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Reflection of Holy Week

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It’s Holy Friday! A perfect time to reflect upon the depth of our religious cultural belief passed on down generations of indigenous people since 500 years ago. It’s good to focus on certain aspects of our spiritual upbringing to rediscover the mettle of a good person. More so than ever before we need this re-awakening for a stronger community.

In doing so, it’s good for parents to focus on teaching their children empathy, humility and care for others. It brings home His words of “do unto others what you want them to do unto you”. If this is fully understood then it eliminates other issues as kids begin building stronger and mindful relationships with others.

Going to catechism and church services reconfirms commitment to developing strong spiritual life that ensures disciplined kids and citizenry as they begin taking their place in the community. And one of His lasting teachings is to help the downtrodden or those who really needed help. Doing so confirms your mindfulness that “people are people” no matter their stations in life.

Indeed, I recall the years of walking to catechism every after school and the dreaded lead in the family rosary every night before we hit the books. I never regretted it. I’ve been able to pass this along to siblings and their children. It gave us the most vital anchor in our life—spiritual anchor—we’ve since used up to now.

Yes, there were really trying times and often I ask why did He abandoned me. But there’s also the story of a kid who asked Him the same query and was told that the missing steps on the sand were times when the Lord picked him up. How humbling!

More so than at any other time, it’s good for families to refocus on strong religious or spiritual values and share them with their children. It fosters respect all the way around and makes for caring members of a community, a forte in our tradition that now needs some form of resuscitation.

When you buckle down to meditating the life of the Lord (Easter being His resurrection or when He came to life) ask him to be your lifetime partner. Trust me. It eases all worries and concerns in daily challenges we run into. It grants us time to reset buttons where needed. Happy Easter!

Land purchases: If you recall, Article XII of the NMI Constitution limits landownership to the indigenous people or so-called NMI Descend. Its wisdom is in keeping a very scarce resource within the local families at home.

But legal eagles and their real estate cohorts (locals and stateside) have found themselves a gravy train to feed upon. They make their millions while landowners yawn and quiz how come they’ve been dealt the opposite end of the stick. There are new owners after the deal is consumed making filthy rick those who engineered a way around a constitutional mandate. And these deals come in different forms.

The “not-so-smart” bunch has used an indigenous name (one that doesn’t even exist) in making land purchases. I never knew that one could actually create a non-existent name to make land purchases appear legal. Is it really legal? Or isn’t this more one of a fraudulent land transaction fully intended for purposes of personal aggrandizement at the expense of landowners? Isn’t this a glaring violation of Article XII?

There’s also another group that offer tons of money to landowners whose land have been leased. The deal is simple: We’d give you additional money but upon expiration of the original lease the land belongs to me. Indeed, landowners hurting from the bad swings of a depressed economy would instantly fall for the largess or offer on the table. Hmmm! What a way to violating Article XII.

Then there’s the last bunch whose names are used to make purchases the entire property reverting to them upon expiration of the deal. On the surface, it looks luring in terms of intermittent income and eventual ownership. But then, did you ever realize that the shielded owner makes his money in his younger days before he dumps the property on you when you’re already old and useless?

I recall a teacher who was struggling all his days giving instructions. Somehow, he hooked himself to a land deal. He was smoking cigars walking all over town before repatriating to the U.S. mainland with millions he’s made from indigenous land. Last I checked the landowners are back on food stamps like the old days before the sale of their land while the teacher puffs more cigars!

A Taxpayer: Excuse my ignorance, but isn’t it constitutional that the spending of public funds requires an appropriation by the legislature before it is spent? The same provision fails to say that public funds could be approved by legislative delegations. So where did evil geniuses find the leeway to spend $400,000 illegally for the MV Luta? Did it come from former Lt. Gov. Ralphy Torres’ discretionary fund?

Obviously, there’s the glaring constitutional violation of the fund in question. In short, it must be returned to the local coffers forthwith or I’d settle it via a taxpayer’s lawsuit. Since when are private businesses so politically connected entitled to an extraordinary loan outside the purview of pertinent constitutional provision mandating legislative appropriation?

Could Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog cite legal authority granting them the right to spend public funds without appropriation? The intent may not be corrupt but the violation of constitutional mandate requiring appropriation of public funds was not only corrupted but violated too! When was the delegation allowed to loan public funds?

Why didn’t the Hocog shipping firm seek a loan from a bank or CDA? Wasn’t the expropriation of public funds done by employing political power peddling that is illegal?

People: The taxpayers are not as dumb as your nimble mind think them to be!

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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