Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan) finally completed the nine-member Senate after he was sworn in yesterday with family and friends in attendance at the Hon. Jesus P. Mafnas Memorial Building
Igisomar, who was sworn in by Senate President Ralph DLG. Torres (R-Saipan), with his wife Catherine S. Tenorio holding the Bible, said it is a great honor to address everyone as a senator representing Saipan.
“I am humbled by all the people who gave me their vote of confidence to serve them and to be their voice within this august body. Rest assured, I do not take this responsibility lightly. As the senator for the people of Saipan, I will have an open door policy because I must be accessible to my constituents. I will listen to your problems and as your voice in the Senate, help you find the solutions for the problems afflicting you today and to lay the foundation so that all our future generation will not suffer the same plight,” he read from prepared speech after he took his oath.
Igisomar, who won in the special elections for senator to continue the unfinished term of former Senate floor leader Ray Yumul, said the fact that he only has a little over half of the usual term for senator gives him additional motivation.
“I am not a stranger to hard work and because I only have two years, I am motivated to invite key stakeholders from the government and the private sector in order to identify problematic areas and remove any hindrance so that we can help our private sector flourish, which will translate to revenue generation for our government. This will require hard work, dedication, and perseverance and I am confident that if we establish a sound working relationship based on trust, mutual respect, and selflessness, we can accomplish great things,” said the former Commerce secretary.
Senate members took turns welcoming Igisomar to the upper chamber, with Senate floor leader Pete Reyes (Ind-Saipan) saying Igisomar can always ring him up for advice. Reyes is retiring soon.
Sen. Victor Hocog (R-Rota) said he welcomes Igisomar not only to the 18th Senate but the incoming 19th Senate as well.
Sens. Jovita Taimanao (R-Saipan) and Joaquin Borja (Ind-Tinian) both lamented that they will only have a short time to work with Igisomar in the 18th Senate. Both Taimanao and Borja lost their elections bids.
Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian) gave a comedic twist to the proceedings when he expressed hope that Igisomar sticks around as his seatmate because the past two—Yumul and Torres—resigned and ascended to the Senate presidency, respectively. This elicited laughter from the audience.
Sen. Francisco Borja (Ind-Tinian) said he is happy that Saipan is finally well represented in the Senate with Igisomar’s swearing in yesterday.
Torres, meanwhile, congratulated Igisomar, his wife, and his entire family for winning the special elections for senator last Nov. 4. He said although he is a senator from Saipan, he also represents the entire CNMI.
Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota) was absent.
Igisomar was appreciative of the kind words from his colleagues.
“I thank my colleagues for welcoming me with open arms and as the freshman senator from Saipan, I look forward to learning from each of them and collaborating with them to make the rest of the 18th and the 19th Senate an active and productive body.”
Igisomar won via landslide in a three-man race in the special elections for senator after garnering 5,903 votes.
Yumul resigned after opting to run as independent gubernatorial bet Heinz Hofshneider’s lieutenant governor in the Nov. 4 elections.
Hofshneider and Yumul finished second and will figure in a runoff between Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Torres tomorrow, Nov. 21.