Marilyn Dina Atoigue Manibusan is an indigenous political activist whose group, PARA-PADA, led a grass roots educational campaign resulting in the a proposed constitution for Guam being turned down by voters. PARA (People’s Alliance for Responsive Alternatives) was started by Robert Underwood and PADA (People’s Alliance for Dignified Alternatives) by Manibusan. The two groups combined in 1978 to defeat a proposed constitution which was the forerunner of Guam’s self-determination efforts. They were of the opinion that Guam’s political status needed to be addressed before a constitution was adopted.
Manibusan served in Guam’s Commission on Self-Determination for more than twelve years. She has testified before the US Congress, the United Nations, and at forums in the South Pacific Region on Guam’s quest for decolonization. Because of Manibusan’s passion and experience on this issue, she was appointed by Governor Eddie Calvo to serve as a member of the sub-committee on education of the Commission on Decolonization.
Manibusan was also an environmental activist who protested against nuclear waste dumping in the Marianas Trench by Japan and the transshipment of plutonium who spoke in international arenas on these issues.
Manibusan served as a Republican senator in the Guam Legislature for twelve years in the 17th through the 21st Guam Legislatures (1983-1994). During her term, she was a member of the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL); National Republican Legislators Association (NRLA); American-Pacific Island Legislatures (APIL); and the Asian-Pacific Parliamentarians Union (APPU).
She authored several major pieces of legislation including: The State of the Delegate’s address which requested Guam’s Delegate to the US Congress to give an annual status report of matters concerning Guam before the Federal Government; the establishment of the Hawai’i Medical Assistance Referral Office and the Manila Medical Assistance Referral Office to assist those who may needed urgent medical attention lacking in Guam; and the Bureau of Women’s Affairs to help raise women’s issues and provide resources to assist women in need; and sponsored the Family Domestic Violence Act classifying levels of penalties for abuses against children, spouses, and the elderly.
While serving as the first woman elected as chairperson of the Republican Party, Manibusan ventured into an historic political design for a Joint Primary Announcement of two political factions of the Republican Party. This first-ever partisan undertaking resulted in the election of Joseph F. Ada and Frank Blas as Governor and Lt. Governor with the support of Senator Tomas Tanaka and his running mate Senator Tony Unpingco. Manibusan was also appointed Guam Recruiter by President George Bush for the Transition Team in 1988.
Through a journey of painful struggles, successes and failures, Manibusan remains peaceful and hopeful, attributing her strength and love for service to her faith in God – volunteering at Kamalen Karidat Feed the Hungry Fundraisers, KOLG 90.9 FM Catholic Educational Radio, and other civic organizations. She currently is a business consultant.
Manibusan is the oldest child of four children born to the late Judge Joaquin V.E. Manibusan, Sr. and Alejandrina Atoigue Manibusan. She cares for her mother who is now in her 90s along with her only son, Chauncey Logan M. Colbert his daughter Katana Guerrero Colbert, who keep her young and fulfilled.