Gov. Ralph DLG Torres has nominated Martin T. Mendiola to serve as a member of the Commonwealth Casino Commission to represent Rota.
Torres appointed Mendiola to replace Diego M. Songao, who resigned as CCC commissioner last September 2021 due to health reasons.
The Senate has yet to confirm Mendiola’s nomination. If confirmed, he will serve the remaining term vacated by Songao, which will expire on April 30, 2024.
Torres notified the Senate that he is confident in Mendiola’s leadership to carry out the mandates of the board in governing and managing CCC.
Saipan Tribune learned that Mendiola used to serve as administrator of the Roxta branch of the Northern Marianas College and resident director of the Rota Commonwealth Ports Authority.
Even without Songao, the commissioners have been meeting because only three commissioners are needed in order to have a quorum.
The CCC commissioners elect their officers yearly but decided last April 28 to retain the status quo in their respective positions. Edward C. DeLeon Guerrero remains the chairman, Ralph S. Demapan is vice chairman, Ramon Dela Cruz is secretary, and Mariano Taitano is treasurer.
The CCC’s main source of funding is the annual $3 million regulatory fee and other fees paid by Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, the exclusive Saipan casino licensee. However, it has failed to do so in recent past. IPI’s casino has yet to reopen since its shutdown in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.