JP Sablan secures commitment of 12 SNILD members

Coalition assigns chairmanships of local delegation

Rep. John Paul Sablan (R-Saipan) is at the cusp of being elected chairman of the Saipan and Northern Islands Legislative Delegation of the 19th House of Representatives.

This after the precinct 2 lawmaker secured the commitment of nine Saipan representatives, including himself, and three senators during an informal meeting Friday morning at the Legislature.

After securing the 12 commitments, Sablan immediately went to Rep. Ralph Yumul’s (Ind-Saipan) office to inform the minority bloc that he is expected to be chosen as the SNILD chair.

“Just met with the minority letting them know just what transpired so there won’t be any surprises and what they should be expecting is forthcoming. That’s just how open I intend to be if I’m fortunate enough to win the chairmanship,” he told Saipan Tribune in an interview an hour after the leadership meeting.

The two-term representative said he is humbled by the support of his colleagues from the NMI Republican Party and independent bloc led by House Speaker Joseph P. Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan).

“Right now, including me, we have 12 supporting me for the chairmanship of the SNILD. We are drafting a memorandum for all the members to sign to call for an organizational session. The tentative date that we all agreed upon—the 12th—is this Friday, Jan. 23.”

The leadership also decided during Friday’s meeting on who will be vice speaker as well as the composition of the SNILD standing committees.

Sablan said that serving as the local delegation’s vice chair will be Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan), while the SNILD floor leader would be Rep. Angel Demapan (R-Saipan).

The SNILD standing committees chairs are Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan), Committee on Judicial and Governmental Operations; Sen. Arnold Palacios (R-Saipan), Committee on Federal and Foreign Relations; Rep. Francis Taimanao (Ind-Saipan), Committee on Public Utilities, Transportations, and Communications; Rep. Felicidad Ogumoro (R-Saipan), Committee on Education; Deleon Guerrero, Committee on Health and Welfare; Rep. Lee Pan Guerrero (R-Saipan), Committee on Tourism; Rep. Antonio Sablan (Ind-Saipan), Committee on Way and Mean; vice speaker Ralph Demapan (R-Saipan), Committee on Natural Resources; and Rep. George Camacho (R-Saipan), Committee on Commerce.

Sablan said he, Igisomar, and Angel Demapan would serve as co-chairs of the SNILD standing Committee on Rules and Procedure

Sablan’s chief rival for the SNILD chairmanship is Rep. Ramon A. Tebuteb (Ind-Saipan). He, however, is only expected to garner nine votes in Friday’s scheduled organizational meeting.

The nine that are expected to vote for Tebuteb include himself and Reps. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Ralph N. Yumul (Ind-Saipan), Anthony T. Benavente (Ind-Saipan), Roman Benavente (Ind-Saipan), Larry Deleon Guerrero (Ind-Saipan), Edwin Propst (Ind-Saipan), Vinson Sablan (Ind-Saipan), and Blas Jonathan “B.J.” Attao (Ind-Saipan).

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at

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