All branches of the CNMI government were represented last Friday during the signing of the CNMI Law Day proclamation at the Saipan Aging Office.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios represented the CNMI Executive Branch; Senate President Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota) and House Speaker Blas Jonathan “B.J.” Attao (R-saipan) represented the Legislature; and Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro and Associate Justice Perry B. Inos represented the Judiciary.
This year’s proclamation theme is “Free speech, free press, and free society.”
Besides the heads of the three branches, Rep. Luis John “L.J.” Castro (R-Saipan), Rep. Marco T. Peter (R-Saipan), Superior Court Judge Kenneth Govendo, and U.S. District Court Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona also attended the proclamation signing.
In an interview, Torres noted that recognizing the law is as equally important as recognizing the media, which was mentioned several times during the proclamation signing.
“Freedom here is not [limited to] freedom of speech and religion, but the freedom of life itself,” he said. “It’s not just for citizens; everyone on American soil is protected.”
“…It is free for you to ask questions, and it is free to say whatever you want to say within certain restriction, and so we are here to give appreciation to the fact that it was written out as a national recognition day back in 1958,” Torres noted.
The U.S. mainland recognizes May 1, 2019, as National Law Day, where the rule of law is celebrated nationwide.
In other countries, according to Torres, there are people deprived of what is considered basic human and civil rights.