Hafa adai and Marianas. For the last few months, several fake profiles and accounts of me have been all over Facebook and social media. Friends and many concerned residents have informed me of fake profiles messaging them on Facebook.
Let me set the record straight. I rarely message people via Facebook Messenger. If you have received a message from a fake account that is not coming from this account, “Ralph DLG. Torres,” please report that account to Facebook. Federal and local law enforcement have been notified and will prosecute individuals caught doing this.
Look, I don’t have the time to post on Facebook every hour like some people who have more time on their hands. I use this Facebook account to share announcements, policy initiatives, and updates on some of our Commonwealth’s important issues and concerns. I use it intentionally with a focus on inspiring and encouraging everyone in our tightly-knit community, manhoben to man’amko, to be a part of the solutions and to create more progress for our community. I use social media to make positive friendships and genuine connections with people who have helped me be a better governor.
Over the last three years, my administration and I worked hard to grow our economy, increase benefits, increase budgets for the Public School System, Northern Marianas College, Commonwealth Health Care Corp., Department of Public Safety and law enforcement, raise salaries for government employees and frontline law enforcement, strengthen our enforcement for the War on Ice, help drug offenders rehabilitate and get back on their feet for their families, reduced our deficit by over 70 percent, paid off long awaited land compensation, develop our U.S. workforce, help 2,560 small businesses (and counting) open shop, provide more money for scholarships so that our young, bright students can come back home to serve and realize their dreams here at home, and create stronger financial security.
Then the typhoons came, and we all know where are now because of it.
I’m not interested in campaigning and politics right now. With all these fake accounts that I’m seeing, there are people out there who are using dirty politics to create division within our community. I thought we had an election a year ago.
Let me be clear. My focus, my only focus is to fix our finances, continue our recovery from Super Typhoon Yutu, get us out of austerity, release our tax rebate and remaining child tax checks soon, and replenish the funding for PSS, NMC, CHCC, Marianas Visitors Authority, and the rest of our departments and agencies.
Around our community I hear concerns. I understand that our community wants responsibility, accountability, and prosperity that reaches everyone. I hear you, and I am with you.
As your governor, I will continue to work hard for you in order to protect the progress we have made together and to protect our long-term vision of a future with stronger homes and infrastructure, a diversified economy focused on high-end tourism, technology, and local agriculture; better zoning; a revitalized Garapan; true tourism on Tinian and Rota; safer villages free from drugs; a Northern Marianas College that can become a four-year university of research, learning, and workforce development; a more cost-efficient medical referral program; and a CHCC that can treat loved ones with cancer here at home. These and many more initiatives my administration have been working on for all of us.
The work to get us back to where we were before the typhoon is beyond politics, and I’m not interested in campaigning right now.
We will continue to work for the vision I have shared with you, but I know that reaching these goals will take time and the effort of every person who calls these islands home to see it through. And I know we’ll get there, because we’ve done it before. All of us working together over many years—we chose to make progress. And if we can remind ourselves and appreciate that it takes a home, a village, an island, and a Commonwealth to restart our progress, we will find that it is easier to believe that our islands will recover stronger than any storm.
Ralph DLG. Torres (Special to the Saipan Tribune)
Ralph DLG. Torres is the 9th governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and the youngest governor in the United States.