Massage-Gate: New Voices

February 2, 2010

"The Governor should apologize," according to NMC students interviewed by Marianas Variety reporter, Gemma Casas.
The article states that of the dozen or so students interviewed not one could justify the governor's actions.

On January 8, 2010 Governor Benigno Fitial requested that Department of Corrections Commissioner bring his prisoner-masseuse, Qingmei Cheng to his house to give him a massage. Cheng and 23 others were ordered held without bail after they were arrested for attempting to enter Guam illegally.

From the article:
All of them agreed that what he did was a betrayal of public trust.

“He should make a public apology. What he did was abuse of power. He broke the trust of the people. He’s supposed to set a good example but he broke the law,” a student told the Variety.

“Why is it that officials always get away with things while ordinary people, even for the smallest mistakes, are punished, even for picking a flower?” another student said.

“It’s horrible,” another student said.

“This makes me mad. He’s the governor. He’s supposed to know better than us. But I still respect him because he’s our governor,” a student said.

Another student said she’s disappointed with how the governor is abusing the people’s trust.

“He should be a role model to us. Why did he do this?” she asked.

Another student said it’s bad enough that the CNMI’s former lt. governor, Timothy P. Villagomez, is already serving seven years in a federal jail for corruption.

He said elected leaders should be very careful of their actions and truthfully serve the public as they had promised.

“I think what he did was wrong,” he said, referring to the governor.
Meanwhile letters to the editor continue to flow i to the papers. Steven Pangelinan wrote:
My point is, the governor could have chosen a number of establishments on island to seek remedy and instead requested for a federal detainee. Your reason for relief for the governor is understandable, but to defend his request for the release of a detainee is unjustifiable at the very least! If I had an aunt who is the greatest herbal healer in the world but was caught selling crack to kids and is being detained, would you allow her to be released to relieve your pain if you were governor?...
...As for the Correctional director, Mrs. Aldan, I feel sorry for her that she's being used as the scapegoat for this whole incident. The governor, as captain of our ship, must take full responsibility of any adverse actions, especially from ones that he has benefited from. Mrs. Aldan is more like the lieutenant who is put at the wheel while the captain jumps ship before sinking.
Another letter to the editor of the Marianas Variety states, "This is not about humanitarian consideration for a person suffering from back pains or a political sour-grape. This is about complying with the law." Questions from the author, Jonathan Guerrero, raise important points that beg to be answered.


the teacher said...

Punish the messanger strategy is disgusting. NMC students are afraid to speak against the Guv...what a sickening shame.

This is why President Obama will not likely visit the CNMI.

Anonymous said...

Too bad we allow our elected leaders to control our lives by offering the only decent jobs to loyal followers and keeping wages low so everyone wants to kiss ass to get a government job.

Anonymous said...

The governor is very foolish to have gone this long without an apology. Every day that passes he infuriates more people.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, Mister Governor gimme three steps gimme three steps towards the door and you won't see me no more."

Anonymous said...

In case you missed this in Friday's Variety:

In other news, Designated Judge David Wiseman will hear today the change of plea and sentencing of Wei Li Liu who signed a plea agreement yesterday.
Li admitted that he attempted to enter Guam illegally on Jan. 5, 2010, along with 23 other Chinese nationals.
Li was represented by court-appointed attorney Mark Hanson.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kirk Schuler is prosecuting the case.

I think that this is the main co-defendant of Qingmei Cheng; also that the two of them were accused of trafficking, as well as attempted illegal entry into Guam.