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    Sunday, December 16, 2018-11:49:48P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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We can’t trust Fitial

EVEN though the impeachment resolution against him was not adopted, Gov. Benigno R. Fitial can no longer regain the trust of the Senate and House minority bloc, some of its members said.

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Benigno Fitial
Yesterday, Fitial asked lawmakers to “to move on and do the work that our people expect of us.”

The governor invited them to another leadership meeting and asked the two presiding officers to set the time and venue.

In his letter to Senate a President Paul A. Manglona, Ind.-Rota, and Speaker Eli D. Cabrera, R-Saipan, the governor said he is “humbly ask[ing] you and the members of the Legislature to put our differences behind us so that we may all come together in the spirit of cooperation for the sake of our people.”

Fitial said the attempt to impeach him “achieved nothing more than to create unnecessary division among our people and a hindrance in our ability as elected leaders to work together.”

He added, “Now that it has been addressed and decided, I humbly ask you and the members of the Legislature to put our difference behind us. Despite the personal differences we each may have it is our responsibility to rebuild and unite our torn community. The resiliency of our people has long been a trait observed and respected by many others across the world. Our culture and traditions have taught us that when times are difficult we come together to help each other rise up, not bring one another down.

“Let us stop the practice of accusations without solutions. We may all have different ideas on certain issues. However, the bottom line is we all share the same desire to make good things happen for our people.”

In an interview, Manglona said he no longer believes anything the governor says.

“I don’t think the governor is sincere in his promises to do something about the crisis the NMI people are facing,” Manglona said.

He said Fitial is trying to use a summit to downplay the seriousness of the offenses he committed against the CNMI people.

Manglona also does not think the governor is serious about addressing the issues facing the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., the Retirement Fund and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.

If Fitial is “serious,” Manglona added, he should invalidate or scrap the $190 million power purchase agreement which serves as “the main obstacle” in acquiring renewable energy.

Manglona said the Senate has already come up with a lot of bills that address  pressing issues but they are still pending in the House which is controlled by the governor’s allies.

In a separate interview, Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb, R-Saipan and a member of the House minority bloc, said he will not attend the summit.

He said the governor is attempting to duplicate the tasks already being done by legislative committees.

He said it is the administration that continues to refuse to work with the Senate and the House.

The Legislature, he noted,  was closely working with the administration to pursue  renewable energy that aimed to reduce utility cost, but Fitial signed a “secret” $190 million deal for a diesel power plant.

“Now, he is asking us to trust him again?” Tebuteb asked.

“After stabbing people in the back, he, the governor, wants to sit down again so he can stab us again?”