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Rota retiree threatens lawsuit over medical referral expenses

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LUIS Masga Sablan (Pacho), a retiree, said he may sue Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig if Sablan is not reimbursed for his apartment and utility expenses amounting to $32,000 that he incurred as a medical referral patient on Saipan.

But Mayor Atalig said Sablan’s claims are frivolous.

According to Sablan, the Rota mayor is playing politics and has eliminated his name from the Rota mayor’s budget account because he, Sablan, did not vote for the mayor in the last elections.

Mayor Atalig said: “I do not know anything about what he is talking about. I do not understand why he is for asking reimbursements when there was no agreement between him and the mayor’s office.”

In 2014, Sablan said he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had to undergo surgery in the Philippines through the medical referral program.

Sablan said he then had to stay on Saipan for a medical procedure that could be performed at the Commonwealth Health Center.

Every year since Feb. 2016, Sablan said he has been asking Mayor Atalig to reimburse him for his (Sablan’s) apartment and utility expenses on Saipan.

Sablan he said as a medical referral patient, he is entitled to free housing, water, power, and transportation.

Luis M. Sablan

The last letter he  sent was dated July 8, 2020 and it included a threat of civil litigation.

Sablan said inter-island medical referrals between Saipan and Rota are funded through legislative appropriation.

Rota medical referral patients are housed at the Rota liaison facility on Saipan.

According to a staffer, who declined to be identified, if there are no rooms available at the facility, the patient can be placed in pre-approved accommodations at Sun Palace or Beach Garden.

Sablan is a former administrative assistant at the Saipan Immigration Office. He is also a former Alcohol Beverage Control board member, and was appointed Rota Health Center director by former Rota Mayor Benjamin T. Manglona.

 

 

 

   

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