Camacho recuses self from investigation on Torres

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Posted on Dec 16 2019
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Saying that Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is his godfather, Rep. Joel Castro Camacho (R-Saipan) will be recusing himself from any proceedings that may arise following the minority bloc’s request Tuesday for the House of Representatives to create a special committee to investigate Torres.

Camacho announced his move at a House session last Friday, saying he has already discussed the matter with vice speaker Rep. Lorenzo Deleon Guerrero (R-Saipan), who is vice chair of the House’s Judiciary & Governmental Operations Committee, which Camacho chairs.

“I have discussed this with our vice chairman [Deleon Guerrero] that should any proceedings be initiated, that I will be recusing myself from any proceedings moving forward,” he said.

The minority bloc’s request for the House leadership to create a special committee to investigate allegations of public corruption, fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds by Torres has been forwarded to the Judiciary & Governmental Operations Committee.

Camacho, during the House session last Tuesday, said that Torres is his godfather. He also asserted that he has nothing to hide from the public about his campaign financial earnings.

“I have disclosed my financial interest statement with the Office of the Public Auditor, and I received campaign donations within the confines of the law and OPA regulatory mandates,” Camacho said.

The lawmaker made the statement in response to a report that his campaign was funded by Torres’ relatives and the casino, through Joaquin Torres’ $1,000 contribution, Rowena Torres’ $500 contribution, and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI), LLC’s legal matters vice president Viola Alepuyo’s $500 contribution.

Camacho stressed that his relationship with the governor does not affect his ability to serve the community. “Yes, the governor is my godfather, as he confirmed me for my confirmation long before we both held public office. Does my relationship affect my ability to serve the community, with the governor? Absolutely not.”

Camacho also reiterated that he stands true in serving the needs of his constituents in Precinct 4. “I have never, never taken the people’s confidence in me for granted, and I never will. There is a process and I respect and I honor the process. Let us let the process take its course,” he added.

Camacho’s office recently completed the renovation of the tennis court on Capital Hill, as well as the repair and upgrade of the basketball court, as part of his ongoing repair and maintenance project of Precinct 4 recreational facilities.

Iva Maurin | Author
Iva Maurin is a communications specialist with environment and community outreach experience in the Philippines and in California. She has a background in graphic arts and is the Saipan Tribune’s community and environment reporter. Contact her at iva_maurin@saipantribune.com
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