Corruption ‘No Mas!’


The Open Government Act was approved by “we the people” to hold elected and appointed officials accountable for their actions. It wasn’t intended to skip some so they could take a walk in the park. Nah! It’s for everybody including legislators as soundly presented by Don Farrell in his letter this week.

In this connection, some $40,000 was given to the Tinian Legislative Delegation to use at its discretion. Biktot Hokog gave it to the delegation as a gift of sort. Excuse me, sir, that’s $40K in taxes we’ve paid into the local coffers you’ve treated as though it’s money from your kitty.

Was the $40K appropriated and earmarked for purposes of the delegation? Now, if it comes out of Hokog’s “discretionary” funds, still its expenditure must be accounted for with transparency per the OGA. Don’t throw it under the carpet!

Could the highly esteemed Sen. Jude Hofschneider detail how this money was spent that allegedly paid for junket trips across the country campaigning at Saipan taxpayers’ expense? Saipan taxpayers insist that this is explained with transparency, sir! Since when are Tinian and Rota delegations authorized to use Saipan taxpayers’ taxes for corrupt political activities?

Guarding: It is also rumored that Hokog is allegedly buying delegation votes in the event there’s a move for his impeachment in the illegal disposition of taxpayers’ money of some $400,000. Remember, he spearheaded it for his family’s business, the MV Luta.

Now, if the court finds him guilty in the violation of the OGA and constitution, would the same guys who impeached Fitial render the same to Hokog? Eh, fair is fair, right? Must put a closure to this last chapter with integrity and finality!

The delegation is also rumored to be using the money to hire voters on 90-day contracts right before the election. At the end of the contract voters are back to square one—jobless—once more. Is it worth it? Biktot, what about the unemployed on Saipan and Rota?

Why are there so many jobless folks? Simple: Republicans failed to improve the local economy thus the lack of meaningful jobs anywhere on the island.

The use of taxpayers’ money to curry votes is corrupt in every sense of the word. No wonder the carelessness in how public funds are hijacked for corrupt purposes. As a taxpayer I insist on accountability and transparency in how these funds are spent or I’d be knocking on doors. Corruption No Mas!

Braving blurred vision
Politicians have the habit venturing into issues with half-cocked understanding of the complexity of the matter before them. They do so with their instant soba mindset hoping their misperception sails quietly into the sunset when it fails truthful muster.

We recently saw the hasty establishment of a new $100,000 political status commission that is useless from the outset. It’s the perversion of the “permanent” arrangement under the Covenant Agreement ignoring the mutual consent provisions. Or did you use your usual reading deficiency to overlook mutual consent provisions? Here’s a cakewalk to help your nimble mind on the right protocol:

Fact 1: The NMI has a non-voting delegate in the U.S. Congress whose seat is the venue to submit our views on federal policies. It is representation in the U.S/ Congress, the policymaking body of the federal government.

Fact 2: The NMI also has its 902 Team to review critical policies for submission to the US Congress via our non-voting delegate’s office.

The paramount venues instantly nullify the redundant intent of Felicidad Ogumuro’s status commission. It’s a perfect plan though to waste scarce taxpayers money. Did Ogumuro find at least one egregious violation of the mutual consent provisions by the feds warranting a call for serious talks? What specifically did you find and could you share it with us?

You’re an advocate of indigenous rights. How were indigenous rights violated and isn’t it true that the agreement was approved by over 78 percent of our people?

You see it’s easy dissecting the goal of advocates yelling “indigenous rights”. Have you ever explained the underlying reason you’re doing this? Isn’t it to use the less informed and poorer people to support your dictates just so you could prolong the so-called “elite culture” found between republican and incumbents allegedly under payroll by a certain firm here? If the truth hurts so be it my friend!

Passports: Could the NMI really wrestle sovereignty from the feds? Are supporters of independence ready to surrender their U.S. passports? What currency would we use? Postal system? Handling of foreign affairs issues only the feds could dispose with allied countries? How do we provide defense of the NMI? Who would be our new mother country? Ready to pay for food stamps, Medicaid, basic infrastructure and others on our own? Eh, we broke already, braddah!

Mutual consent: Has any of you reviewed Section 105 on mutual consent? It includes Covenant Articles I, II, and III of the agreement including Sections 501 and 806. Section 501 has substantive issues requiring critical reading and review. Are you conversant of these provisions?

Guarding investments
Deeply troubling the shallowness of the elected elite on imperial Capital Hill who failed vision to carefully analyze investment trends in the NMI.

Some eight years ago, the NMI, through its shortsighted elected elite decided it was perfectly fine to ignore Japanese and Korean investments here. The pulse of arrogance could be felt then slowly and quietly investments from the two countries took to jet ways and left.

The elected elite opened the path for a new investor who literally had them begging, “How high do I jump?” after selling their heart, mind, and soul to the company store. They now hum, “You Are My Sunshine” daily.

Junkets Galore: Raffy is crisscrossing the country while Biktot preps in Manila for an upcoming cockfight derby. Nobody’s home other than puppet Francisco Borja yawning all daylong.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.

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