22 take oath as new US citizens

Twenty-two persons from six countries took their oath as new U.S. citizens during a Valentine’s Day naturalization ceremony at the U.S District Court for the NMI yesterday morning. (Contributed Photo)

Twenty-two persons from six countries took their oath as new U.S. citizens during a Valentine’s Day naturalization ceremony at the U.S District Court for the NMI yesterday morning.

Fifteen of the new citizens hail from the Philippines; the rest are from South Korea, Sri Lanka, Japan, Syria, Thailand, and the People’s Republic of China.

Milagros P. Pellegrino, 59, widow of the late businessman Anthony Pellegrino and who acquired a green card in 2012, said she understands that being a citizen comes with a responsibility and an obligation.

Pellegrino, who is currently the chief executive officer/president of Saipan Ice and Water Co., said her new citizenship status will help her run the business.

Jun Kitaoka, 51, who is a native of Tokyo, Japan, first came to Saipan he was just 30 years old. He obtained a green card in 2004 and now runs a consulting business on the island. He said it feels great to finally become a U.S. citizen.

For Pebbles Basilgo, 26, it means she can now vote here and travel with virtually no restrictions. She first came to the island in 2007 and has had a green card for three years.

Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona presided over the ceremony.

James S. Sirok, who served as the guest speaker, talked about his immigrant grandparents and how he was raised in a community of immigrants.

Aside from Mrs. Pellegrino, Kitaoka, and Basilgo, the other new citizens are Corazon P. Ada, Olympio M. Alberio, Gerald C. Aniciete, Marites A. Aurelio, Sharmaine Mae A. Aurelio, Areerat T. Camacho, Jeannette L. Camacho, Delia N. Castro, Mario K. Espeleta, June Bianca L. Frink, Hannah R. Jardinez, Aldrin T. Jovelo, Jung Ja Seo Jun, Garabed O. Mirzoian, Juliana D. Nekaifes, Xiajun Ning, Bok Sun Park, Leonardo N. Primo, and Priyantha S. Wijayagunaratne.

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Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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