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Former Lt Gov. Benjamin T. Manglona passes away

ONE of the CNMI’s founding fathers, Benjamin Taisacan Manglona, passed away at midnight, Sunday, at the age of 78.

He died of a stroke while at the Commonwealth Health Center, Variety was told.

He is survived by his wife Maria and children Lilian, Theodore, Rebecca, Maria, Joan, Benjamin Jr., Harold, Debra, Selina, Freska Bree, Max, Fannie and Frankie.

Benjamin ManglonaBenjamin Manglona

Manglona was the lt. governor from Jan. 1990 to Jan. 1994 and was mayor of Rota from Jan. 1998 to Jan. 2006.

He was a senator from Jan. 1978 to Jan. 1990 and served as Senate president.

He was also a member of the first and third CNMI constitutional conventions in 1976 and 1995, and was elected to the Marianas District Legislature in 1963 and to the Congress of Micronesia in 1965.

In 1972, he became a member of the Marianas Political Status Commission which negotiated the Covenant with the U.S. government.

His nephew, Sen. Paul A. Manglona, told Variety:

“With Lt. Gov. Benjamin T. Manglona’s passing away, we have lost a great son of the commonwealth who dedicated his entire life to the welfare of our commonwealth and its people. He was an inspiring figure with his warmth, wisdom and passionate leadership.”

Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres said the entire CNMI is mourning:

“Diann, Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog and I extend our condolences to the family of the late Honorable Benjamin Taisacan Manglona…. A native son of Rota, Benjamin Manglona was instrumental in the development of our political status as a member of the Marianas Political Status Commission….

“After the Covenant’s signing, and the ratification of the Constitution, Benjamin Manglona went on to serve his people as a member of the first CNMI Senate, eventually becoming Senate president in a later term. He most notably served as the first person of Rotanese descent to serve as lt. governor under the late Gov. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero. His service continued after leaving Capital Hill when in 1998 he became mayor of Rota, and worked in that capacity until 2006.

“As mayor, he had a love unparalleled for his home that radiated through his service to the community, and he was never hesitant to welcome visitors and show them the great hospitality it was known for.

“In his passing, he leaves behind his wife Maria, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and a legacy that continues to inspire those of us who guide the CNMI today. Our islands are truly a better place now because of his selflessness and leadership. He will be truly missed.”