Sen. Paul A. Manglona was already penciled in for the Senate floor leadership, but the Rota lawmaker instead recommended Sen. Jude Hofschneider to take the post before the actual inauguration at the upper house yesterday morning.
Manglona, a many time Senate president, opted to step aside and allow the youthful Hofschneider from Tinian to be a part of the leadership to ensure a smooth working relationship at the Senate.
“This morning I informed the president and the members [about the decision to give up the post]. I see the spirit of cooperation and the spirit of working together when we are faced with this very tough economic times,” he said.
Manglona said all three islands—Saipan, Tinian, and Rota—need to work together and one way of making sure this happens is if all three islands are represented in the Senate leadership.
Senate President Pete Reyes represents the Third Senatorial District of Saipan, while Senate Vice President Felix Mendiola represents the First Senatorial District of Rota.
Hofshneider, Reyes and Mendiola as well as Legislative Secretary Sen. Maria Frica Pangelinan, who is also from Saipan, were all voted by acclamation.
Manglona added that he has the utmost confidence in Hoffschneider. He said the Republican lawmaker is very hardworking and aggressive and has the people’s best interest in his heart.
Hofschneider said he would like to thank Manglona for stepping aside and allowing him to take the post of Senate floor leader.
“I would like to thank Sen. Paul…actually he’s been bringing up the issue but I just never pushed it because I believed the composition of the leadership was fine,” he said. “I’m humbled by the fact that he believed in me. That he also believed in the diversification of the islands—the three main islands: Saipan, Tinian, and Luta.”
Associate Justice Alexandro Castro swore in the nine members of the Senate, who were all incumbents and won re-election during the Nov. 3 mid-term elections. The oath was delivered in the Chamorro language.
Others sworn in during yesterday’s inauguration ceremony were the Senate President of the 15th Legislature, Joseph Mendiola of Tinian, Sen. Paterno Hocog of Rota, Henry San Nicolas of Tinian, and Luis Crisostimo Jr. of Saipan.
Dignitaries and VIPs also abounded during the event as Guam Sen. David Shimizu, ex-Bank of Guam official Lou Leon Guerrero, Northern Marianas College president Carmen Fernandez, Board of Education’s Lucy Maratita, former Speaker Jose P. Lifoifoi, former representatives Malua Peter and Benny Sablan, Associate Judge Ramona Manglona, and Washington Representative Pete A. Tenorio were in attendance. Rev. Fr. Isaac Ayuyu started the proceedings with a solemn prayer.