Two ranking members of the CNMI Republican Party said CNMI voters appear satisfied with what they are doing as proven by the result of last week’s general election. The local GOP, based on unofficial tally, is on its way to securing 15 of the 20 seats at the House of Representatives while sweeping the three Senate posts at stake.
Senate vice president Arnold I. Palacios and Rep. Angel A. Demapan, both lawmakers from Saipan, thanked all of their supporters for the vote of renewed confidence.
“I join my Republican colleagues in thanking the people who came out and supported us,” said Palacios.
Demapan said: “Obviously we have a mandate as a majority. We have a mandate to meet and that is the mandate of the people. We believe the people appreciate the progress that the CNMI is experiencing and we will continue to deliver on our pledge to the people to make sure progress continues so we could ultimately reach our destination for a more prosperous Commonwealth.”
Palacios said local GOP officials had an organized plan for the elections where they presented what their candidates would push for if elected. “I can see all our efforts and hard work, especially from the candidates and their families, paid off. They got all the support they needed.”
“We had a good team and party officials had a really organized game plan. They worked hard to implement it. Their hard work paid off that resulted to the majority.”
He added that new faces would be added to the mix of veteran lawmakers once the 20th Legislature opens its first session in January. All candidates who ran under the Republican Party worked very hard and there’s a lot of new faces.”
“Some people did not expect that the Republicans were going to take 15 seats but I was confident, heading into the election, that we are going to do well,” said Palacios.
Demapan, meanwhile, wished his Republican colleagues who failed to win well. “In a way, I was also saddened that some GOP candidates failed to make it. I wish them well with their future endeavors.”
He then thanked his colleagues in Precinct 1 for guiding and supporting him in his first term as a lawmaker. He also said he would do all that he can in order to support the administration’s agenda, especially in economic development.
“I will continue to use the things that I learned to push the Republican agenda in shaping a better and stronger life for our community. We hope that the Republican majority and administration would translate to positive impacts to our people.”
“Of course we will thoroughly review every bill that comes from the Legislature to make sure that in would be beneficial for our people and our community,” he added.
Demapan is one of three GOP bets who ran for re-election in Precinct 1 where he placed second behind independent candidate Rep. Edwin K. Propst. Precincts 1 and 3 both have six representatives, while Precincts 2, 4, and 5 have two apiece. One each are allotted for Precinct 6 (Tinian) and 7 (Rota).
Joseph Leepan T. Guerrero was third in the tally with House vice speaker Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero coming in at fourth. Former representative Janet U. Maratita made a winning return at fifth place with Gregorio M. Sablan Jr. placing sixth.
Sablan, however, is not yet assured of the final seat since he only holds a lead of 67 votes against seventh placer Roman C. Benavente with more absentee ballots expected to come in.
On leave press secretary Ivan A. Blanco, one of six new members of the House who ran under the GOP ticket, topped Precinct 3 followed by independent bets Blass Jonathan T. Attao and Edmund S. Villagomez.
Donald C. Barcinas, Francisco S. Dela Cruz, and Jose I. Itibus round up the top six but the latter is battling the final seat against another independent candidate Ralph N. Yumul, who is also seeking re-election. Itibus, with absentee ballots still waiting to be tallied, garnered 952 votes against Yumul’s 911.
House Speaker Rafael S. Demapan and Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation chair John Paul P. Sablan, both Republican lawmakers in the 19th Legislature, will again represent Precinct 2, while GOP newcomer Alice S. Igitol will be joining independent Vinson Edward F. Sablan at Precinct 4.
Rep. Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan) and Francisco C. Aguon clinched the Precinct 5 seats, while Reps. Edwin P. Aldan (Tinian) and Glenn L. Maratita (Rota) are also on their way to joining the next Legislature. Aguon, Aldan, and Maratita are under the GOP ticket.
Aldan leads Diana H. Borja by 63 votes, while Maratita is ahead by 188 against Tricia Marie A. Manglona as they wait for the absentee ballots.
Senate President Francisco M. Borja is up by 126 votes against Henry H. San Nicolas in Tinian, while George O. Hocog holds a slim lead of six votes over incumbent Sen. Paul A. Manglona on Rota. Sen. Sixto K. Igisomar enjoys a lead of close to 4,000 votes against former senator Ray N. Yumul on Saipan.