Flashback – June 2002-June 2004


Jun. 27, 2002

Benavente approves $1.26M for CIP

Some $1.26 million in Capital Improvement Project funds could soon become available for several infrastructure projects on Saipan, just as soon as the local legislative delegation comes up with corrective legislation that would free up the money. Acting Gov. Diego T. Benavente signed into law Wednesday two measures that conditionally appropriated $800,000 and $460,589 separately for road paving and well drilling projects on Saipan. Benavente pointed out, though, that the projects identified in House Bills 13-6 and 13-69 are outside the CIP Master Plan, as approved under Public Law 11-78.

Retention of Crowe law offices confirmed

Acting Gov. Diego T. Benavente confirmed Tuesday that the Commonwealth has indeed hired the law offices of Washington D.C.-based Thomas Crowe to represent it in telecommunications matters. “It has actually been the law firm representing the Commonwealth in telecommunications matters in Washington D.C.,” said Benavente. He expressed uncertainty on when the contract for the law firm was extended or if the contract has been extended “but we’ve always had services from Thomas Crowe in Washington D.C.”

Jun. 27, 2003

Court orders illegal recruiter deported

The Superior Court has ordered the deportation of a woman allegedly involved in large-scale illegal recruitment of workers from the Philippines for fictitious jobs on Saipan and Palau. But Araceli Maraya, the Philippine’s labor attaché to the Commonwealth, added that Edna A. Segovia managed to leave the CNMI last week and return to the Philippines before the matter could be coordinated with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. Segovia faces strict criminal sanctions in the Philippines for engaging in large-scale illegal recruitment in the Asian country.

Bill seeks to clarify definition of IR

House Rep. Stanley T. Torres has pre-filed a bill that seeks to modify the definition of “immediate relative” to include not only the spouse and children, but also stepchildren. The Saipan congressman acknowledged that the current definition of IR does not explicitly include stepchildren. This, according to Torres, has given rise to situations where children who have been adopted by locals and have lived here for many years are forced to leave the Commonwealth when they turn 21 because they did not become U.S. citizens or permanent residents. According to Torres, it has been a common occurrence that local residents marry individuals who already have children from their previous marriage. From there, he noted that, naturally, most people wish to adopt their new spouse’s underage children in order to raise and care for them as their own.

Jun. 27, 2004

Warning out vs unregistered water users

The CNMI Water Task Force warned Friday that unregistered water users would be identified and disconnected when the government and the Commonwealth Utilities Corp. begin a one-time sweep for identification and leak detection. According to Water Task Force chair Diego T. Benavente, contracts for a systematic leak detection program from reservoirs to CUC customers will soon be implemented in hopes to identify leak-prone areas and unregistered users. The effort will require digital correlators to accurately identify system leaks, categorize them based on volume loss, and report them for repair, he added.

House demands tinting study from DPS

The 14th House of Representatives is demanding a copy of a purported study that the Department of Public Safety had cited Friday in blaming the rising number of car accidents in the Commonwealth on the tinted windows of cars. Rep. Clyde Norita, in a media briefing, urged the DPS to submit a copy of the purported report that was cited by Commissioner Edward Camacho in disclosing plans to ban the use of tint on vehicles to decrease the number of traffic accidents. Camacho had said in the earlier interview that he is working with the Legislature to have the tints removed from CNMI vehicles due to the limited visibility afforded drivers. According to Norita, however, the measure, which was introduced by Rep. Benjamin Seman, only seeks to regulate the percentage of tint grade in car windows. He said it is still being reviewed by the House Judicial and Governmental Operations committee.

Jun Dayao Dayao
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