Press secretary Angel Demapan confirmed yesterday that Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Secretary Melvin Faisao turned in his courtesy resignation but Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider have yet to decide on it.
“Faisao's resignation is still pending before the governor. He has not made a decision at this time. Without a decision, the governor has not discussed the issue of replacement,” Demapan told Saipan Tribune.
Saipan Tribune sources, however, said that an incumbent lawmaker is eyeing the position of DCCA secretary. The administration and the lawmaker declined comment on the matter.
If and when the lawmaker becomes a Cabinet member, a special election may have to be held to fill any vacancy in the 20-member House less than half of the current term.
Moreover, Saipan Tribune sources said that former lieutenant governor and representative Diego Benavente, co-founder of the so-called Independent Republicans, will be heading a government agency. Benavente declined to comment on the matter at this time. Another former Cabinet secretary may also return to government.
So far, the governor and lieutenant governor have decided on only a few courtesy resignations. They are keeping Department of Public Safety Commissioner James Deleon Guerrero, Corrections Commissioner Ray Mafnas, and Workforce Investment Agency director Edith Deleon Guerrero.
Inos also tapped former CNMI resident representative to Washington, D.C. Pete A. Tenorio to be his senior policy adviser, replacing Dr. John Joyner. He also nominated former senator Maria Frica T. Pangelinan to serve as a member of the Marianas Public Land Trust board of trustees representing Saipan. Pangelinan's appointment requires Senate advice and consent.