Two new lawmakers believe that Gov. Benigno R. Fitial should have delivered his State of the Commonwealth Address before the 18th Legislature, whose members will be sworn in today, Monday.
Representative-elect Christopher Leon Guerrero (Cov.-Saipan) told reporters Thursday that in his personal opinion, it was not appropriate for Gov. Benigno R. Fitial to deliver his SOCA to outgoing lawmakers.
“The question is why they're having the session for the sine die. What is the purpose of that?” he asked. “We should be the ones receiving that State of the Commonwealth Address so we can categorize what's been relayed, received, and look into it and see what's best for our Commonwealth.”
Leon Guerrero will be chairman of the 18th House Judiciary and Government Operations.
Despite a dramatic walkout by five lawmakers, Fitial delivered his SOCA during the last session of the 17th House of Representatives on Tuesday. In his speech, he acknowledged poor decisions and mistakes and apologized to the people, vowing more transparency in government and presenting a better economic outlook for 2013.
Incoming House speaker Joe Deleon Guerrero led four other lawmakers in walking out of the House's session when the body voted to allow Fitial to deliver his SOCA.
Deleon Guerrero said the governor's address should be delivered before the 18th Legislature or the incoming body and not at the sine die of the 17th Legislature.
Representative-elect Antonio Reyes Agulto (Ind.-Saipan) echoed Deleon Guerrero. “That's how I feel it because I think they need to wait for the incoming Legislature,” said Agulto, who refused to comment further.