Acting governor Eloy S. Inos reiterated his call on lawmakers to support their allegations against Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, who had said that the allegations against him “do not rise to the level of impeachment proceedings.” But just the same, the House minority bloc's pre-filed resolution to impeach Fitial has caught national and international media attention.
“I keep saying if they're going to make allegations of that magnitude, it's got to be something that supportable because going through it just for the exercise is not going to do anybody any good,” Inos said in an interview Thursday.
Seven members of the House minority bloc led by Rep. Joe Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan) pre-filed on Monday a resolution initiating impeachment proceedings against Fitial for multiple acts of corruption, neglect of duty and felony.
Inos said this is “a decision they (lawmakers) have to make.”
A few days before House minority bloc members pre-filed the impeachment resolution, Inos gave an unsolicited advice: Don't act in haste, do your homework, and proceed with caution.
Meanwhile, an online petition launched by Ed Propst continues to draw supporters, with close to 600 signatures as of Thursday night.
“The embarrassment has to end. The island has been under this toxic leadership for too long. Saipan has not transformed into anything better since this corrupt group of wanna-be politicians took office. The corruption is so obvious and some individuals need to go to jail. And it starts at the top,” one of the latest petitioners said.
Another one said, “I signed because I am sick of living a life under a corrupted leader who given our people nothing but empty promises and bitter times.”
The online petition is available at http://www.change.org/petitions/the-cnmi-legislature-impeach-cnmi-governor-benigno-fitial.
Fitial is only the second governor in CNMI history being attempted to be impeached, but this is the first time that an impeachment resolution was actually pre-filed.
The first attempt to impeach a governor was in 1992 during the term of now deceased governor Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero but back then, the issue died even before a resolution could be pre-filed.
Among the 16 articles of impeachment listed by the minority bloc were those in connection with Fitial's secretive signing of a no-bid, 25-year power purchase agreement and the use of a federal inmate taken out of jail temporarily to give the governor a massage in January 2010.