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Last updateThu, 24 Oct 2019 12am







    Wednesday, October 23, 2019-3:07:32A.M.






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Santos vs. Santos on Rota

COUSINS will run against each other for Rota’s lone House seat.

Rep. Teresista A. Santos, who has joined Gov. Benigno R. Fitial’s Republican Party to support former Rep. Victor B. Hocog’s senatorial candidate, is facing her cousin, former Rota Department of Public Safety Director Felix M. Santos, who is teaming up with Senate President Paul A. Manglona.

Teresita Santos
Felix Santos said his cousin has “failed the people of Rota.”

He said she is a “nonperforming” lawmaker who has failed to support the goals of Rota Mayor Melchor A. Mendiola and the other members of the Rota Legislative Delegation.

But Teresita Santos said she doesn’t “recall failing my people of Rota in any way, fashion or manner.”

In fact, she added, she has always tried to do her very best in consistently carrying out the mandate given to her by the people.

This “could be attested to from my many House bills and local bills, some of which became public laws and local laws, including resolutions recognizing deserving citizens of Rota and the CNMI that have been adopted and presented.”


Felix Santos also accused his cousin of “flip-flopping” on  many issues and for supporting the governor’s proposal to cut Rota’s fiscal year 2013 budget.

“Where is Terry here when the governor recommended a budget cut for Rota? If she is fighting for us, she should not succumb to the governor’s desire to take away the money that the people of Rota rightfully deserve,” Felix Santos said.

“I am ready to stand up for the people of Rota,” he said, touting a vision “that can help revive the economy and address issues surrounding the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. and the rising fuel prices.”

“In my own humble ways, I am ready to collaborate and partner to help ease the difficulties that both the people of Rota and this commonwealth are now facing,” he added.

Teresita Santos said she always “adheres” to the recommendations of the mayor of Rota before she introduces any local appropriation measures.

She said she also assisted in any way she could “in achieving the municipality’s goals and objectives as long as they are for the best interest of the people of Rota and the entire commonwealth.”

She added, “As God is my witness, I have never communicated or make any attempts to communicate with the administration to cut the budget of the first senatorial district.  As God is my witness, during my first year as a freshman legislator, I was stripped of my title and evicted from my office in defense of the budget for the first senatorial district.”

Senate President Paul A. Manglona, left, with Felix Santos — Independent candidates on Rota for Senate and House. Contributed photoSenate President Paul A. Manglona, left, with Felix Santos — Independent candidates on Rota for Senate and House. Contributed photoTeam work

Felix Santos said team work is vital for island communities like Rota, Tinian and Saipan.

Lawmakers, he said, should work together. “What we have in Terry Santos is her lack of commitment, collaboration and partnership to work with all stakeholders,” he added.

Felix Santos said he has worked for the CNMI government for more than 20 years now.

From a firefighter, he rose to become Rota’s fire captain. He was appointed DPS resident director in 2009 and served until his retirement last year.

Teresita Santos said team work is what she has been doing.

Although the House Committee on Ways and Means and the entire House have yet to deliberate on the FY 2013 budget proposal, she said she has already taken an “advanced step” in addressing Rota’s budget.

“First, by meeting with the speaker and the committee chairman, Rep. Ramon S. Basa, on Wednesday to set aside a time next week in order to review, recommend, and hopefully restore the cuts made on the budget of the first senatorial district; and second, by reviewing the budget of Rota with the resident director for the Department of Finance,” she said.

In doing so, Teresita Santos said they were able to identify which vacancies in the departments have not been filled or replaced.

She noted that the current budget law says clearly “that any time should there be a vacancy, such vacancy must be filled within 90 days, otherwise funding for such position shall be eliminated.”

“I pray that peace reigns in all of our hearts and may God and the people of Rota be the ultimate judge of my work,” Teresita Santos said.


In separate telephone interviews, Manglona and Sen. Juan M. Ayuyu expressed disappointment with Teresita Santos’ “support” for the governor’s budget cuts that targeted Rota.

Manglona said he’s disappointed that the incumbent Rota representative “put politics first before the plight of dialysis patients from Rota by asking the governor to veto the local spending bill.”

He said he was surprised that Teresita Santos “did not even hesitate to let everyone know she has something to do with the governors’ veto of the local bill that seeks to appropriate $30,000 for Rota’s ailing residents, government employees and youths.”

The Senate president said Teresita Santos was aware that Fitial’s action is meant to “make the people suffer, as he promised recently, after calling the Rota people ‘stupid.’ ”

Ayuyu said he could not believe Teresita Santos would recommend the governor veto the local bill that she herself authored.

“We know that it was her who asked the governor to veto her own bill,” Ayuyu said.