Babauta sworn in today as Precinct 1 rep


Former Department of Public Safety official Franklin Reyes Babauta will be sworn in today, Friday, as a representative of Precinct 1 for the House of Representatives. Come January, he will turn over the House office’s keys to his wife, who won the same seat at the Nov. 3 election.

Superior Court Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja will administer the oath of office for Babauta at a ceremony in the House chamber at 10am.

Babauta will be in office until Jan. 11, 2021, which is the remaining term of Edwin K. Propst, who resigned as Precinct 1 representative last Oct. 1.

Come Jan. 11, in a first in CNMI history, Babauta will turn over the House office’s keys to his wife at the completion of his term.

Franklin Reyes Babauta

Babauta’s wife, Celina, is a sure winner as Precinct 1 representative in the Nov. 3 general elections after getting the second highest number of votes, behind Propst, according to the Commonwealth Election Commission’s unofficial tabulation results.

“In the military, we call it a change of command,” Celina said.

Last Wednesday, Veterans Day, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres appointed Babauta as representative for Election District 1, soon after House Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao (R-Saipan) declared a vacancy when Propst resigned.

The governor said he appreciates Babauta’s willingness to serve in this role of providing representation for the people of Election District 1.

Babauta said he is happy with the appointment and he is ready to serve the community.

Babauta, who ran as an independent candidate in 2018, landing in seventh place for Precinct 1 representative; there are only six House seats.

Babauta retired from DPS in August 2006 with a rank of deputy commissioner for administration.

In 2007, Babauta moved to Guam and joined the Guam Army National Guard. He was then deployed to Afghanistan.

He retired with a rank of lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army in 2015. In the military, his last tour of duty was with the security forces advisory team in Afghanistan.

Babauta served as a lieutenant colonel in “Operation Enduring Freedom” in southern Afghanistan.

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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