Rep. Teresita Santos (R-Rota) withdrew yesterday from the seven-member Special Investigating Committee on Impeachment, citing the need to address urgent matters affecting her senatorial district of Rota. As of late yesterday afternoon, House minority leader George Camacho (R-Saipan) has yet to decide on her replacement.
Committee chair Rep. Tony Sablan (IR-Saipan) and House Speaker Joseph Deleon Guerrero (IR-Saipan) separately said they want somebody from the minority bloc to replace Santos.
“We will move on,” Deleon Guerrero said, when asked whether the committee will proceed without a replacement for Santos.
Santos was one of two members of the minority bloc represented on the impeachment committee, which is currently reviewing a resolution impeaching the governor for 18 allegations of corruption, neglect of duty and felony.
Santos was present only during Thursday morning's committee meeting. That afternoon when the first few articles were voted on, Santos was already excused. She also missed the meetings on Friday when three other articles were voted on.
The minority is aligned with the governor or his Republican Party.
One other minority member on the impeachment panel is Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro (R-Saipan), who was also absent during yesterday's meeting. Besides Ogumoro, Santos, and Camacho, the other member of the minority bloc is Rep. Richard Seman (R-Saipan).
Santos wrote a one-page letter to impeachment panel chair Rep. Tony Sablan (IR-Saipan) yesterday about her withdrawal from the committee and recommended Camacho as her replacement.