Gov. Benigno R. Fitial asked for and received the resignation of his deputy special assistant for administration, Joseph “Joe” C. Villagomez, acting vice chair of the Covenant Party's Precinct 3 club.
\Villagomez's wife, Emma, is treasurer of the Covenant Party.
Their son, Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan), has also remained with the party instead of following Fitial to the Republican Party. The younger Villagomez is seeking re-election.
Press secretary Angel Demapan confirmed late yesterday afternoon that Joseph Villagomez turned in his resignation through email on Monday. Demapan said he's not aware that the governor asked for Villagomez's resignation.
When asked for comment, Oscar M. Babauta, the 2012 campaign chair for the Covenant Party who was also asked by Fitial to resign in March, said it's “unfortunate” that another Covenant Party's loyal member has been asked to turn in his resignation.
“I could only assume that the midterm election had to do with him being asked to resign. It's sad it had to be this way. The Covenant Party officers and members will continue to support each other,” said Babauta, Fitial's former Department of Public Lands secretary.
Besides Babauta and Villagomez, Fitial also asked for and received the resignation of Martin Sablan, the governor's former Department of Public Works secretary. Sablan is also an official of the Covenant Party and is running for a House seat.
Sources said the governor's letter to Villagomez is similar to what the governor told others he also asked to resign: “I have always believed that in order to fully achieve my administration's goals and objective, it is important to ensure that members of my Cabinet share the same principle as well. In this regard I would like to thank you for your service and contribution as [position]. I further seek cooperation that you submit a courtesy resignation to my office no later than the close of business.”