Apatang: Listen to the people

Posted on Apr 27 2021


While Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang isn’t endorsing anyone running for Saipan mayor at the moment, his only advice to candidates who are gunning for the post that he will be vacating is to “listen to the people.”

In an interview with Apatang last Friday, he said he isn’t endorsing anybody now because they are his friends. “I don’t think it’s fair that I endorse anybody at this point in time, I think we should wait. I’m still a mayor until 2023, so [there’s] still time,” he said.

Whoever’s endorsed by Apatang’s party, then he will probably endorse and support him/her. Apatang ran during the last elections as a candidate of the Republican Party.

As for his advice to the two who have already made public their plans to run for mayor—Ramon Blas “RB” Camacho and Rep. Joseph Lee Pan Tenorio Guerrero (R-Saipan)—Apatang said they should “listen to the people.”

“That’s why you are here, you work for them. …We have hardworking staff here in this office, and they work hard for our taxpayers. Devote your time to let people listen to our people because [there’s] a lot of them that need help, especially after typhoons,” said Apatang.

As his term nears its end, Apatang said it’s been “very challenging” but he remains committed to working for the people until his last day, which is in January 2023.

“I committed myself after I retired from the military to come back and work for people and I’m still working. So hopefully I’ll be okay when I get out here. I don’t know what I’m going to do, but we’ll wait and see,” said Apatang.

In reminiscing about the early parts of his term, Apatang says he’s the “only mayor who’s been through hell.” Apatang has been through two typhoons—Super Typhoon Yutu in 2018 and Typhoon Soudelor 2015—during his term as Saipan mayor. Also, when he first stepped into office, there were no equipment and the office had rundown trucks, so his office applied for many grants to supply his office with new equipment and trucks.

“After Super Typhoon Yutu, there were a lot of challenges here in the office. The next mayor…will have all the equipment here now,” said Apatang.

Justine Nauta | Correspondent
Justine Nauta is Saipan Tribune's community and health reporter and has covered a wide range of news beats, including the Northern Marianas College and Commonwealth Health Care Corp. She's currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation and Human Services at NMC.

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