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    Friday, November 16, 2018-10:29:29A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Senate confirms Guerrero, Reyes, Lifoifoi, Tudela and Ada

THE nominations of Pete Reyes, Jose Lifoifoi, Roman Tudela and Robert Guerrero were unanimously approved by the Senate.

At least four of the nine senators were hesitant to confirm Department of Public Works Secretary James Ada’s appointment. But his nomination, too, was finally confirmed unanimously.

Reyes, Lifoifoi and Tudela will serve on the board of the Commonwealth Ports Authority while Guerrero is the new Department of Corrections commissioner.

When a vote was taken on Ada’s nomination, those who expressed support were Sens. Sixto Igisomar, Frank Cruz, Justo Quitugua and Arnold Palacios.

But Sens. Frank Borja, Teresita Santos, Steve Mesngon and Jude Hofschneider did not cast their votes.

This prompted Senate President Victor Hocog to call for a recess and asked all nine members to meet with him and Ada in his conference room.

After several minutes, all nine members returned to the Senate chamber and resumed the session.

A roll-call vote on Ada’s appointment was called for the second time and the result was unanimously in favor.

In an interview, Senator Borja he said there were some concerns that he needed to discuss first with the other members and that’s why he did not initially vote to confirm Ada.

The three appointees to the Commonwealth ports Authority —  Pete Reyes, Roman Tudela and Jose Lifoifoi — pose with senators and CPA Executive Director Mary Ann Lizama following a public hearing in the Senate chamber last week.  Photo by Cherrie Anne E. VillahermosaThe three appointees to the Commonwealth ports Authority — Pete Reyes, Roman Tudela and Jose Lifoifoi — pose with senators and CPA Executive Director Mary Ann Lizama following a public hearing in the Senate chamber last week. Photo by Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

He said the concerns were all addressed during their closed-door meeting in Hocog’s conference room.

He declined to disclose his concerns about Ada’s appointments.

Hocog, in a separate interview, said Borja received some “negative feedback” about Ada.

“He has been receiving a lot of negative calls about Ada asking him to reject the appointment of Ada, but the committee report endorsing the nomination had been signed already,” Hocog said. “There was a time for them to come out and oppose the nomination during the public hearing so they could have raised those concerns so why only now when it’s done already?”

Hocog added, “It’s not fair to listen to the people telling us not to confirm when we provided them time and opportunity to air their concerns during the public hearing. The hearing was set for Thursday and they did not come. The committee report has been signed already so it’s not fair to Mr. Ada. He or she should be here to oppose Mr. Ada’s appointment. You know, even these bloggers [Variety online commentators] might be correct — maybe they have good reasons for opposing the nomination, but how can we get hold of them if they don’t come out in the open and continue to hide under fictitious names or accounts? How can we verify their information if it’s only criticism and not even legitimate concerns?”

Hocog said members of the public who have concerns “should have come out during the public hearing — at least Senator Borja expressed his concerns to Secretary Ada so he can fix or address them,” Hocog added.

Variety learned that former DPW Secretary Martin Sablan, who was not reappointed by the governor, is Borja’s brother-in-law.