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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Maratita: SDLLC should be declared persona non grata

Rep. Janet Maratita (Ind-Saipan) urged her colleagues late yesterday afternoon to adopt a resolution declaring Delaware-based Saipan Development LLC persona non grata, over what she describes as SDLLC’s continued attempts to make dealings with the CNMI after the botched sole-source, secretive $190.8-million power purchase agreement that was one of the reasons leading to the impeachment charges against former governor Benigno R. Fitial.

Maratita said SDLLC is “mistaken to think that the people of the Commonwealth are stupid,” urging more vigilance in dealing with SDLLC.

In a later interview, she said SDLLC “wanted to cheat the people of the Commonwealth by entering into a sole-source power purchase agreement that has a no-default clause.”

“We support foreign investors but we do not want fly-by-night investors, those like SDLLC that want to take advantage of the CNM and its people. SDLLC has the audacity to try to milk the already ailing CNMI,” Maratita said, adding that she is drafting the resolution.

Persona non grata is a Latin term that literally means “an unwelcome person,” a legal term used in diplomacy indicating a proscription against a foreign person entering or remaining in the country.

Maratita, the original force behind a taxpayers’ lawsuit against the 25-year, $190.8-million PPA between SDLLC and Fitial, earlier said the recent court order finding the PPA void from the beginning is “a victory for the people of the Commonwealth.”

Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman said Fitial, as governor in 2012, did not have the authority to suspend Commonwealth Utilities Corp. procurement regulations and that the PPA that Fitial entered with Delaware-based SDLLC was void ab initio.

SDLLC, meanwhile, sued CUC in federal court over the voided PPA.

Maratita said yesterday she received information that SDLLC representatives continue to visit Saipan.

“The latest I gathered is that they were here either in January or December,” Maratita added.

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