Private citizens presented the Legislature yesterday with over 650 signatures and over 300 comments supporting the impeachment of Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, in time for today's vote by the House of Representatives on the impeachment resolution. The House session is at 2pm.
The petition was initiated by Ed Propst in August and promoted by a dozen other individuals.
Some lawmakers interviewed yesterday are divided on the result of the petition and its impact on today's voting.
All the 29 lawmakers were sent electronic copies of the petition and names of the petitioners, as well as personal comments from petitioners.
Rep. Fred Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan), a governor's ally, said yesterday the petition is not a deciding factor in today's voting.
“We are basing the outcome of this impeachment committee on facts, not hearsay or opinions,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Rep. Frank Dela Cruz (R-Saipan), a member of the House minority bloc, said the petition is “very encouraging.”
“I am sure there are more individuals who are clamoring for change and good governance. For the most part, I am very encouraged,” he said.
As of Oct. 10, there were 16,774 registered voters in the CNMI. The number of signatures gathered is some 4 percent of the registered voters.
Rep. Edmund Villagomez (Cov-Saipan) said the petition “might make a difference, but it also depends on whether lawmakers took the time to look at it at all.”
Another concerned citizen, Glen Hunter, encouraged members of the community yesterday to “take the time to show up at the House of Representatives” during the 2pm session, and make their voices heard. Hunter has been an active supporter of the move to impeach the governor.
“This is one of the most important sessions of the House. I hope people would show up and if they can't show up physically, I encourage them to send email or call their representatives to support the impeachment resolution,” Hunter said.
The petitioners also presented over 300 comments on impeaching the governor. They include, “Fitial is a blatantly dishonest and self-serving politician, who seems to see himself as king of the CNMI, not an elected servant.”
Today's vote on the impeachment resolution comes days before the Nov. 6 mid-term elections.
In September, Fitial supporters and those who support his impeachment held separate rallies to drum up support for their causes.