Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan (Ind-MP) reiterated his call to Gov. Benigno R. Fitial to step down now for the sake of the CNMI, after the governor was impeached by the 18th House of Representatives on 18 charges of corruption, felony, and neglect of duty.
“The governor should just step down to save everyone the trouble, rather than go through trial at the Senate,” Sablan told Saipan Tribune.
The governor has been preparing his legal defense team for the impending trial at the Senate wherein senators will decide whether or not to convict him and remove him from office.
If at least six of the nine-member Senate convict him on at least one of the 18 charges, he will be removed from office and Lt. Gov. Eloy S. Inos will become governor.
“This is before the Legislature. I trust that they will do the right thing,” Sablan added.
The delegate made the same call to the governor to “resign now” a day after the Nov. 6 midterm elections, when the governor's candidates were almost wiped out and pro-impeachment candidates won most House seats.
At the time, the governor said with the election now behind, “it is time for us to put politics aside and put the CNMI first.”
He has continued to call on lawmakers to work with him on issues such as turning the economy around and helping critical agencies such as the hospital, the NMI Retirement Fund and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp.
Other lawmakers said yesterday the governor should know by now what to do.
Fitial, 68, is the first governor in the CNMI and any other U.S. insular area to be impeached.