Gov. Eloy S. Inos recalled from the Senate yesterday the nomination of Pedro Itibus as Department of Public Lands secretary, while at the same time rejecting the courtesy resignation of Division of Environmental Quality director Frank Rabauliman as the one-month-old Inos administration continues the reorganization of its Cabinet.
Itibus is the current deputy secretary of DPL. On Jan. 29, he was appointed DPL secretary, needing the Senate's advice and consent. Since then, his nomination has remained pending with the Senate until Inos withdrew it yesterday.
In his one-page letter to Senate President Ralph Torres (R-Saipan), Inos did not specify a specific reason for withdrawing Itibus' nomination.
Press secretary Angel Demapan said while the nomination has now been recalled, Itibus “remains the acting secretary until such time that the governor makes a new nomination or designation of an acting secretary.”
Itibus, in a phone interview, said if the governor decides to resubmit his nomination, he will be “honored to be a part of the administration.” He has been with the public lands agency since 1995.
The governor also returned the courtesy resignation of the DEQ director yesterday, keeping Rabauliman in his post.
“Based on our assessments and best judgment, we are pleased to have you continue serving as the director of the Division of Environmental Quality. We sincerely appreciate your contributions and believe that you will continue to be an asset to our administration and the people we duly serve. We will continue to expect the highest standards of public service from you and every member of our Cabinet,” Inos said in a one-page letter to Rabauliman.
As of yesterday, the governor has yet to decide on the courtesy resignations of other Cabinet members and agency/department heads.
Inos also has yet to decide on a replacement for former Department of Community and Cultural Affairs Melvin Faisao. The governor confirmed that among the three individuals being considered is Rep. Janet Maratita (IR-Saipan). If and when Maratita gets the DCCA secretary post, a special election for Precinct 1 shall be held to fill a vacancy in the 20-member House of Representatives.