COE refuses to sign off on injunction; BOE chair requests re-vote


Education Commissioner Dr. Alfred Ada disagrees with the Board of Education’s decision to file an injunction against the CNMI government and reportedly refuses to sign off on the lawsuit.

Board chair Janice Tenorio also asked the board to revisit the idea of filing the injunction.

According to Tenorio, Ada, who was absent from the board meeting yesterday because he is still recovering from a recent heart attack, disagrees with the idea of filing an injunction against the government.

“We can’t file the injunction because the injunction has to be filed by the head of the Public School System, which is the commissioner, who has the expenditure authority. If he signs it and he is forced to sign, it doesn’t make any sense because if he goes on the stand, he’s going to say, ‘I’m being forced to sign it’ then it’ll just be null and void,” she said.

During the board meeting, Tenorio also asked her colleagues to reconsider the injunction.

“If I may, colleagues, let’s just revisit this injunction, go back to the table with the governor and the Executive Branch, and talk to them and let them further explain,” she said.

The BOE will hold another meeting next Wednesday at the Marianas High School campus to discuss and reaffirm the injunction as well as discuss the consequences Ada faces if he continues to refuse to sign off on the injunction

BOE member Marylou Ada said that a decision has already been made and the board rightfully voted to file the injunction.

Phillip Mendiola-Long and Andrew Orsini also stated during the meeting that Ada answers to the board and must comply with the board’s decision. Both stated that it is “offensive” to the board that Ada does not want to comply with the decision.

Tenorio said she stands firm on her stance on the injunction and still disagrees with her colleagues.

“From the beginning, I didn’t agree with the injunction, I feel there are other alternatives, other avenues we can go by. We’ve been working closely with the government, the Executive Branch, and the secretary of Finance regarding the transfer of funds. I want to go back and work with our government. It’s a war we’re getting into when we should all be one,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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