‘Dems want to seize power for themselves’


Insisting that he has done nothing wrong and illegal as chief executive of the CNMI, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said yesterday that the false allegations brought by the House of Representatives Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee’s against him and his family are nothing more than a politically charged group of Democrats conspiring to sensationalize misleading information so that they may divide the community and seize power for themselves.

“No illegal activity has been proven,” said Torres in a strongly-worded statement he issued soon after the House Special Investigating Committee on Impeachment unanimously voted Tuesday to send a House resolution to impeach him to the full House for action.

As this developed, House Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) said yesterday that he had called for a full House session this coming Wednesday, during which they will be acting on House Resolution 22-14 that impeaches Torres for alleged commission of felonies, corruption, and negligence. It was Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) who filed the resolution.

Torres thanked the Republican minority members of the Committee on Impeachment for voting to advance the Articles of Impeachment to the full House body for final disposition, describing the move as “one step closer to a fair and balanced hearing” in the Senate where, if invited, he said he intends to address each allegation so that he may prove that he has done nothing wrong.

The governor said the only thing that the JGO has proven is that they are anything but judicious in their ways.

Torres said the JGO’s actions have shown that Babauta and her two “legislative bullies” lack the experience and education in public policy, etiquette, and rule of law to faithfully discharge their duties of oversight, advice, and consent.

“They are, in effect, a tainted committee driven by alleged lawbreakers whose registered complaints against them are heinous crimes much more severe than the false allegations of excessive travel and charges for utilities brought against me,” the governor said.

Torres did not name the two “bullies” but he was apparently referring to Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan) and Rep. Vicente C. Camacho (D-Saipan).

Propst is facing an ethics complaint over allegations that he had sex with several underaged girls some 20 years ago. Separately, Robert H. Hunter, who is the senior policy advisor at the Office of the Governor, has also filed a complaint before Villagomez against Propst over alleged threats and use of inappropriate language.

Camacho has a pending criminal case before the Superior Court over an alleged assault.

Torres also accused another member of the impeachment committee, Rep. Christina Marie E. Sablan (D-Saipan), of conflict of interest since she is a candidate for governor.

Saipan Tribune requested comment from Babauta, Propst, Camacho, and Sablan. As of press time, it was only Propst who issued a statement.

Propst said Torres knows a lot about bullying as he employed a few bullies himself and never sanctioned them for their cyber bullying and relentless attacks and slander. “If anything, he encouraged it,” Propst said.

The lawmaker said Torres should focus on the impeachment and his potential trial in the Senate.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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