The FY `17 budget


Disposition of the FY `17 budget was handled responsibly where the governor sent a clear message to alleged Lt. Gov. Biktot Hokog that he’s wary of the undermining scheme he’s schemed with senators. There’s nothing up that alley, sir!

Imagine allowing the mayors of Tinian and Rota ultimate disposition of leftover funds for utilities when the NMI owes CUC nearly $30 million. Saipan taxpayers would be forced to pay for over 30 political hires to aid in the fast fading political career of Sen. Francisco Borja. Biktot Hokog’s maneuver crash-landed on the reef outside the Susupe channel left as bait for sharks.

It boggles the mind why the illustrious Saipan senators and representatives were complicit in the open wasteful scheme. Was it right that you turned your head the other way on an issue that requires minute attention?

Now, there’s some money left to pay for the following urgent need at CHC: 1. Critical disposable tubes being used on ICU patients to ensure they don’t choke from phlegm collection in their throat. 2. Purchase of additional gowns so patients could change dirty ones daily.

Then there’s the echo of an improved economy with its suspect domino effect. But you limited salary increases to an already overpaid public sector ignoring to lift the boats of employees in private industries. Aren’t private industry employees people too?

GOP regrouping?

Through the grapevine, I heard of the reorganization effort of the Covenant Party. It’s aimed at 2018, a move that could effectively eliminate Republicans who came back into the fold.

The genesis of the now fractured GOP is a painful experience where the dilemma entails eradicating corruption in favor of upholding the laws of the land or sweeping the issue under the rug for political convenience where everybody lives happily ever after.

Unfortunately, impeachment from the lower chamber was the only alternative that meant the permanent wedging of relations among republicans. Impeachment finally took its toll.

The initial move didn’t leave much room for lower chamber legislators to avoid fiduciary disposition other than to decide what does it preserve: corruption or the integrity of the laws of the land? Understandably, the tectonic collision upon returning to the GOP didn’t sit well with the grandfathers of the GOP. The tectonic rumbling kept jolting what was once a single unit now dangerously disintegrated.

Of what benefit is the planned reorganization other than a few haggard consultants collecting big bucks from the system without real benefits accruing to the multitude? And is the effort sufficiently attractive to sheeple or fool voters once more to following instructions from political slave masters? Or is it just another “feel good” scheme so useless for the multitude?

The fractious group isn’t going to see its deep wounds heal soon, if at all. If the reorganization excludes republicans who took a stand in favor of impeachment, it means the severing of relation. It took courage to vote fulfilling fiduciary duty. The political sacrifice is huge but it rests well among the multitude wary that it was the right thing to do!

The intelligent yet idiot

Over the years, we’ve patiently listened to the “intelligent yet idiot” (IYI) bunch tell us what to do, what to eat, how to speak, how to think and who to vote for. Surprising their half-cocked view that they know better. Thus, the bravery to tell us what’s good for us even to the contrary.

But let’s put the guys and gals through a simple test to see if they know their fiduciary duties. The authority to appropriate funds is the epitome of power solely reserved for the legislature. One would think that it’s almost a given that it would jump to defend its authority when violated by any member or delegation. It didn’t! Why?

I had to file a lawsuit against the MV Luta in hopes of jolting their nimble mind. That nobody came to my rescue makes one wonder if it isn’t fitting that a constitutional amendment be sought to impose an exam on all legislative candidates pertaining to the NMI Constitution and Covenant Agreement. Those who fail must be relegated permanently from seeking public office. Imagine da guys and gals spelling “constitution” m-a-n-g-o, mango! Seezzzz! And it’s dealing with policy on our livelihood?

Interesting though the courage to blindly brave explaining public policy so clueless what the task entails. Well, maybe it’s the reason we have the IYI club to lump and dump every Tom, Dick and Harry into the fold who fits the bill. Halo? Must be the origin of all wrongs! Sayu? If someone embarrasses you about your representative being clueless, just say that he or she was recently inducted into the IYI Hall of Fame!

Said Magoo, “The IYI is our version of Basket of Deplorables!” Oooops!

$100K for commission

The establishment of a status commission includes $100,000 in funds for its purposes. What’s purpose boggles the mind when mirrored against the permanent arrangement found under USPL 94-241.
If you read Covenant Sections 101 and 102 you’d get a clear idea of the obvious exercise in futility inherent in the work of the legislature. The first aspect speaks loud and clear that the NMI surrendered sovereignty under the law. The latter says the Covenant Agreement (USPL 94-241) is the “supreme law” of the land.

The same federal law provides for the 902 Talks, the vehicle to resolve differences in federal policies then and now. It didn’t say the NMI may establish another commission to conduct future discussions. It’s a permanent arrangement we no longer could change. Only through the plenary powers of the U.S. Congress could changes be made to the agreement.

The NMI’s dissatisfaction and frustrations are self-inflicted and hasn’t been able to navigate its way forward strengthening its democratic institutions to ensure strong governance.

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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