March 20, 2000
CUC legal counsel quits
Assistant Attorney General Bill Ohle has reportedly resigned as legal counsel of the Commonwealth Utilities Corporation, apparently a victim of the power struggle within the board following the ouster of former Chair Rosario M. Elameto. He handed his resignation letter to CUC Executive Director Timothy P. Villagomez immediately after the election of Jesus T. Guerrero as chair last Thursday during a board meeting. When sought over the weekend for comment, Mr. Ohle neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying only that he would respond to questions this week. According to sources, Mr. Villagomez accepted his resignation on the day he submitted the letter. The top utility official could not be reached for comment.
Lang eyes comeback in 2001 election
Eyeing another shot at the highest post in the Commonwealth, former Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio disclosed last Friday he would launch his bid for the gubernatorial election next year under the Reform Party. At the same time, he criticized the present administration for using him as a scapegoat for most of the problems dogging the CNMI, saying it is time for a change in order to improve the island's economy. But Mr. Tenorio said he has yet to pick a running mate for the 2001 elections, whom he added he wants to come from the Democrats-the party he deserted last year to form the new political party.
March 20, 2002
’Bombing to go on’
The U.S. Navy has indicated that, even if the court has already ruled in favor of the Center for Biological Diversity on the matter of the Farallon de Mendinilla bombing, it would wait for a court injunction before it halts bombing practices on the island. At the same time, CBD counsel Paul Achitoff said there is no negotiations going on between the CBD and the U.S. Navy as to the cessation of bombing exercises on Farallon de Mendinilla, following the court’s ruling on the case. Achitoff said that, to his knowledge, the U.S. Navy has not appealed the court's adverse decision, in connection with the legality of the military exercises. U.S. District Judge Emmett G. Sullivan had ruled last week that the military bombings in the Farallon de Mendinilla violates the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act. The CBD had sued the U.S. Navy and Defense Department to prevent the bombing exercises on the island.
Manglona: Map out strategy in FDM issue
Senate President Paul A. Manglona said the best way to handle the recent court ruling that U.S. military bombings on the Farallon de Mendinilla violates a bird treaty is for the CNMI to map out a single approach that would balance the need to protect the environment and the economic survival of the local economy. At the same time, Manglona stressed that, although the CNMI is not a party to the lawsuit filed by the Center for Biological Diversity against the U.S. military, the Commonwealth still has to be concerned over the court’s adverse ruling against the U.S. military as it would directly affect revenue-generating efforts of the CNMI. “We need to talk to our counsel, as well as the Governor, his legal counsel and the Office of the Attorney General. We have to come up together with one approach on how to go about this issue. I think that the best approach is to get our legal minds together and come up with a response,” said the Senate President.
March 20, 2004
Audit section at DoF eyed
Acting Finance Secretary Fermin Atalig is embarking on a plan to establish an audit compliance section within the Department of Finance. To initiate the process, Atalig has asked the advice of the Office of the Public Auditor as to the requirements needed to create this office. He said one of the department’s immediate tasks is to establish such a section in order to monitor all outstanding audit recommendations by OPA and other auditing firms. The Cabinet official noted that the department has never had this section in the past. He said too many tasks have kept the agency busy, relegating the creation of the audit compliance section at the bottom of its priority.
Palau college touts leadership stability
“You don’t have to like them but you have to work with them.” This, according to Palau Community College president Patrick Ubal Tellei, has become his position when dealing with various groups, including the Palau Congress, to get things done for the college. Tellei takes pride in PCC’s “stability” in terms of leadership and smooth accreditation status. PCC, he said, has been enjoying a full-six year accreditation term since 1977. “We’ve never been put on probation. We have no problem with our accreditation,” he said. Tellei, who worked for the CNMI Public School System for eight years, took over the college presidency in 1999.