14 Jun 2016
- By Junhan B. Todiño - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
SAVE Pagan Island advocate Herman B. Cabrera is questioning the inclusion of military buildup issues in the ongoing 902 talks between the CNMI and federal governments.
He said there’s a process in place regarding the military proposals and both parties have already expressed their views and positions.
“The local people have spoken against the military buildup,” he said, adding that what the governor and his 902 team are doing is an “exercise in futility.”
Cabrera said they are awaiting the completion of the CNMI Joint Military Training-Environmental Impact Statement/ Overseas Environmental Impact Statement.
He reiterated his position against the Department of Defense’s proposal to use Pagan as a military training site, saying it will do significant and irreparable harm to the island’s environment, including its people, land, water, air and critical wildlife habitats.
“The Northern Islands, especially Pagan, should be protected because they are the breeding ground of fish, which is part of the food web in the CNMI,” he said.
Cabrera said it is “confusing” that the governor is discussing the military buildup in the 902 talks when there’s already “overwhelming opposition” in the CNMI to the buildup.
“I am very concerned about the need to protect our islands,” he said, as he noted the “devastating consequences” of U.S. military activities in Japan, Hawaii and Guam.
Cabrera said the governor should instead focus on what has been brought out in the series of public consultations and hearings regarding the proposed “militarization” of Pagan.