I had this big dream for the people of CNMI. I really can't remember whether I concocted this over a cigar living in a fantasy world as opposed to the real world. It was exciting for me to have the opportunity to serve the people of the CNMI after being voted into office. In fact, friends, relatives and my constituencies were all excited as well.
I raised my right hand and swore that I will serve in the best interest of the people based on the Constitution and the laws of the land. I also promised that I will make life better for the people of the CNMI based on the ideology I sought during my campaign days. I knew that the economy was getting worse, but was stuck between a “rock and hard place” because I need to fulfill my promise to specific supporters that I will hire them once in office. I am great in finding and collecting dues from vendors and also do well in controlling spending from one entity but spending it double figure on another. I learned, however, that I am not that good in coughing up innovative plans to jump-start the economy.
I looked for improvement in our tourism industry from far seas such as China, Russia, and Korea but failed to put in a share of hard work in reviving the very market that had helped us develop our economy among others, the Japanese market. To date, I have no solid and good outcome as a result of my effort.
Who and what are the people waiting for in order to develop programs that will ignite the improvement of the economy that will surely improve the life of the weak, the poor, the innocent and the disadvantaged working class?
I need a team action plan that are results oriented and not just mine. I need to sit down with majority and minority and share some points and strategy that might lead to ideas. At this frustrating moment, any ideas are needed. I have to get of the notion that I am the “man,” and that people should shut up and listen to me. I must be willing to provide a more democratic and diplomatic approach as a leader. I must stop the injustices, if not power and greed, that is causing more strain in the economy. I must choose the most qualified to perform even if they did not vote for me. I must stop believing that I am a leader with a “few good men” concept. It is not working out at all.
Remember me, as we journey toward our destination. Remember the people that I am supporting as well. Experience the ride of your life, especially those caused by selfishness led by my pride and arrogance. Let me not be humbled, humiliated, and respectful to the poor, disadvantaged, weak, and innocent people. Let me continue not to care about empathy and compassion while serving you but allow me to be the “man” and not as your elected official. I am your best candidate. See you on Election Day. Prepare for victory.
Alfred A. Pangelinan