September 1, 2012
The articles of impeachment make it irrefutably clear that the governor must be impeached. Some of the acts detailed in the articles of impeachment would have landed any other person behind bars. Who among the citizens of the CNMI could scheme to have a federal prisoner removed from jail to get a midnight massage and not face severe punishment, including a jail sentence? Who among the citizens of the CNMI, could plot to protect a person from being served a penal summons by dispatching a goon-like squad of police-thugs to shield him (and assaulting a reporter in the process) and not face severe punishment, including a jail sentence? No one else, except the governor who has declared that he is above the law.
The title of governor does not endow upon Benigno Fitial the right to break the laws. As governor, Fitial has vowed to uphold the laws and constitution. Instead he has made a mockery of the laws and a mockery of the people of the CNMI.
Under Governor Benigno Fitial, the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Public Safety in the CNMI have turned into cesspools of corruption. They put the desires of a corrupt governor above the needs of the citizens of the CNMI. These agencies that are charged with upholding the law and protecting the people have supported employees that have broken the law and caused harm, including former AG Edward Buckingham, former Police Commissioner Ramon Mafnas, Police Chief Aniceto Ogumoro, Deputy Police Chief Ambrosio Ogumoro, reinstated police officer Jess Dubrall and a long list of other law enforcement officials.
This governor sits arrogantly on his throne dispensing sought after government jobs to anyone who will keep him and his puppet legislators in power. Where else but in the CNMI would a police commissioner be allowed to rehire a handful of rogue officers who have criminal records? Where else would felons be placed in a governor's cabinet? Where else would public money be used to hire people for unneeded positions when it should be spent to fund a hospital that is on life support, to pay public agencies overdue utility bills or to whittle away at the $300 million debt to the Retirement Fund?
As more of Fitial's puppets in the CNMI House declare that they will not back the impeachment resolution, more voters are stepping up to tell them they should start looking for another job because after the election they may need one.
After Fitial ally, Rep. Stanley Torres said no to impeachment, voters who commented on the Marianas Variety story said, "no" to his reelection. Torres, supporter of casinos and legalizing guns an marijuana received lots of negative comments. Here are a few:
- I am so glad that I live in Stanley's precinct. I am really going to enjoy voting for anybody except for him.
- By voting NO for impeachment, you are getting a vote of NO this November 6
- Since here in the CNMI political parties change all the time and really mean nothing either in terms of policy or ideology – I propose three litmus tests for any candidate for any office. 1. Vote out ANY candidate who does not publicly support impeachment of the Governor 2. Vote out ANY candidate who does not publicly support fully funding the hospital and permanently fixing CHC’s long term viability 3. Vote out ANY candidate who does not support strictly enforced criminal penalties with mandatory prison time for nepotism and cronyism in matters of government hiring and contracting. These may not be the only problems the CNMI have. But, if these problems can be fixed – we can begin to build a new future for the CNMI. If these problems are left to fester – there will be no future for the CNMI.
- . . .I hope Torres, Palacios, Basa and the other cowards are not re-elected. and that they are subject to public ridicule. I've seen Stanley in Godfathers often. Next time I'm in there I am going to yell at him. We need more people yelling, making noise, honking. And it would be SO GREAT if a local were to go on KSPN (in a PSA) and take these guys to the woodshed for betraying the people.
These commenters are united in standing against corruption. (Read more comments here.) The question is are there enough of them to kick the Fitial allies out of office so impeachment can be accomplished?
- Adios Representative Muchacho.
Do the majority of the voters in the CNMI support the Fitial-corruption-destruction team or are they afraid they will lose their jobs if they do not support them? Why can't the voters that fear for their jobs promise the Fitial team that they will support them at the polls and then vote their consciences on election day and cast their votes against these useless, self-serving politicians that are destroying the CNMI?
Another Fitial lapdog, Rep. Joseph Palacios has stood against impeachment and for corruption. He defended the governor's corrupt acts by saying, "the impeachment proponents are luckier than the governor because they were not caught." In other words, corruption is to be defended if others are also corrupt? If he was a true legislator and upstanding citizen, he would share any knowledge that he has of corruption or illegal acts with the proper authorities.
After Rep.Joseph M. Palacios declared that he will not support the impeachment resolution, a voter sent a clear message to him in the form of an email:
8/28/12, Tuesday, 10:05 a.m. Representative Joseph M. Palacios: You have made it very clear that you will not support the move to impeach Governor Fitial. I’m writing to let you know that, although I voted for you in the last election, I do not intend to do likewise this time around because of your stance on the impeachment move. Should you reconsider your position, I will also.
By copy of this note, I’m most gratefully thanking those Members of the House of Representatives who decided to sign HR 17-111: House Minority Leader Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero, R-Saipan Reps. Francisco S. Dela Cruz, R-Saipan Janet U. Maratita, R-Saipan Antonio P. Sablan, R-Saipan Ramon A. Tebuteb, R-Saipan Ray N. Yumul, R-Saipan Trenton B. Conner, R-Tinian And Rep. Ralph S. Demapan, Covenant-Saipan (who says he will vote yes)
Sincerely, One of your constituents,She is not alone in standing against corruption. There are now over 600 people who have signed the online petition calling for the governor's impeachment. Letters to the editor also call for impeachment.
CNMI resident and reform activist, Ed Probst's letter is worth reading (here). The sentiment is spot on. From the letter:
Governor Fitial likes to refer to himself as the “Father of the CNMI.” But my question is, what kind of father goes on three-week junkets around the world while his “children” are left at home to suffer and die? What kind of father would get first-class medical check-ups and treatment at the finest hospitals in the United States and Philippines, but not even leave any money for his “children” to buy medicine for when they are sick? What kind of father would make sole-source deals that will bankrupt his “children” for 25 years? I’m sorry, but these are not the actions of a “Father of the CNMI.” These are actions of greed, gluttony, and abuse of power. Lives are at stake right now, and so is the future of our children.
If you stand by and allow this abuse to continue, then you are just as guilty as the perpetrators. Corruption and evil only exist because good people do nothing. Please, join the fight. Do what is right. It is never too late to do the right thing. And the right thing to do right now is to put pressure on our leaders to IMPEACH this governor. As I told a friend, the impeachment is only the beginning. We will have to work together to solve the CNMI’s problems. But we cannot solve any problems while we are constantly battling a governor who continues to drive our poor economy deeper in to debt and is on the verge of ruining our children’s future for 25 full years. It must end now, before it is too late.This governor sits arrogantly on his throne taunting those who expose or challenge his corrupt acts, those who have the courage to announce that the emperor has no clothes. He believes that he is above the law because he has been above the law and he remains so today.
Where are the federal law enforcement agencies? Where is the CNMI Bar Association in addressing Edward Buckingham's criminal acts and fugitive status? Why is the U.S. Department of Interior's Office of Insular Affairs still funding this corrupt government? Why is any federal money going to DPS, the OAG or any number of other Fitial-abiding, rather than law-abiding agencies? Where are the public protests and rallies?