The timing of politicians in addressing payment of 25-percent diminution of retirees’ pension, land compensation, wage increase to federal minimum wage level, and high power rate is suspect of general election wolves bearing gifts. Wolves bearing gifts is a scheme used by politicians to deceive voters for their votes. A scheme to convince us voters that they are truly representing our interest when it is very obvious that politicians are just playing their political gamesmanship to ensure they get elected. The questions that we the voters should ask these politicians is why act just now? Why haven’t they taken care of these issues right there and then when it first became public knowledge that it will affect the life of everyone of us in the CNMI? Why wait until election year? Other than for political rhetoric, what are your realistic plans of action?
On Nov. 15, 2013, “[a] bill [in the House seeking] to restore the 25-percent cut in retirees’ pension and ensure the payment of interest earned by active employees both under the defined benefit plan” was prefiled, but did not identify the specific sources to fund these other than “new revenue sources.” The question that we voters should ask these politicians is, where is the source of revenue to restore the 25-percent cut in retirees’ pension? Is this is another empty promise?
On Jan. 28, 2013, it was reported that a bill was prefiled in the House that would increase “immediately”—or 180 days after it becomes law—the local minimum wage to $7.25 an hour to match the federal level. Let us not forget that this is the same House that endorsed and supported suspension of the yearly wage increase. Why the change in heart? It is because it’s election year?
On Jan. 29, 2014, it was reported that the House “is proposing to appropriate $1 million in Managaha Island landing fee to pay some landowners whose properties were taken by the government for public access roads…” Politicians are now scrounging for even just a “drop in the bucket” funds to compensate landowners for landowners are dead serious to vote out all non-productive incumbent politicians this coming general election. Politician wolves bearing gifts will not deter voters this time around to voting them out from our public offices.
On Jan. 29, 2014, it was reported that “[l]awmakers take turns excoriating CUC.” Lawmakers are asking “CUC what cost-cutting measures it has been doing.” Isn’t this a hypocritical question, when lawmakers themselves should also be “walking the talk”? Let’s not forget that the government owes CUC millions of dollars for their power consumption, one of the factors instigating the high cost of our power rate. We the people are paying for the governor’s failure to pay the CNMI government’s power bills. And, other than taking turns bad-mouthing CUC for the irresponsible expenditures, what are the politicians doing to stop such wasteful spending?
Since we don’t want to continue suffering due to 25-percent diminution in our pension, and since we want to be compensated for our lands taken by the government, and since we don’t want to continue to live in a Third-World economy with Third-World minimum wages, and since we don’t want to continue to dig deeper into our pockets to pay the ridiculously high power rate, therefore, let us not vote Eulogio Inos and Ralph Torres and their “IT” team; let us not vote for all the incumbent legislators who are not doing anything for the people.
For your information, I am discovering more kuchinada (dirtiness) regarding the Marpi landfill emergency contract. You might have guessed it! Eulogio Inos approved the “emergency” contract, which begs the question: Was the Marpi landfill six-month “emergency” contract a payback for the contractor and others? Or was it a playback of the same old corruption? More to come on this smelly landfill “emergency” contract.
Jesus I. Taisague