Also affirms inclusion in RECA is overdue
HAGÅTÑA, Guam—Vice Speaker Therese Terlaje commends the Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors and their president Robert Celestial for his historic testimony today in front of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Senate Bill 197, also known as the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) Amendments Act of 2017, which would include Guam as one of the downwind areas.
“I congratulate Robert Celestial and the Pacific Association of Radiation Survivors and all of those who have helped them along the way, for their work and personal sacrifice in continuing to advocate for justice for Guam. These few work out of love for the benefit of many, many people on Guam who are suffering from cancer and other radiation related illness. I am very grateful, and am trying my best to ensure that we as leaders do all we can to support and continue this fight for justice, compassion, and health,” Terlaje stated.
Terlaje also submitted written testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee expressing her support for S. 197. According to the U.S. Census, the population of Guam between 1940 and 1960 ranged from 22,290 to 67,044 inhabitants. This is the number of people who were exposed to radiation as downwinders during the time of nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands. (Please see the attached written testimony from Vice Speaker Terlaje.)
“It’s an unsettling truth that our family members were exposed to radiation from U.S. nuclear testing, and suffer from cancer and other illnesses. The U.S. government provides free medical care and compassionate compensation to people from other jurisdictions that were exposed. Since the findings in 2005, Guam’s inclusion in RECA is overdue. Compassion, medical care, and justice for the people of Guam suffering from cancer is equally warranted,” Terlaje stated. (PR)