AT INDEPENDENTS’ PICNIC/RALLY
“I think we have a runaway government,” according to former governor Juan N. Babauta in an interview during the independent candidates’ picnic/rally at the Civic Center in Susupe last Saturday.
Independent candidates, backed up by some Democratic Party officials and members, lined up the shoulder of both southbound and northbound Beach Road in front of Civic Center starting at 10am. Waving placards to show their candidates, some even used the traffic refuge island.
Shortly before 12noon, the candidates and supporters moved to Civic Center for lunch and drinks. A live band entertained the crowd.
Babauta said what the CNMI now has is a government that feels that they are no longer accountable to the people.
Babauta said there is an old philosophy that says that this government is an instrument of the people, it was created by the people.
The former governor said it seems that in the current government structure, the people are afraid of their government.
Babauta said it is because of this lack of transparency, lack of accountability, and fear for losing their jobs.
“It’s really should be the other way around. Government should fear its people. That’s kind of the message here. We have a government that feels that they can do whatever they want. And the people are out here to see that that changes,” he said.
On the picnic/rally turnout, Babauta said he is just so happy and that he appreciates the participation of all of their supporters from the independent candidates.
He said Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (Ind-MP), and those who are running for senators and for House of Representatives had brought in their supporters as well.
“It really shows how enthusiastic they are about making changes in our community. They want to see change. We want more accountability in government and transparency,” he said. Babauta said accountability in government and transparency are really the kind of the two messages that are resonating in the community.
He said the people are excited about the prospect of making this change in the community for the better.
“So we are out here generally speaking to make the lives of our people better. And the only way that we make it better is if we bring government back to the people,” he said.
Among those who showed up at the picnic/rally were the CNMI’s first governor Carlos Camacho, former lieutenant governor Jesus Borja, former Saipan mayor Jose “Pito” Sablan, former Rota mayor Joseph Inos, former Tinian senator David Cing, and Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota).
Borja said he is a member of the Democratic Party and that he came to support the independent candidates being endorsed by their party.
Borja said the Democratic Party has joined forces with independent candidates.
Borja said if the independents would not join the Democratic Party, but if they like the support of the Democratic Party, if they believe in the principles of the Democratic Party, then they would join forces.
“Pretty good. People came out. We’re hearing slogans, shouting of time for a change, we want a change. The people want a change,” said Borja when asked about the turnout of the picnic/rally.