‘Not yet, already’


Some unusual events turned fireworks as the year draws to a close. It includes the FBI raid of the governor’s office, screaming headline for his investigation, the steady loss of taxes from IPI, and the resignation of its CEO.

Interesting the hot blast of shift from expectations of the joy of the season to troubled events that marred life on the islands. Let’s rein in the sense of peace, joy and tranquility of the season.

The troubling tidings wrought troubled curiosity while dead silence pans out across the archipelago as the decibels of the unusual events fade into the sunset.

In short, I view the planned investigation misguided when mirrored against the commission of crimes per pertinent constitutional provisions. Do you have exculpatory evidence of wrongdoing by the titular head? What’s his crime?

Individual opinions of alleged corruption based on “he said” or “she said” aren’t factual but personal opinions. Moreover, the accused must be rendered his “due process rights.” We can’t settle for pleasant fiction!

As I assess what may have gone wrong, I came across two well-informed letters sizing up disappointing events here and what needs to be done. The letters came from former NMI Supreme Court justice Jose S. Dela Cruz and Daniel Quitugua.

Indeed, it’s all in the palm of our hands but somehow we repeat the same mistakes, time and again. We vote for the same people who hardly have any perception why they’re in public office. How about learning to mean what you say and say what you mean? It’s in the palm of our hands!

In the meantime, I’ve shifted to the slow lane, having turned septuagenarian. It doesn’t mean I have given up keeping my ears to the ground. Nah!

For as long as intellectual acuity is intact, I’d check events as they unfold and scribble my piece forthwith.

This week the focus is on local revenues for current obligations. Reportedly, there’s the obvious insufficiency of funds for most needs. But there’s the unpredictable swing of revenue generation we must contend with quarterly.

News has it that PSS is short some $7 million for its needs. It raises the query: What would be the cumulative fund shortage when you add CHC and other agencies?

While I’m optimistic prudent spending should pull us through these difficult times, we still must set our sight on other alternatives to raise more funds for vital needs. Pray and hope that revenue generation doesn’t take a long hike south.

This is where the term “leadership” comes into full play. Let’s navigate the problematic fund shortage to pay for mounting obligations. Could this challenge be met with “can-do” commitment?

Indeed, it is a challenge and more often than not it only requires simple common sense like buckling down to realistic disposition of what we have in the coffers.

It obligates so-called leadership to engage trashing excess baggage where necessary. It only requires resolve to do it right!

Appalling the discrepancy in salaries for public officials versus the rest. It’s a difference of some $47,000 per annum. Goes to show it was done with arrogance of “might is right.”

The fact doesn’t change the obvious difference and you wonder what standard was used to strengthen poverty among already hard-hit employees. How did this factual hardship escape the nimble minds of policymakers?

It’s the quality of life of families, isn’t it? And you have the gall to drop more money into your pockets overlooking the needs of nearly 15,000 employees literally struggling with poverty income? Isn’t this hardship founded on arrogance we must critically ponder next year?

It’s comical attempts to meddle in the disposition of public land by a disoriented policymaker. For instance, it is rumored that Rep. Roman Benavente wants to transfer authority of land disposition from DPL to DLNR via statutory imposition.

It should dawn on our illustrious lawmaker the simple dictates of the concept of supremacy of laws. Statutory laws can’t amend nor rein over constitutional law! Isn’t land disposition constitutionally mandated?

You must partake fostering stability of laws, sir! We’ve gone past adolescency! Your whimsical agenda doesn’t in anyway alter superiority of constitutional over statutory laws.

John S. Del Rosario Jr. | Contributing Author
John DelRosario Jr. is a former publisher of the Saipan Tribune and a former secretary of the Department of Public Lands.
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