In response to recent assertions made by gubernatorial candidate Juan N. Babauta, the Committee-to-Elect Ralph DLG. Torres and Arnold I. Palacios issued the following statement:
“The statements made by the other camp are in line with Juan Babauta’s well-established strategy to perpetuate falsehoods, mislead voters, and cover up years of his mismanagement of government resources and trust.
Voters and those who care deeply of our electoral process are done a disservice by the negative campaigning and attempts to rewrite history in the hopes the past will be forgotten.
For the future of the CNMI, the past cannot be forgotten.
Any claims of Juan Babauta’s interest in protecting our islands’ health care system if elected neglects the fact that in multiple occasion he has both been given the opportunity and failed to do so, leaving the lives of our people in jeopardy.
In his controversial 16-month tenure as CEO of the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., three appointed directors of medical affairs, CHCC’s chief financial officer, and critical medical staff stepped down in response to his incompetence.
See “30 nurses 4 doctors quit at CHC” by Clarrisa David, Saipan Tribune May 1, 2012 (https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/30-nurses-4-doctors-quit-at-chc/)
See “Bye, bye Babauta; Muna named interim CEO” by Tammy Doty April 21, 2013 (http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/55342-bye-bye-babauta-muna-named-interim-ceo)
Babauta pushed forward with a contentious sole-sourced and illegal billing and coding contract with a hastily formed state-side company and drove the hospital into near bankruptcy where they could not afford basic supplies for patients in dire need. See “Idaho-based ICS officially out of CHC” Saipan Tribune June 04, 2012 (https://www.saipantribune.com/index.php/bfa602d5-1dfb-11e4-aedf-250bc8c9958e/)
Under his term as CEO, CHCC accrued millions in unpaid utility bills, electricity was disconnected, and key vendors were left unpaid. See “CHC braces for power cuts” by Tammy Doty May 20, 2012
Babauta led to the near collapse of the islands’ sole hospital and put at severe risk the hospital’s certification with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). In response to CMS’ findings, Babauta himself said ““Unfortunately we dropped the ball.” See “Feds declare ‘immediate jeopardy’ status for CHC amid infighting” by Tammy Doty Sept. 18, 2012 (http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/49790-breaking-news-feds-place-chc-under-immediate-jeopardy-status-.php)
Thankfully, the CHCC board fired Babauta. In their evaluation report, the board stated “After completing the entire evaluation process, the Committee finds that CEO Juan N. Babauta failed to provide adequate leadership and strategic direction to CHC, leaving its facilities, corporate officers, and general staff in disarray.” See “CHC board fires CEO Babauta” by Tammy Doty March 21, 2013 (http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/54542-breaking-news-chc-board-fires-ceo-juan-n-babauta)
This was only five years ago, and the current administration is still dealing with the proven incompetence of Babauta’s tenure at the helm.
These are the reported facts.
Yet under the leadership of Ralph DLG. Torres, CHCC has received resources than ever to pay down its utility billings, create opportunities for the expansion of services, and provide for the needed equipment and workforce necessary for CHCC to continue its important goal of saving lives.
It is a fact that lives were at risk during Babauta’s last opportunity to improve our islands’ healthcare system, and many more will be affected if we let history be forgotten.
If the Babauta-Sablan camp chooses to continue its politics of divisiveness, negativity and lies, the facts will always prevail.”
Committee-to-Elect Ralph DLG. Torres and Arnold I. Palacios