Brother tells impassioned tale of how Torres risked his life during Yutu, pandemic


Vincent DLG Torres speaks about what his younger brother, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, did during Super Typhoon Yutu and COVID-19 pandemic and the lack of evidence to support the Impeachment of Articles during the public comments portion of the Senate’s special session Wednesday. (Ferdie De La Torre)

Vincent DLG Torres came to the defense of his younger brother, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, during the public comments portion of the Senate’s special session Wednesday, shortly before senators voted, 4-3, to acquit the governor of all charges in the House of Representatives’ Articles of Impeachment.

Vincent Torres said the senators heard and received testimonies and evidence during the impeachment trial, all in support against the Articles of Impeachment.

He noted that the House Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee did not submit any single evidence to support their impeachment. “That itself warrants a vote of no to all of the articles,” he pointed out.

He particularly cited section 5 of the Articles of Impeachment, where the JGO claims that the governor neglected his duties during Super Typhoon Yutu and COVID-19 crisis.

The lawyer said he remembers vividly after midnight during Super Typhoon Yutu when the governor called him that he had received a message that there’s a family near his (Vincent) home that needed help.

Vincent Torres said the governor’s information was that the roof of the family’s house had been blown away, but they cannot send any help—not the police or firefighters or anybody else. He said he told his brother not to leave and instead pray.

Vincent Torres said his brother then hung up the phone. After a few minutes, he had a hunch and called the governor back but he did not answer. He called several times more, but the governor would not pick up his phone.

“I knew then that he had left to go to those families. I teared up, I prayed,” he said.

After a couple of hours, Vincent Torres said, the governor called him and was so excited on the phone. “He said, ‘Brod I found them. When I got to their house, the house was blown off. But I got them. Two small children, baby girls, a mother and a father. They’re here in my home safe and sound,’” Vincent Torres said, quoting the governor.

Vincent Torres also recalled the moment when the first person died of COVID-19 on Saipan on April 30, 2020. He said everybody was scared, the whole world was scared, and thousands of people were dying across the world.

Vincent Torres said he called the governor the next day and told him to stay home as someone had just died and a lot more will be dying on the islands. The lawyer said he told the governor it is his duty and responsibility to protect his children, his family, and that he should not leave the house.

“He gave me a look that I’ve never seen before. And he said, ‘Brod how can I tell husbands, wives, children to send their loved ones and fight COVID and protect our people while I sit in the comfort and safety of my home? I’m sorry, my brother, I cannot do that,” he said.

Vincent Torres said he asked his brother to send Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios instead but he said the governor told him that he cannot do that as Palacios is older than him.

He said his brother had stated that if COVID gets to him and takes his life, he knows he died helping people.

After that day, while the COVID-19 pandemic raged, the governor continued going out every single day and helping, Vincent Torres said.

“And as you all know, from the first airplane that arrived on Saipan for COVID materials and medical equipment on April 13, 2020, my brother has been going up to the airport for every single airplane that arrived at 1, 2, 3, 4 in the morning,” he said.

Not a single other elected official ever went up during those times, he said.

“Did you see him coming up ever in a newspaper attacking, criticizing anybody? No. Why? Because that is the kind of governor that he is. That’s the governor that we have. That’s the governor that you have,” he said.

If another pandemic, disaster, or life-threatening event ever hits the islands again, what kind of governor will people want to lead the CNMI, Vincent Torres asked.

“A governor that that sits in the comfort of his or her home? Or a governor that goes out and risks his life to help his people?” he asked, adding that he has every confidence that the senators would do the right thing and vote no to the Articles of Impeachment.

Fabian Indalecio, a known critic of Torres, also spoke, along with Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan) during the public comments portion of the session.

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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