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Last updateTue, 26 Mar 2019 12am







    Sunday, March 24, 2019-7:05:12A.M.






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OPINION | Whose land?

IT’S political election time and we must dig up dirt, worms, and Pandora’s Box about the political candidates we really don’t cater to.

Gubernatorial candidate Juan Nekkai Babauta is one candidate who has had just about everything “mud” thrown at him.  The worse of everything a person could be accused of.  A womanizer (a la Bill Clinton), no child support, chase away Japan Airline, money grabber, corrupted administrator for trying to place his political subordinates in civil service jobs, got fired from his CHC’s job, etc.  Everything bad about him. 

His political critics, and maybe some political pundits, don’t want to see anything good in Babauta.  Some of his political adversaries even say Babauta is a “dimwit.”  Now wait a minute.  I don’t agree with that.  You’re kidding, right?  He is not a dimwit.  He graduated from college, and then he went back for postgraduate degrees, I think, three of them.  He was, even, an instructor at NMC. Several college degrees and college instructor’s chairs, plus two terms as CNMI resident representative in Washington, D.C., and governor, don’t equate “mud.”  Harvard and University of Cincinnati.  Was he really fired from CHC?  I don’t know. 

I do know he was elected senator to the 5th Legislature while serving as executive director at CHC.  Pete “Teno” was governor then.  I heard that for a long time, CHC was struggling for operating money which never came from the legislature.  Why did the legislature hold back the operating fund to rescue CHC?  $35 million minimum to operate comfortably, but it got only less than $10 million.

But the recurring primary accusation against Babauta is that he owns the land where the La Fiesta Mall sits, and that he made money with it.  I’ve heard that before.  You got something to show that it happened that way?  I heard differently. 

Supposedly, there exists a supporting document with the Office of Public Auditor that says Babauta doesn’t own the land where La Fiesta, sits on.  But did he benefit from that land?  I’m not supporting Babauta.  I’m discussing the accusation.  So I ask, show me something concrete to defeat the public auditor’s investigation report.  Anything and anyone probative, then I will believe you.

 But, then, if Babauta is a corrupted person, why isn’t he taken to court of law, instead of badmouthing, slandering, libeling, defaming, etc., him out in the community, so he loses this gubernatorial aspiration to your glee.  Would these aspersions continue after the election? 

A similar fate is looking at Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres.  The newspaper magazine, Bloomberg, reported that his family was being paid $18,000 monthly by IPI.  A retention, the report said.  Do I see anything wrong with that from the standpoint of legality and result of a work product?  The governor’s siblings, four of them, are lawyers.  They didn’t become lawyers to line up for catered lunch at the manamko’ venter in Chinatown.  Good grief.  They become lawyers because the money is all right.  Charge the client fee for service, or for the attorney’s retention fee.  If the client has fat dollars, then charge him for what he’s worth.  A client needs the lawyer, the lawyer shows up fast.  There’s nothing wrong with retaining the service of an attorney.  So what if the fee is a fat dollar, like $18,000.  The client has the money to dole out.  I can’t be jealous.  Well, I should, since I only have Social Security monthly to live on at my age.  Old rocking chair me.

 By the way, a wining candidate should never go on a trip funded by private company.  The candidate will be indebted to that company, plus placing the government in a compromising position.  Esteem Capital Success, Ltd., with Lingli Cao?  A fact-finding trip, said legislator Larry I. Guerrero, in a local newspaper report.  We didn’t use any government money said he.  How naïve could people get.  That statement is tantamount to bribery. I say a violation of the CNMI’s Code of Ethics.  He slammed the Miranda Rule. 

You don’t travel as a government official with a private company subsidizing your travel, meal and incidental expenses, clinks 12 “silvers” into your pocket as an approaching favor, and then boast about the savings.  I say it’s self-aggrandizement.  Sole license casino, please. 

But the officials didn’t use any CNMI money, said Guerrero.  But it matters that the official trip was funded by private corporation.  No T/A?  You’re compromising the position of the government. 

Amu, let’s simmer down a bit and think about “Pare.”

 Esta man a-adistrosa hit.  And you’re my blood relative.  Lau Par, kau manafan botsa hao mas que sea mon 12 na plata? Ni un centimos?  Man mezquino (stingy) na Chino.  Well, let’s segue to the season and get away from this papulatung allegations.  After the November election, go visit your mother’s grave.  And “bring flowers of the fairest, bring flowers of the rarest.”  Hita ni man Chamoru yan Gupalau, nananata-ha si nana asta i hinekuk I tano.  Right?  Pues, sigi yan un guassan i naftan yan penta I kiluus.  Ya mungnga mana sulung guatu i masetan flores i otro naftan.  Then, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Ano Nuebo-firework and a happy new year, Par. I wish you bonelos dago, and a happy New Year.  Amu, are we going to continue hating each other, I’m a Republican, you’re a Democrat, he’s an Independent, yan todo i man Territorio, Popula, and Popula-tory.  No, Par, I’ll take your hand for a handshake, and biba, a new day.  Freud Eus Des Leben.  Our govt. has some money, ya i fresco na manglo Aguinaldo man guaguafe ginen kattan, and the cranes are flying south.  Hafa mohon, Morgen?

The writer is a resident of Garapan, Saipan.