February 17, 2013
The governor was impeached by the CNMI House last week by a vote of 16 to 4 on 18 articles that included felony charges, corruption and negligence.
CNMI Delegate Gregorio (Kilili) Sablan called on Governor Fitial to step down "for the sake of the CNMI."
Others are calling for the governor to step aside during the impeachment trail and allow Lt. Governor Eloy Inos to step into the role of governor. Former Rota Senate President Paul Manglona said, "Now that the impeachment rules are out, the governor should step aside and file for a leave of absence as soon as the trial begins."
Glen Hunter, the lead reform advocate said that "the governor should have resigned a long time ago," according to the Marianas Variety.
On Friday, the Senate adopted the impeachment rules by a vote of 8 to 0. Rota's Senator Juan Ayuyu is in federal prison and could not vote.
The Senate will need 6 votes to convict the governor. Ayuyu is not expected to be at the trial and the Senate has made no move to suspend or expel him.
The historic trial will begin in March. The Governor will have one week to respond to the impeachment charges after receiving the letter from the Senate. The letter is expected to be delivered on February 19, 2013.
The governor will not speak to the press and his press secretary, Angel Demapan is off-island.
There is no news on who will be defending the governor, but anti-corruption advocate Glen Hunter stated on a Guam radio show last week that Deanne Siemer, the governor's infamous "volunteer" may return to the CNMI to defend Fitial.
Even as calls for the governor to resign are coming from all corners of the islands, the CNMI continues its downward spiral. The Commonwealth Health Center revealed that 14 physicians left the island's only hospital in 2012 and only one has been replaced. The Commonwealth Utility Corporation is at risk since Fitial did not renew the contract of the deputy chief, Alan Fletcher. The Northern Marianas College faces renewed sanctions. The Retirement Fund is near bankrupt. Serious crimes including burglaries of tourists, rapes and murders remain unsolved. The guest worker program is a mess and the economy is still struggling.
The governor should resign now so the CNMI Legislature can focus on the fixing the mess that he created.