Marianas Variety

Last updateSun, 20 Oct 2019 8pm







    Sunday, October 20, 2019-5:58:55A.M.






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New lawmakers eager to work

NEW members of the 21st Legislature are excited to “get the ball rolling” as they set their goals and listed their priorities.

Rep. Antonio Borja, R-Tinian, said he is happy to be part of the House as he vows to do his best to serve his island and the entire Commonwealth.

“I will be focusing on bills that will advocate for the environment and natural resources since I will be chairing the Natural Resources Committee,” he said.

Precinct 4 Rep. Sheila Babauta, a member of the independent bloc, said she is grateful for the vote of confidence of her constituents and is asking her supporters to join her in her new journey to push for improvements for the Commonwealth to better the lives of the people.

“I will push for respect and integrity. I am just excited to start my work,” she said adding that she wants to create a safe and healthy community for all.

Precinct 1 Independent Rep. Joseph Flores said he is happy to be finally elected after several failed attempts. He vowed to do his best to serve his constituents,  adding that he will introduce legislation that will secure all homes, jobs and families.

Precinct 3 Republican Rep. Ralph Yumul said he is happy to be back as member of the House and chairman of the Gaming Committee.

“I am excited to work with my colleagues,” he said adding that he will fight hard to ensure that a strong fiscal plan is in place for a responsible government.

Precinct 2 Independent Rep. Tina Sablan is also happy to be back in the House. “I am very optimistic about this body — so many talented and dynamic members, and I am looking forward to work with them and do a good job to best serve our people.”

She said she will represent her precinct and the Marianas with honesty and integrity and with the well-being of the community in her mind.

Rota Independent Rep. Donald Manglona said “as a newly elected member…I am committed to serving the people of Rota and the Commonwealth. My goal is to continue the progress of Rota’s welfare without compromising my values and I will advocate for transparency and accountability. It is imperative that my colleagues and I work together with an aligned vision that seeks to address problems that our communities face. Your voices will be heard and together, we will improve the education of our children, bring opportunities for employment and provide better healthcare services to those in need.”

Precinct 5 Independent Rep. Richard Lizama said his constituents “deserve a better community and a better quality of life.”

Members of the 21st House of Representatives pose with Lisa Dela Cruz, the widow of the late Rep. Frank Dela Cruz. Not in photo: Rep. Janet Maratita.Members of the 21st House of Representatives pose with Lisa Dela Cruz, the widow of the late Rep. Frank Dela Cruz. Not in photo: Rep. Janet Maratita.

Precinct 4 Republican Rep. Joel Camacho said he will “represent and serve the people of Precinct 4 and the CNMI to the best if my ability and with the outmost integrity. I will strive to promote collaborative efforts in promoting community events and activities and most especially sound and relevant laws that will enhance the well-being of our people.”

Precinct 1 Republican Rep. Luis John Castro said: “As a freshman legislator, I pledge to be open in learning new ideas and thinking outside the box to provide fresh opportunities to better our precinct and our Commonwealth from an economic, social, cultural and infrastructure standpoint. There are many things to do and I am grateful for the opportunity given to me to sit at the table and address those issues and work on continuing the progress which has already been made. Through the commitment and collaboration for our community, I vow to do my best to serve my constituents and the islands that all of us in this body represent.”

Precinct 1 Republican Rep. Roman Benavente said he will “continue to serve the people of the Commonwealth of the NMI in a respectable and dignified manner. To address the concerns of the people by working cohesively and proactively with other leaders to develop strategies and solutions that will benefit the entire CNMI. To focus on education as a high priority so that the future generation will have the necessary skills to guide this great Commonwealth in the years to come and to focus on legislation that will better the economy and increase tourism and to put the people’s interest first.”

Republican Vice Speaker Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero of Precinct 5 said his mission statement is “to work collaboratively with colleagues, other branches of government, the private sector and the public to address and find solutions to the problems and concerns facing the Commonwealth. To continue to solicit their input and recommendations on how best to protect the retirees’ pension, improve our education system, tourism industry, commerce, healthcare, welfare, public services, infrastructure, utilities, roads, transportation, communications, safety and the environment.”

House Floor Leader John Paul Sablan,  Precinct 2  Republican, said “he will continue to commit myself to work intently with my fellow colleagues, the Senate, the business community, government agencies and the administration. I pledge to serve the people of Precinct 2 as well as the Commonwealth as a whole. I will continue to tend to my constituents’ opinions and needs to further enhance the betterment of our community and our Commonwealth.”

Precinct 1 Republican Rep. Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero said he will “serve, honor and enhance the lives of the CNMI community members with dignity, integrity and sacrifice. I pledge to be a voice of the people and a helping hand that will protect the people’s constitutional rights, liberties and freedom but most of all to ensure an equal, straightforward and open leadership.”

Precinct 1 Republican Rep. Janet Maratita vows “to keep a true compass for the common good of all residents — simply put people before politics; people ahead of party.”

House Minority Leader Edwin Propst, a Precinct 1 independent, said: “As a voice for my constituents, I will promote collaborative decision making to ensure that legislative actions reflect the will of the people.”

Precinct 3 Republican Rep. Ivan Blanco said he will “contribute to the wealth, the health and the well-being of the community I serve, our islands and our nation.”

Precinct 3 Republican Rep. Jose Itibus said he will “maintain integrity and will work collaboratively with both the executive and the judicial branches, other government agencies and the private sector.”

Precinct 3 Independent Rep. Edmund Villagomez pledges his “full commitment and diligence to continue working cooperatively with my fellow lawmakers and the administration to improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth. I will continue to work collaboratively with different agencies, organizations, committees and members of the community to ensure that we develop sound strategic programs, plans and laws that will benefit the people of the CNMI, consistent with the needs of our Commonwealth.”

The nine members of the 21st Senate.  Contributed photosThe nine members of the 21st Senate. Contributed photos

Speaker BJ Attao, Precinct 3 Republican, vows “to earn the public’s trust each day of my term by maintaining integrity, listening to the community and upholding the virtues of servant leadership. I will strive to create opportunities for our citizens to succeed.”

In the Senate, the only freshman member is Vinnie Sablan, a Saipan independent, who has aligned with the Republican leadership.

He  said he envisions “a society and government that is able to work together to provide services that would enhance the quality of life for its people. Leaders that will make decisions and craft solutions for current issues and most importantly make decisions that would bear fruit for future generations. I plan to be an active proponent in the advancement of our healthcare system that would ultimately create a sense of comfort in our community.”

Senate President Victor Hocog, Rota Republican, said he will “leverage the present to secure the future.”

Independent Rota Sen. Paul Manglona, who was first elected in 1987,  said it has “always been my mission to strengthen our democracy by serving our islands with good governance and inspiring my colleagues to do the same. To do this, we must not shy away from difficult decisions and to do what is right, honest and trustworthy, even when it is not politically convenient. We must be transparent. Good government relies on knowledge and information and the timely and free sharing of such with our constituents and community.”

Sen. Teresita Santos, another Rota independent, said: “We must continue to build a strong economy and create opportunity for everyone. A growing economy is vital to creating jobs and funding the public services on which we all rely on. We must keep in mind that the key to sustainable development lies in balanced economic and social development and environmental protection. My mission is to continue to work closely with members of the Legislature, the administration, the CNMI delegate and the leaders of our local municipality to facilitate the proper development of this new venture that will help foster economic growth with the least potential for negative social impacts.”

Republican Sen. Frank Borja of  Tinian said: “Our people are currently facing trying times as we continue to recover from the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yutu. However, I am optimistic that through collaborative efforts of our leaders, our community partners and other agencies that have come to aid our islands during these difficult times, we will triumph together through this recovery,”

Sen. Frank Cruz, a Tinian Republican, said he will “honor the trust of my family and the people of Tinian through stringent legislative policies and quality services to our people. I am a firm believer in the rights and values of our people and will always base the decisions I make on what is best and what is right for them.”

Senate Vice President Jude Hofschneider, another Republican from Tinian, said he will “continue to improve the quality of life for the people of Tinian by enacting, supporting and strengthening legislation that will ultimately pave the way for Tinian to reach its full economic potential, while continuing to identify other potential ways to diversify the economy. Through responsible utilization of Tinian’s resources, families will be able to save earnings, have equal access to work opportunities and feel encouraged to pursue higher education.”

Republican Sen. Sixto Igisomar of Saipan said he “will continue to support common-sense driven solutions to realign government policies and regulations, to improve our dilapidated public infrastructure and to fulfill our obligations to the retirees and satisfy government judgments and stipulated orders and to advance and improve our healthcare system and children’s education.”

He is for “economic expansion and for the betterment of our CNMI, but we must first strive to become efficient and self-sufficient. Efficiency yields greater productivity and in order to continue to provide for the betterment of the CNMI, we must adhere to sustainable economic planning and development to protect our past years and future years’ growth.”

Senate Floor Leader Justo Quitugua, a Saipan Republican, said he will “continue to truly and faithfully represent the interest of our people in the Commonwealth through a collaborative working relationship with the Legislature, the administration, judiciary and the wider community, government, businesses, education and non-governmental agencies and families. I believe we can accomplish more and rise above the many challenges with solutions that empower individuals to be resilient and recognize the many competencies of all. It is my desire that I protect the interest of all including the pension fund, education, quality of life, the economy, resources and infrastructure of the CNMI.”