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Last updateThu, 13 Dec 2018 12am

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    Wednesday, December 12, 2018-12:52:13P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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NMI marks Constitution Day

TODAY, Friday, as the Commonwealth celebrates  Constitution Day, acting Gov. Victor B. Hocog said the people should remind themselves that their islands are guided by law.

“It is important to celebrate it because the Constitution gave us direction. It tells us what we need to do and what we have to do,” Hocog said in an interview at the legislative building where lawmakers hosted a Christmas lunch for their staff.

“We need to observe and continue to uphold the law and our Constitution is the supreme law of the land,” he added.

In a statement, Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres said:

“Today, as we continue to rebuild and recover from the devastation of a month ago, we pause to reflect on a very special time in our history. Where we as a people established rules and guidelines to govern us as a people moving forward. As we trod on to full recovery, we are reminded of the day where our forefathers put pen to paper and affirmed the Constitution we as officials swore to uphold and defend.

“We commemorate the countless hours of work they put in to make each article and amendment a reality, and the achievements made possible through their dedication in providing us a blueprint to self-governance.

“As we, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands sail towards new horizons and full recovery, we must not forget to always hold dear our Constitution, the symbolic ‘embodiment of our traditions and hopes.’ Through it we have become a wiser and stronger people, ready to take on the challenges put before us. And just as we continue to pick up the pieces and continue on with living our lives, we can be assured that through the rights given to us by our Constitution, we will continue to fulfill the dreams made by its framers for continued improvement and success.

“From our families to yours, may all of you have a safe and restful Constitution Day weekend.”

In an interview, Senate President and Lt. Gov.-elect Arnold I. Palacios said the people of the Commonwealth need to be reminded always that the CNMI is part of a nation of laws.

“So we need to respect our Constitution and although we may have to revisit some of the issues in it, we will do it according to the law. Happy Constitution Day everyone!”

Speaker Ralph Demapan said: “As we all know, today is a very important day for us. Because it’s a holiday, everyone can relax while appreciating the laws that govern the Commonwealth and its people.”

For his part, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang said after the Constitution was ratified, the CNMI advanced in every aspect of growth.

“Our Constitution is the framework within which we conduct our affairs, our relationship with each other, and with others who immigrate to our islands,” the mayor said, adding that he joins the CNMI people in the observance of their Constitution Day today, Friday.

He said the NMI Constitution is “the bedrock of the peoples’ social, economic, and political development and progress, which is a growth of the way of life spanning 40 years when the people chose to be self-sustaining and self-governing.”

He added, “Today we are proud that we are much better off than in the day before 1977, when our Constitution was ratified by the people of the Northern Mariana Islands, and in 1978, when our Constitution took effect.”

Apatang said that “respect and fidelity to our Constitution is not a conditional promise anyone of us could make; it is a non-debatable commitment and obligation.

The Constitution, he added, “guided us for 40 years in maintaining a stable system of law and order, check and balance, and furthering the multi-varied beliefs of our now very diverse population.”

He said the CNMI “should celebrate 40 years of achievement, advancement and establishment and sustained order that our very own Constitution demands of us.  We are reaping the benefits, privileges, and rights our forefather had hoped for us, and we must continue that hope for the next generations after us.” Apatang said.