House Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan) and 15 other representatives will be formally introducing in this morning's session a new resolution impeaching Gov. Benigno R. Fitial for 18 allegations of corruption, neglect of duty, and felony.
The speaker reiterated that the measure won't be voted on today. Rather, a seven-member special committee will be formally appointed to review and make recommendations on the resolution.
At the same time, the governor may be appointing Police Sgt. James Guerrero as Department of Public Safety commissioner, sources said. The police sergeant prevailed in a lawsuit against DPS over its discriminatory practices in promotion and hiring.
Press secretary Angel Demapan said the governor has not made such appointment as of yesterday.
The governor's failure to appoint a DPS commissioner for Senate confirmation is one of the additions to the articles of impeachment in the revived resolution.
The speaker said last night that he heard the same thing-that the governor may already have a DPS commissioner appointee at this time-but he said this won't change the impeachment resolution.
“It's good that the governor would be appointing a DPS commissioner; however, that's not going to affect the impeachment resolution,” he told Saipan Tribune.
Fitial has been alternating the appointment of an acting DPS commissioner between Ambrosio Ogumoro and Aniceto Ogumoro. But the governor has not submitted either of their names to the Senate for its advice and consent.
This will be the second attempt to impeach Fitial. In the 17th Legislature, the governor-aligned House leadership easily voted down Deleon Guerrero's resolution. During the midterm election, majority of the voters removed almost all of the governor's allies, paving the way for a new House leadership that supports impeaching the governor.
Only 14 “yes” votes are needed to impeach the governor in the 20-member House, and the number of the resolution's co-sponsors is already 15. It also needs at least six “yes” votes in the nine-member Senate to convict the governor.
Fitial is the first governor in CNMI history to be a subject of a pre-filed and/or introduced impeachment resolution.