Palacios: Still many holdouts among previous appointees


Despite sending out memoranda to various semi-autonomous agencies to ask for the voluntary resignation of their board and commission members, there have been a lot of holdouts who have yet to step down.

Speaking at a news briefing last Thursday, Gov. Arnold I. Palacios disclosed that there are still a lot of holdouts among board members of some semi-autonomous agencies. One of the boards Palacios was referring to was the Marianas Visitors Authority board of directors.

Saipan Tribune learned from a reliable source that, to date, over a month since the inauguration of the new administration, only MVA board chair Viola Alepuyo has stepped down from her post. The rest of the board have yet to tender their resignations.

“There’s a lot of holdouts. I don’t want to go through everyone of these boards but yes, there are a lot of holdouts, with board [members] who believe they can serve under this administration.

When asked what he is doing about it, Palacios stated that his administration is working on reappointments or replacing members with new appointees.

“We will deal with this next week. We are putting together reappointments and new appointees for these positions. We will let everyone know,” he said.

Aside from semi-autonomous agencies, a lot of government agencies have yet to have appointed heads, leaving a large number of Cabinet seats empty.

One of these departments is the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services. Police director Aniceto T. Ogumoro is the acting DPS commissioner, but a permanent appointee to the position has yet to be named. All secretary-level appointees require the consent and confirmation of the Senate.

Palacios said that, although DPS is one of the most critical departments, because of the many controversies surrounding the department, the administration is taking careful consideration of who they appoint to this position.

The governor added that applications for Cabinet members are still being accepted and are still being vetted to date and he hopes the positions will be filled soon.

The governor added that he has held off on announcing other Cabinet members because many are still off island.

In closing, Palacios said he expects nothing but hard work and dedication from their appointees.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at
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