Gov. Benigno R. Fitial has set a joint leadership meeting with members of the Legislature at 9am today in the governor's conference room to discuss the four major issues of the economy, healthcare system, pension system, and utilities, but many of the 20 lawmakers said yesterday they won't be able to attend.
The meeting has been rescheduled thrice, because of the budget deliberations more than two weeks ago and the public hearing on a chief justice nominee last week.
House floor leader George Camacho (Ind-Saipan) said yesterday it is important that leaders continue to work “as a collective body rather than against each other.”
“As leaders, we represent the same people and shall continue to work toward the common good. The worst thing we can do is to stop trying. We all know the issues we are facing. And we may have different ways of approaching them, but let's lay it all on the table and come up with the best answer,” Camacho added.
Another lawmaker who asked that his name be withheld said he's not attending because the governor will only use the leadership summit to divert lawmakers' attention from the ongoing impeachment proceedings.
Rep. Frank Dela Cruz (R-Saipan), for his part, said last night that that he thinks this is “another meeting that will go nowhere.”
“From past history, the governor has not been forthcoming and he should change. He needs to explain to the people what his plans are openly. I will not be attending this meeting as I am busy with other matters. Lastly, the House and Senate are venues where the governor can go on the air for free for as long as he wants if he wishes to address the good people of the Commonwealth,” he said.
Rep. Teresita Santos (Ind-Rota), for her part, said as much as she would love to attend today's meeting, she wouldn't be able to do so because she is on Rota for the funeral and burial services of close family members.