Sen. Manglona says resignation the result of coordinated GOP attacks
Members of the House minority bloc said yesterday that, although they are deeply saddened by minority leader Rep. Edwin Propst’s (D-Saipan) resignation from office, they understand and respect his decision to prioritize his family and his health at this time.
In a joint statement, Reps. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Tina Sablan (D-Saipan), Sheila Babauta (D-Saipan), Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota), and Richard Lizama (D-Saipan) said that, throughout his three terms in office and as minority leader, Propst has been a champion for transparent and responsible government, and a strong voice against public corruption, political intimidation, and misuse of public funds.
Propst stepped down from his job Monday, saying he has reached his limits due to an extremely stressful job, the attacks on his name, and cyber bullying. His last official day is tomorrow, Thursday.
Villagomez vowed that they will keep “fighting the good fight” that Propst had led these past six years for the people they serve and the brighter future that they envision.
“May God bless Rep. Propst and his family, and our Northern Mariana Islands,” Villagomez said.
Sablan said that Propst has inspired them and many citizens to get involved in the community to stay informed about the issues, and to speak up and do what’s right even when it’s difficult.
“Again and again, he has shown us all what it means to be courageous,” Sablan said.
Babauta said that Propst has endured tremendous stress and made many personal sacrifices during his time in office, and that they respect his decision to take this time now to reset and refocus. “It takes courage, too, to be honest about our limits and to make necessary life changes in order to take care of our health and our families,” Babauta said.
Manglona said they are confident that, in time, Propst will once again find ways to help others and serve the community “as he always has.”
Lizama said that Propst has faithfully served Precinct 1 and the Commonwealth “as a true and honest leader” for the past six years. “He has given his all to help our people, and especially those in greatest need. We are grateful for his service.”
Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) said yesterday that Propst’s resignation is a sad day for the people of the CNMI and described it as the result of a “coordinated attack by the GOP.”
Manglona said everybody knows that all these unsubstantiated accusations against Propst are being hurled amidst a Special Legislative Committee’s investigation of public corruption, fraud, waste, and abuse of public funds by Gov Ralph DLG Torres.
“We will soon find out that this hit job will backfire on the GOP this upcoming Nov. 3 election,” the senator said.
Last Sept. 17, the Department of Public Safety confirmed that a complaint had been filed against Propst. DPS spokesman Dre Pangelinan said DPS is looking into the complaint but did not share any specifics.
Irene Holl, a concerned citizen, recently asked House Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao (R-Saipan) to conduct an ethics investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Propst while he was a teacher at the Marianas High School and also at the Northern Marianas College.
Holl furnished copies of the letter to Torres and Attorney General Edward Manibusan.
Propst’s current term was supposed to end on Jan. 11, 2021. Although he previously ran as in independent, he’s running as a Democrat for re-election to represent Precinct 1 in the upcoming Nov. 3 general elections.
Prior to joining the Legislature, Propst worked in education and owned a photography business.