Sablan: There’s never a ‘wrong time’ to do the right thing


Rep. Tina Sablan (D-Saipan) believes there’s no right or wrong timing when it comes down to doing what’s right.

Responding to the CNMI Republican Party’s concerns that the lawsuit filed by the Attorney General Edward Manibusan, who is a former Democratic Party chair, against Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres was “politically motivated,” Sablan said she believes there is no wrong or right timing to do what is believed to be the right thing.

CNMI Republican Party president Candace Celis and party chair James Ada earlier released a statement questioning the motives and timing of the OAG’s criminal complaint against Torres. In this statement, the party highlighted Manibusan’s previous role in the Democratic Party.


“The Republican Party, stands firm with Gov. Torres, first lady Diann Torres, and their family, as they endure what is apparently another politically motivated attack. We can’t help but question the timing and motive of the charges filed against the Governor,” the party statement said. “The Republican Party is dismayed that former CNMI Democrat Party chairman, Attorney General Ed Manibusan, would file the charges over three-years later but six months before a general election, and days before the commencement of an already ongoing process on the same. However, rather than delving into our reasons at this time, we choose to focus on the bigger picture and the road ahead.”

Sablan rejects this assertion. “I don’t think there’s ever the wrong time to do the right thing. To bring up charges of this nature, it takes time. Reviewing records, interviewing witnesses. The attorney general, in his brief statement, made it very clear that this has been part of a monthslong process of investigation and doing his own due diligence. The facts are the facts. It is really now up to Gov. Torres to defend his own case and address the questions and the concerns that have been raised by the Legislature, by the public, about these misuses of public resources and these violations of law. That that has nothing to do with politics. That has everything to do with governance and respect for the rule of law,” she said.

Sablan thanks Manibusan for taking the necessary steps to protect the rule of law in the CNMI.

“The attorney general has looked at a lot of the same records done. It did its own investigation independent of the impeachment process. And now there is this criminal prosecution that is underway. So I thank the attorney general for standing up for the people, standing up against misuse of government resources and abuses of power. The rule of law is so important for people to have any trust in their government and the attorney general took steps today to preserve and protect the rule of law,” she said.

Meanwhile, in a brief statement from Torres, he said he has been advised by his counsel, Viola Alepuyo and Ton Aguon, not to make any comments on this matter.

Last Friday, the OAG filed a criminal case against Torres alleging 12 counts of misconduct in public office and one count of theft relating to the issuance of airline tickets for business class, first class, or other premium class travel for himself and/or Diann T. Torres. The case also alleges one count of contempt for failure to appear in compliance with a subpoena.

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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