The Senate and Rep. Janet U. Maratita (IR-Saipan) and Sen. Ray A. Yumul (IR-Saipan) have amended their lawsuit against Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham, Commonwealth Utilities Corp., and Saipan Development LLC over an alleged illegal $190.8-million power purchase agreement deal.
Attorney Ramon K. Quichocho, counsel for plaintiffs Senate, Maratita and Yumul, told Saipan Tribune yesterday that Gov. Benigno R. Fitia's recent public announcement that the controversial power purchase agreement is void “is a step in the right direction.”
Quichocho said they, however, want a court-ordered permanent injunction to stop the agreement.
Quichocho filed in Superior Court yesterday a second amended complaint against Gov. Fitial and co-defendants.
The lawyer said the filing of the amended complaint is in accordance with associate judge David A. Wiseman's order partially granting and partially denying defendants' motions to dismiss the lawsuit.
In the amended complaint, Quichocho basically took out all the paragraphs/phrases/words that Wiseman struck.
Quichocho also added the supporting facts for counts 1 and 3 that the judge found was lacking in the first amended complaint.
The lawyer noted, among other things, in the second amended complaint, that that, on Dec. 31, 2012, attorney general Joey San Nicolas issued an opinion, stating that Gov. Fitial did not possess the authority, pursuant to Executive Order 2012-07, to enter into the power purchase agreement with Saipan Development LLC.
On Jan. 4, 2013, San Nicolas wrote a letter to Saipan Development LLC expressing his opinion that the power purchase agreement and the related agreements were void ab initio (from the beginning), because the agreements “were executed in a manner contrary to Commonwealth law.”
Quichocho said as of the filing of this second amended complaint, his clients have not received any information that the power purchase agreement and the related agreements have been canceled.
The plaintiffs asked the court to declare that the 25-year power purchase agreement is “unconstitutional, illegal, unconscionable, and unjust, and therefore, cancelled.”