Casino commission is complete


Commonwealth Casino Commission board member Diego Songao, far left, converses with Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota), far right, as casino commission’s Charlie Atalig approaches Rota Legislative Delegation chair Sen. Steve Mesngon (R-Rota) in the background. (Erwin Encinares)

The Commonwealth Casino Commission is now complete after the Rota Legislative Delegation unanimously confirmed the appointment of a Rota representative yesterday during a session on Capitol Hill.

The Rota delegation in yesterday’s session confirmed Diego Songao unanimously to represent Rota at the casino commission.

Rota Mayor Afraim A. Atalig, in a previous communication, nominated Songao as the Rota representative to the board, led by casino commission chair Juan Sablan.

Both Sablan and commission executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero were in support of Songao’s nomination, however, Deleon Guerrero reiterated that former Rota representative Justin Manglona, whose term expired on April 30, 2018, was able to undergo several training and workshops as one of the first members of the commission.

Deleon Guerrero suggested that it is best to utilize Manglona at the Rota Gaming Commission, given all of the training he has undergone during his tenure at the casino commission.

“…Even though [Songao] has extensive experience in business, government, and even in gaming, we will schedule additional training for him to understand new updates on a changing and evolving industry,” he said, adding that all of the commissioners would similarly be provided the same training.

Sen. Teresita Santos (R-Rota) said, in a statement supporting one of the first commissioners of the Rota casino gaming commission, that his “wide experiences” on both the governmental and private sectors would prove beneficial to the casino commission.

“He was instrumental in the crafting of the Rota casino rules and regulations. His credentials and educational background including serving on various boards speaks volumes of his qualifications and ability to serve our CNMI well on the Saipan casino commission,” she said.

Santos added that Manglona, who Songao replaced, would be receiving a delegation resolution in recognition of his services.

With the delegation confirming Songao, the casino commission now consists of chair Sablan, vice chair Joseph Reyes, and commissioner Alvaro Santos for Saipan while former Tinian mayor Ramon Dela Cruz and Songao represents Tinian and Rota, respectively.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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