Jose R. Lifoifoi, a loyal ally of former governor Benigno R. Fitial and a long-time appointee to the Commonwealth Ports Authority, submitted his courtesy resignation yesterday to give the Inos administration a free hand in selecting or retaining officials at the agency.
In a one-page letter addressed to Gov. Eloy S. Inos, Lifoifoi described his action as the appropriate decision.
“It is, in my view, an appropriate practice to tender a courtesy resignation with the transition to a new administration to consider the policy considerations of the new administration. Although you have not requested such courtesy resignation, I feel it is important that your administration be given the opportunity to select or retain directors or agency heads, including the Commonwealth Ports Authority,” stated Lifoifoi.
Lifoifoi was just re-elected CPA board chairman in January. His resignation letter indicated that it becomes effective upon the governor's acceptance.
Lifoifoi is currently chairman of the United Micronesia Development Association, Inc. He was House speaker of the 5th CNMI Legislature and also the Republic of Palau's honorary consul general to the CNMI.
According to press secretary Angel A. Demapan yesterday, the governor has not made any decision yet on Lifoifoi's resignation.
“The governor has not accepted any courtesy resignations at this time. This matter is currently under advisement until a decision is handed down by the governor,” Demapan said.
Lifoifoi quit the ports authority board in 2007 but was reappointed a year after. Lifoifoi's current term at CPA is due on Jan. 17, 2015.
During the board's January meeting, members briefly discussed the issue of governor Fitial's impeachment. At the same meeting, director Benigno Sablan urged members that if the governor is convicted, it is only proper that all board members submit courtesy resignations to the new governor.
As of yesterday, Lifoifoi is the only one on the CPA board who has turned in a courtesy resignation.