Attao: People’s interests first

Posted on Dec 18 2018

The lawmaker lined up to be the next speaker of the CNMI House of Representatives, Blas Jonathan T. Attao, hopes the relationship he has cultivated with the members of the House minority and the ruling GOP would result in legislation that would further improve the lives of people in the Commonwealth.

“I’m surrounded by experience and I know that the working relationship is there. …We can push forward getting the need that our people deserve and hopefully get to the point in giving the people what they want,” said Attao. “By working together, I know that we can take care of the needs but the goal is to get to the wants. And with the dynamics that we have here, the experience and knowledge around here is going to get to that point.”

He added that people’s interests should always come first. “To help our people first, that’s the mentality that we’re going to push through. To help our people, because the end result is not for the members of the Legislature.”

“The end result is for the public and that is what we want. Are we going to face controversial legislations? Probably. We want to get to that point where we would be working together to help each other.”

Making tough decisions would always be part of their job. He promises transparency, though.

Next generation

He said that expanding the opportunities for the next generation would also be their priority. “We will always try to look at ways of improving the next generations’ livelihood and giving them more opportunities.

“Our grandparents…gave us the opportunity to flourish individually and expand ourselves. …With that, the goal is to get to the point [where we could] provide for those who would come after us. That’s the goal.”

Get elected first

He said the thought of being House speaker was brought up to him before the election. He didn’t entertain it at first, since primarily, he needs to needs to get re-elected. “It was brought up to me multiple times before the election and I never considered it.”

“Because, I am always thinking that you have to get through an election before you start making any moves. You cannot play chess if you are not even at the table to play.”

The possibility dawned on him after he won his third term at the House. “After that, we looked at all the angles. On how I have gone through at the Legislature, as an employee at the Legislative Bureau and then a member.”

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.
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