IN RESPONSE TO FORMER SPEAKER DELEON GUERRERO’S LETTER TO THE EDITOR,
NMI Democratic Party chairwoman Nola K. Hix said yesterday that former House speaker Pedro “Paduna” R. Deleon Guerrero appeared uninvited in the middle of the party’s Central Executive Committee’s informal meeting, and that he was cursing, was disruptive, and had an outburst.
In response to Saipan Tribune’s request for comments about Deleon Guerrero’s letter to the editor where he outlined his grievances against Hix, the NMI Democratic Party chairwoman said all the attendees at the meeting, which was held last Oct. 24, witnessed Deleon Guerrero’s cursing and outburst.
Hix said the former speaker is not a CEC member and that, contrary to his claims, his brother, former senator Herman R. Deleon Guerrero, never contacted the CEC to request his presence as a proxy.
Even if Herman Deleon Guerrero had done so, Hix said there is no provision for attendance by proxy in their bylaws.
“Indeed, this meeting did not involve any matter put to vote, so a proxy would not be needed even if it were permitted,” Hix said.
In his letter to the editor that Saipan Tribune published Tuesday, Pedro Deleon Guerrero expressed disappointment with the Party’s leadership and accused Hix and vice chairman Daniel Quitugua of being “bad leaders” after they evicted him from the Oct. 24 meeting. Deleon Guerrero said he received unwelcoming and disrespectful treatment by both Hix and Quitugua, who told him to “get out.” He said walked out and left peacefully, causing no commotion or disruption.
Hix said attempts to derail their efforts as Democrats only serve to remind them of the type of toxic and unbecoming behavior that has plagued the Party and politics for years.
“It was the party’s demise and is no longer acceptable. Politics is supposed to be about people binding together in the pursuit of the common good,” she said.
The chair said politics is degraded when it simply becomes a game of shifting alliances to preserve personal prestige and influence or to advance narrow economic self-interest.
She said that last Oct. 21, Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, who are running as governor and lieutenant governor as independent candidates in next year’s elections, had requested to meet with the party’s CEC members to discuss how to achieve similar goals with the upcoming general election.
Hix said the letter was shared with CEC members and their elected leaders with the agreement that there would be no commitments.
She said the meeting would be to simply listen and ask questions, and was confirmed and scheduled for Oct. 24.
She said it was not a public meeting, nor was it published as the request an informal meeting with CEC members only.
Hix said Deleon Guerrero appeared in the middle of the meeting in spite of the fact that he is not a CEC member.
The chair said Deleon Guerrero’s disruption was followed by the kind request for him to “please excuse himself” and “this is a closed-door meeting.”
“With this kind of request came an outburst. With this outburst came monthslong accusations regarding the circulation of messages with cries of bad leadership, all in an attempt to discredit members of our party, and undermine our party’s success,” she said
Hix said Deleon Guerrero became a member of the party’s strategy committee in 2020 and, while he was for a time an active member of that Committee, he had not attended any meetings regarding the 2021 special election, nor had he attended any CEC meetings this year.
She said Deleon Guerrero knows that Palacios and Apatang never submitted a letter of intent to run under the Democratic Party and never declared themselves as Democrats.
Nevertheless, the chair said, the Party has maintained continuous open and respectful communications with Palacios and Apatang and continues to do so.
“Our people deserve better. We need to do better and be better while leading by example,” she said.
Hix said the Democrats’ drive for good governance continues and may the outcome of the 2022 elections finally bring the people of the peace of mind and confidence they deserve.