Hundreds stage rally for marine sports firms

Hundreds, including children, joined a peaceful rally at the Garapan Fishing Base by marine sports operators that are suing the Department of Public Lands for barring them access to Managaha Island to pick up their customers.

About 25 speedboats and parasailing boats as well as 30 jetskis and a couple of banana boats converged in the waters at the Fishing Base dock at 3:30pm for the rally, which was intended to raise public awareness about the Managaha access issue.

On the dock itself, a big tent was put up where marine sports operators, their employees, family members, and supporters gathered.

The tent was festooned with big streamers that read “[DPL] should not changed rules after 18 years!!!” “Save local marine sports industry!” and “Save our livelihood! Tourism needs us!”

The protesters shouted with joy when somebody broke the news that Superior Court associate judge Joseph N. Camacho had just granted the marine sports operators’ motion for preliminary injunction.

“It’s a very peaceful gathering,” attorney F. Matthew Smith, one of the counsels for the five marine sports operators, told Saipan Tribune.

Smith said he is very happy with the outpouring of support for the local marine sports industry.

“It’s a community effort to show that people care,” Smith said.

He said they are happy with Camacho’s determination that they have made a sufficient showing of likelihood of success on the merits of their case.

The lawyer said the ruling maintains the status quo on Managaha until the case is finally resolved.

David Pangelinan, president of Island Marine Sports, said he is really happy while at the same time surprised at the community’s strong support.

Pangelinan said he is also overjoyed with Camacho’s granting of preliminary injunction and that he is hoping that the outcome of their lawsuit will eventually be favorable to them.

Some lawmakers were spotted at the dock.

By 5:30pm, the boats and rallier began leaving the dock.

By Ferdie de la Torre

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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