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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Anti-, pro-Fitial groups to rally on same day

Supporters and opponents of a resolution to impeach Gov. Benigno R. Fitial will be holding separate rallies on Sunday but in separate locations to avoid any confrontation, even as the House Special Committee on Impeachment held its first meeting yesterday.

The “Fitial Must Go” rally for those supporting his impeachment will be held at the Microl intersection in San Jose/Oleai on Sunday from 10:30am to 4:30pm, said one of the organizers, Brian Kendall.

A rally to support Fitial, meanwhile, will be held at or near Minachom Atdao in Susupe, also on Sunday, from 10am to 4:30pm.

Commerce Secretary Sixto Igisomar, a staunch supporter of the governor, said the organizers of the pro-Fitial rally would want to keep a “safe distance” from the supporters of the impeachment move.

Igisomar said the governor has told supporters that if they want to bring with them banners or posters, they should not have hurtful messages against anyone and to be “very civil.”

Igisomar said he himself plans to have a poster or banner that reads something like, “We support Governor Fitial. United We Stand.”

Another Fitial supporter said, “The 99 percent just want to remind the 1 percent that we are alive and still kicking.”

Other government officials, employees, and Republicans confirmed yesterday that they will be attending the gathering in Susupe to support Fitial.

Juan Reyes, a Republican Party candidate for Precinct 3, separately said yesterday that as far as he knows, the gathering in Susupe on Sunday would be a Republican Party rally wherein all candidates for the Nov. 6 elections will be presented to members.

Fitial has been meeting with fellow Republicans, supporters, and family members since returning to Saipan last week.

The governor was off island when the House minority bloc led by Rep. Joe Guerrero (R-Saipan) filed a resolution initiating impeachment proceedings against Fitial for felony, corruption, and neglect of duty.

Brian Kendall, one of the organizers of the pro-impeachment rally, reiterated yesterday that “the worst thing we can do is to stay silent.”

“Be respectful, be polite but be heard. Stand up, by demanding accountability of our elected public officials,” he said.

Kendall also said “everybody has reached the point where we see the wreckage all around us—Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., Commonwealth Utilities Corp., the NMI Retirement Fund. The list seems to grow longer every day.”

“While the courts have shown that there’s potential light at the end of the tunnel, no one knows just how long that tunnel is, but without individuals taking it upon themselves to stand up for truth and justice, without the individual calls of support to those that have started the process of accountability and the calls to those that might need a gentle reminder that this is an election year, I urge everyone to take a moment and honestly look at our community, look at the issues, and take a stand,” Kendall added.

Glen Hunter, a concerned citizen, said yesterday he’s happy that community members are “now finding their voice,” referring to the pro-impeachment rally at Microl intersection.

Hunter also said he received an anonymous tip alleging that the governor required all his Cabinet members to inform their employees that the rally in Susupe is “mandatory.”

“I was told that in that rally in support of the governor, names would be taken, and in the rally at the Microl intersection, there would be somebody taking video to see who’s going to show up there. This is a cause for concern. Some supporters of the impeachment have reported this to authorities,” he said.

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