A Rota Legislative Delegation session has been rescheduled for today, Monday, but soon-to-be senator Paul Manglona has requested to have the session postponed to accommodate his participation.
Manglona asked the session be moved in a letter to delegation chair Rep. Glenn Maratita (R-Rota) on Friday.
Manglona said Gov. Ralph DLG Torres would soon be making his appointment to the Senate to fill in the vacant seat of Rota.
The seat was vacated when then-Senate president Victor Hocog ascended to post of lieutenant governor following the passing of late governor Eloy S. Inos in December.
CNMI Attorney General Edward Manibusan earlier said whoever was the second-highest vote-getter in the 2014 election for Rota senator’s position will take the seat. That means that the former senator Manglona will fill up the position of Hocog, considering that he finished third in the Senate race for Rota behind Steven K. Mesngon and Teresita A. Santos.
The CNMI provides that “a vacancy in the Legislature shall be filled by special election if one-half or more of the term remains.” The law also provides that “if less than one-half of the term remains, the governor shall fill up the vacancy by appointing the unsuccessful candidate for the office in the last election who received the largest number of votes and is willing to serve or, if no candidate is available, a person qualified for the office from the district represented.”
In his letter, Manglona notes an item scheduled for discussion, House local bill 19-44, which will appropriate $2 million specifically allotted to Rota by the public law 18-56, or the casino law that established a casino on Saipan.
Manglona asked the delegation to postpone the session until after his appointment
He said he would like to partake in the delegation’s discussions and actions, “especially on items pertaining to local appropriations.”
“I have no intention to delay or derail any critical or important programs and projects,” he said. “However as an incoming representative of our people, I know I can contribute towards a productive discussion on how our meager resources can best be put to sue to address the critical needs of our community.”
Manglona was the longest serving member of the Legislature after 25 years, thrice as Senate president, until Hocog defeated him in the 2012 elections.
In November 2013, Manglona returned to the Senate after then-acting governor Jude Hofschneider appointed him to the 18th Senate when the CNMI Supreme Court ruled that the unsuccessful candidate in the 2012 election—and not in the 2009 polls—should be appointed to the seat vacated by former Rota senator Juan M. Ayuyu.