Manibusan, NI Mayor Santos file candidacies


Accompanied by family members and some supporters, Attorney General Edward Manibusan files his candidacy Thursday as a nonpartisan for his re-election as AG before Commonwealth Election Commission executive director Julita Villagomez and CEC administrative officer Kayla Igitol. Manibusan is the first elected AG in the CNMI. He won by a big margin of votes in 2014. (Contributed Photo)

Edward Eladio Manibusan, the CNMI’s first elected attorney general, has filed his candidacy to seek another term, while incumbent Northern Islands Mayor Vicente Cruz Santos Jr. also submitted his petition as an independent candidate for the mayoral seat.

Incumbent Rep. Edmund Sablan Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) filed his candidacy as an independent bet for Precinct 3 of the House of Representatives on Saturday, while Richard Tudela Lizama submitted his nomination on Thursday for House Precinct 5.

Precinct 3 covers Oleai and Garapan areas, while Precinct 5 covers Kagman.

Thomas Taimanao Atalig filed his candidacy as an independent last Friday for a Rota House seat.

In a statement shortly after filing his candidacy as a non-partisan bet last Thursday, Manibusan said he is prepared and ready to serve the people of the CNMI once again.

“I am humbled to have served the people as the first elected attorney general,” Manibusan said. …“There will be challenges in the years ahead, but with those come great opportunities to change outdated policies that undermine the public interest and the rule of law.”

Manibusan was elected in the November 2014 election, defeating Michael Evangelista. He was sworn in in January 2015 as the first elected AG in the CNMI. He used to serve as presiding judge of the Superior Court from 1998 to 2003.

Santos filed his candidacy last Friday. He took over the Northern Islands mayor position in March 2017 when the then-mayor Francisco Jerome Kaipat Aldan died on Feb. 18, 2017.

As of Saturday, there were 59 total persons, mostly independent candidates, who filed their candidacies. The Republicans, led by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Senate President Arnold I. Palacios (R-Saipan), are set to file their candidacies today, Monday, at 10am.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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