With the runoff election just two days away, the friction between the Palacios-Apatang and Torres-Sablan camps is becoming even more heated following a document leak insinuating that Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang have prematurely chosen their Cabinet members, promising jobs to their supporters.
A document showing a lineup of potential hires in a new Arnold and Dave administration was leaked on various social media platforms yesterday, yet both camps insist they are not in any way connected to the document or its subsequent leak.
Palacios immediately issued a press release yesterday, claiming that the document is fake and is a ploy by the opposing party to stir confusion and animosity within the community.
In response to the accusation, the Republican Party, through its president, Shayne Villanueva, issued a statement claiming that the accusation is false, adding that it is, in fact, the AD camp that is spreading reckless information. AD refers to the initials of the first names of Palacios and Apatang.
According to Palacios’ statement, he is appalled by the GOP’s act of fraudulently creating the document and leaking it to stir hate within the community.
“I am appalled at the level of nastiness Gov. Torres and the GOP will show as we head into the final days of the runoff election. To fraudulently create a document that shows names of supposed hires in an AD administration is low. It is meant to create confusion and animosity. Ralph, is there no limit to your desperation for power?” said Palacios.
He clarified that there is no list created nor discussed by the AD camp as to potential hires, and he believes that the document is just another one of his opponent’s “deceitful” tactics.
“We have noticed that GOP trolls have been hard at work faking accounts, releasing fraudulent documents attributed to the AD camp, and have brought off-island bloggers to discredit Lt. Gov. Palacios. Our people can see through the governor’s lies and deceit. After all we have endured it for over four years. All of these lies and distractions being perpetrated by the Torres-Sablan camp will not take away from the fact that Ralph is currently under federal investigation for alleged corruption and is locally charged for theft,” Palacios said.
Meanwhile, in Villanueva’s statement, he notes that, instead of just denying the document as true or false, Palacios went out of his way to blame Torres and to spread misinformation in the community.
“The AD camp has now accused Torres-Sablan and its supporters of creating a document circulating around social media. The AD camp can either defend the list or deny that they created it but the accusation that we had something to do with the list is both reckless and irresponsible. For over two years, the AD camp has spread much misinformation, deceit and lies about Torres-Sablan and have changed the many projects of success into a scheme of improper accusations. In a more recent event of vandalism to Torres-Sablan sign, we took the high road and did not blame the AD camp. Remarkably, many of the AD supporters even accused Torres-Sablan of vandalizing our own signs. This is absurd and ludicrous,” he said.
Villanueva also claims that the AD camp and its supporters are notorious for using trolls and tabloids to misinform the public.
“The Palacios-Apatang camp and supporters have, in fact, used more trolls and tabloid newsmakers to misinform the general public of the accomplishments and successes of the party. Their whole campaign is built on hateful words, disrespect, and ugly tactics to separate our people of the CNMI,” Villanueva said.
He pointed out that, in response to the list, Palacios goes off-tangent and once again raised the issue of Torres being charged with first class travel. “In doing so, he doesn’t mention that he 100% traveled first class and many other employees. That he engaged in perjury when he testified before the JGO that he did not travel; travel documents were revealed in court that he and his wife traveled first class,” Villanueva added.
He said the Torres-Sablan camp will continue to run its campaign based on accomplishments and will not be swayed by the opposition’s tactics to distract them.
“The Torres-Sablan runs a campaign based on progress and accomplishments. We will not be distracted by the opponent’s tactics and will continue to show that Torres-Sablan team will move our Commonwealth forward, not backward,” he said.