Babauta, Manglona cancel BOOST Program joint meeting today


Celina R. Babauta

The House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary and Governmental Operations and the Committee on Ways and Means have canceled until further notice their scheduled joint meeting today, Friday, regarding the Torres administration’s Building Optimism, Opportunities, and Stability Together, or BOOST Program.

JGO chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) and Ways and Means chair Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota) notified their members about the cancellation Wednesday. They did not explain the reason behind the cancellation.

In response to Saipan Tribune’s inquiry, Babauta disclosed yesterday that there is no need to hold the joint meeting today because William Castro, who is Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ chief of staff, asked for more time to respond to their subpoena and they granted it.

After granting the extension, there was no need to hold Castro in contempt, she added.

The committees had included “contempt” in the agenda of the supposed joint meeting.

The committees issued subpoenas to compel some entities and persons, including Castro, to produce documents and testify related to the BOOST Program.

The committees want to hold a meeting in their bid to find out, among other things, who have been awarded under the BOOST Program and those who have been denied, or are still awaiting disposition.

The BOOST Program is a project of the Office of the Governor and the Department of Commerce that aims to provide financial assistance to CNMI businesses and non-profit organizations. The Bank of Saipan is the administrator of the program.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at
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