07 Sep 2014
- By Junhan B. Todiño - email@example.com - Variety News Staff
NMI Democratic Party caniddates yesterday joined other Save Pagan advocates in expressing opposition to proposed U.S. military exercises on the remote, volcanic island.
The Democrats conducted a public awareness campaign about the importance of preserving Pagan at the Civic Center in Susupe.
“The Democratic Party is strongly opposing the military’s plan to bomb Pagan,” Saipan senatorial candidate Jesus Ilo Taisague told Variety.
“The purpose of our Save Pagan hotdog cookout is to provide public awareness that the Democratic Party supports Saving Pagan and for our people to move back to their ancestral land in the Northern Islands,” he added.
He said the Democratic Party believes in the preservation of land and natural resources as well as Articles XI and XII of the CNMI Constitution, referring to the current restrictions on land ownership.
“We must preserve our islands’ pristine natural environment, including our Northern Islands,” he added.
Asked if they will urge the governor to take a position on the proposed “militarization” of Pagan, Taisague said: “I will not attempt to second-guess the governor’s position.”
However, he added, the NMI Democratic Party’s position “is publicly very clear and loud from its 3’ x 20’ ‘Please Help Us Save Pagan’ banner hanging on Beach Road across from the judicial building and from our today’s Save Pagan hotdog cookout event — our position is firm and strong to Save Pagan.”
He said the NMI Democratic Party is not fielding a candidate for Northern Islands mayor and will respect the decision of the voters there.
There are two candidates, both independents: the incumbent mayor’s son Jerome Aldan and Vicente Cruz Santos Jr.
In the 2009 elections, 137 voters cast ballots in the Northern Islands mayoral race.
If elected, Taisague said the Save Pagan program will be one of his priorities.
The NMI Democratic Party has 11 candidates in the general elections. Its gubernatorial slate is headed by Edward Masga Deleon Guerrero “Tofila,” whose running mate is Daniel Ogo Quitugua.
For U.S. Congress, Andrew Sablan Salas is the Democratic candidate while Antonio P. Mareham and David M. Cing are the mayoral candidates on Saipan and Tinian.
For Precinct 1, which has six House seats, the Democratic candidates are Calistro I. Reyes, Vince Cabrera, Frankie B. Angel, and Nelson A. Rios. For Precinct 2, with two House seats, the Democratic candidate is Bruce Iglesias.