A well-respected leader of the Commonwealth

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ONE of the members of the CNMI’s First Legislature said the islands have lost a well-respected leader with the passing of former Speaker Joe Lifoifoi Sr., 83.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said former Rep. Felicidad T. Ogumoro, a colleague of Lifoifoi in the CNMI’s First House of Representatives in 1978-1980.

“He was always there to help me,” she said referring to Lifoifoi who passed away on Monday afternoon at the Commonwealth Health Center

Like Lifoifoi, Ogumoro was one of the outspoken opponents of the Covenant in the 1975 plebiscite, and was also part of the Carolinian bloc in the Territorial Party, which is now known as the Republican Party.

She said Lifoifoi was never afraid to take a stand on critical issues.

Ogumoro said she would like to extend her condolences to Lifoifoi’s wife, Cecilia, and children, Ignacia, Remedios, and Jose Jr.

Former Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, who worked with Lifoifoi in the Third and Fifth Legislatures, said he “rushed” to CHC upon hearing the bad news.

He said he mourned the passing of his nephew who, he added, was “a great asset to the leadership of the Third and Fifth Northern Marianas Commonwealth Legislature during which most of the substantive [CNMI] public laws were enacted.”

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