$400K mess in perspective


The lawsuit I filed against the MV Luta ($400,000) is to protect all taxpayers’ from the illegal expropriation or willful plundering of their taxes by corrupt politicians on imperial Capital Hill.

Mind boggling though how a lawmaker (then Sen. Biktot Hokog) took his oath of office to uphold the laws of the land but quickly exited invoking narcissistic and statist tendencies to screw the taxpayers. As a lawmaker he violated the following:

1. The Open Government Act that prohibits being direct beneficiary or his family on issues he’s pushed as a legislator.

2. Constitutional dictates that clearly lays out how public funds are appropriated.

Public funds are for “public” not “private” purposes. The $400,000 was illegally expropriated via a resolution schemed by evil genius Hokog done expeditiously by a delegation not the legislature. If the Luta Mermaid needed initial capitalization why didn’t principals procure their loan from CDA?

Evidently, did the AG review Local Act of 1983 for legal guidance? Your boss Raffy used it in his veto of a recent local appropriation. He simply confirmed the crux of my lawsuit. He specifically pointed out that appropriations must come via legislation, not resolution! He slammed his foot squarely into Biktot’s mouth!

Ooops! The answer to the senseless posturing by the administration and AG has devolved into a cocoon of political concessions that require complicity for the wont of a judgeship. Oh, this confirms my suspicion of yet another very unsettling and creeping controversy I shall reveal in due time. Filthy!

Assistant AG Lillian Tenorio said that Larissa Larson isn’t an attorney. Well, Ms. Tenorio, now you are the government attorney. Yet, you blatantly failed to dispense of your legal duties in this instance. The jaw dropping irony is in your audacity representing people who violated constitutional and statutory laws of the NMI.

Recusal would have upheld the role of the AG in ascertaining that the laws of the NMI are followed. It’s patently clear that the AG chose otherwise!

You also braved that Ms. Larson’s egregious violation of law was “reasonable mistake.” Eh, $400,000 in plundered taxpayers’ money is no small coke fund, right?

You’ve emboldened Ms. Larson to think that she’s done right. Isn’t Ms. Larson supposed to be conversant of her fiduciary duty? Furthermore, as an astute law student isn’t it true that “ignorance of the law isn’t an excuse” to violate it?

Halo? Moreover, why is the AG’s Office representing Biktot Hokog who engineered the illegal plundering of the $400K as a senator? This was doubled down when Larson released it without an appropriation.

Who’s the aggrieved party in this case anyway, Ms. Tenorio? Isn’t it the undersigned and ALL taxpayers NMI-wide? No wonder trust in government is at an all time low!

Reminder: A person of responsibility would have seen red flags popping up all over the place when the instruction came to release the $400,000. Stunning that it was followed with servility. Was it hard securing answers, e.g., is there an appropriation to support it? If it were intended as a loan, did it meet muster of “public” purpose? There’s just sheer incompetency, if not, complicity at every turn to screw the taxpayers!

Sifting through the maze
We sit and ponder what’s coming down the pike in terms of military build-up on Tinian and Pagan. Other than environmental studies, we haven’t seen any plans detailing what the Department of Defense plans to build or the extent of some meaningful partnership.

Former Sen. Dave Cing raised the need to address this and other collateral issues so we get an idea of the magnitude of military plans, installation timeline, and our future in the defense of our country.

Sandwiched in this package are Sino-investments slated to boost tourism over the long haul. As we embrace the investments we quiz the occasional escalation of tension between the US and China over hegemony or control of the sea-lanes, a vital trade route, in the South China Sea. Is it grandstanding or would there emerge a single maritime superpower—U.S. or China?

There was hope, following arbitration from The Hague, that China would respect the decision in favor of claims by the Philippines. But it seems to have become a textbook case of the limitations of international justice. It never mattered to China.

The uncertainty surrounding the future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact would result in allied countries rethinking trust in its association with the U.S. It grants China a stronger upper hand dealing with countries in the region from economic assistance to political harmony. Imagine China securing both political and economic hegemony.

Nonetheless, there’s a “rare bright spot for strained Sino-U.S. relations, the U.S. Coast Guard has confirmed that it conducted joint operations in the Pacific with its Chinese counterpart this summer, part of annual patrols to deter illegal fishing.

We ponder these questions on a legitimate basis so we could buckle down to planning the economic future of the islands. Thanks to former Sen. David Cing from Tinian for his timely discussion of this and other issues. The rest who should be concerned are deftly mute!

Helping farmers begin anew
Throughout the course of the year, farmers only have 180 days to make it or break it in whatever they do to earn a living.

In other words, the 180 days are the only time out of 365 days annually when they plant under decent weather. The rest of the time is inundated with monsoon-like weather or a prolonged drought season.

It makes sense, therefore, that government agencies jointly meet to explore reduction in land fees in Kagman and other areas. It also means reinventing services and the dismantling of stifling regulations.

Farmers need help and the request for funds to buy a tractor sounds plausible. Sen. Jude Hofschneider can’t be punitive about it, right sir?

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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