Former allies, govt workers speak on Fitial case


A one-year prison sentence for former governor Benigno R. Fitial is sufficient, according to Floor Leader George Camacho (R-Saipan).

Camacho also said lawmakers have to respect the decision of the court.

“We respect the court’s decision, once court papers were filed, we let the system take its course,” Camacho said, adding that it all started at the Legislature when impeachment proceedings against Fitial where initiated.

But before the impeachment can further proceed, Fitial resigned from his post. “When the case was filed in court, then it was out of our hands,” Camacho said.

Camacho, however, said he is “curious” on how the medical treatment for the former governor will proceed, considering that he needs to go off-island ever so often for the said treatments.

“Once he’s incarcerated, then it is up to the Department of Corrections to provide the medical needs. Is he going to get the same amount of care, or the proper treatment?” Camacho said.

One year is sufficient, there was a plea agreement, because there was an admission of guilt

For Sen. Teresita A. Santos (R-Rota) the sentencing of the former governor means “there is a process, and it works” on the CNMI.

It can be recalled that Santos was a member of the House of Representatives back when impeachment proceedings were being conducted against Fitial.

Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro (R-Saipan), Santos, Camacho, and then representative Richard Seman voted “no” on the articles of impeachment against Fitial.

Santos said the court case proves that no one is above the law, and that justice applies to private citizens and elected public officials.

A government worker, requesting anonymity, meanwhile, said Fitial should not be put in jail considering his medical condition.

“He is already old and his medical condition should be considered,” the government worker said.

Another government worker said Fitial should have not been given the jail sentence and most of the punishment should have been given to former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham.

“Buckingham is the more guilty party,” the government worker said, adding that the court should have been more lenient to Fitial and not impose a prison sentence.

Joel D. Pinaroc | Reporter
Joel Pinaroc worked for a number of newspapers in the Philippines before joining the editorial team of Saipan Tribune. His published articles include stories on information technology, travel and lifestyle, and motoring, among others. Contact him at

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