We, therefore, submit our second request that the CNMI government Department of Community and Cultural Affairs and its Division of Historic Preservation to cease all archaeological work, and stop archaeological permit issuance to Dr. Dega, Perzinski, SCS, and associates.
In the meantime, we are requesting a list of all permits issued to Dr. Dega, Perzinski, SCS, including all associates and affiliates of Dr. Dega’s archaeological work here in the CNMI. This request is hereby submitted under the CNMI’s Open Government Act and the Federal Freedom of Information Act.
Liana M.S. Hofschneider
Matua Council for Chamorro Advancement