Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 23 Jul 2019 12am







    Monday, July 22, 2019-8:05:02P.M.






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OPINION | Holding CEO’s and public officials responsible and accountable

WHAT CNMI lawmakers need to do now is pass a bill that will hold them responsible and impose a jail-term on them if they commit corruption. Seriously, it’s our only hope to crack down on public and government corruption in the CNMI.

With all the monkey-see-monkey-do corruption going on today in the CNMI and the U.S., we need a new law that will put CEOs or politicians in jail for committing financial crimes.

Remember, nobody is above the law. Only God is above the law, not some monkey in a suit.

Do you think it’s fair for a lawmaker on Rota to embezzle $400,000 in taxpayers’ money. No penalty for what he did even though it damaged the island’s economy?

We also don’t realize the real damage caused by natural disasters. We know it’s climate-change, but we ignore the heart of the problem. We keep repeating the same mistakes.

You would think the CNMI will learn from the Yutu disaster. The damage it caused is devastating. It wounded the CNMI which is now fighting to survive financially and economically. But while top officials get their cakes, frontline workers are still waiting for their crumbs.

Representatives Prost has also reported that his staffers did not get paid on payday.

I wonder if the government still has money to pay landowners like me, for example. Let’s hope the government can continue paying the Settlement Fund amid the economic uncertainty.

We should not squander more taxpayers’ money. We also need more capital improvement projects.

Imagine our ancestors looking at where we are today. We have to push harder if we want our islands to maintain a good partnership with the U.S. and our investors.

Either way, the U.S. and the CNMI still lack the manpower they need. We need more local workers and all types of workers in the construction and hotel industries to meet the demands of our visitors.

We know that the system is broken but we pretend everything is okay. It’s not. We need a new direction to steer clear of corruption.

Imagine if you’re like the others who are still waiting for their land compensation to come out, but now you cannot be too sure now because of the government’s insolvency.

What are the odds? The CNMI is at the mercy of more super typhoons that are reminders from our ancestors.

We cannot function well if we don’t fix our local government and meet its obligations. Pay less? Or soon, nada, nothing because we’re broke.

We cannot be tight-lipped. You see something, say something; you know something, say something. Whistleblowers must speak out against government corruption.

While we appreciate the U.S.- China investment relationship, we must also protect our technology system 24/7.

We need to upgrade and advance our island infrastructure. We need to keep pumping millions of dollars into capital improvement projects and build more public housing in the CNMI.

We can’t turn away our tourists due to lack of hotel rooms. Even U.S. farmers are licking their chops because the trade war hit them hard. Then add up all the natural disasters in the U.S.

Damn if we do and damn if we don’t. It’s a double-edged sword that cuts both ways. The U.S. Secret Service just caught a Chinese woman, a spy who was getting close to the tech apparatus of the U.S. president in Florida, Wow! It’s still a cat and mouse business.

They found computer drives and gadgets on her. She remains in custody. It’s the second arrest made by U.S. authorities — the first was a Chinese exchange college student.

The CNMI has Chinese investors, and as long as you got your smartphone you may be a spy for China — a double 007 agent.

We must continue to fund education so we can educate our next generation and our future leaders in this age of technology. Automation will soon phase out more and human workers all over the world.

But China is not going to back down so we also need diplomacy in action. U.S.-China negotiations must continue. Let’s weed out corruption in our trade deals.

In the world global economy, we are sandwiched by U.S. and China, but we must stand on our fundamental principles and rights and protect our communities and our governments.

Enforcing our U.S.-CNMI tax laws and growing our economy must remain our goals. Our job growth is in critical condition right now. We don’t want to be on a life-support broken system and unable to pay our retirees.

The writer is a resident of Portland, Oregon.