Sen. Santos explains why Rota Legislative Delegation yet to organize


Sen. Teresita A. Santos (Ind-Rota) set the record straight Monday as to why until now the Rota Legislative Delegation has yet to organize itself.

Santos told Saipan Tribune that the delegation first attempted to organize itself last Feb. 17 when an informal meeting was conducted to decide who would be the officers.

Santos said Sen. Paul A. Manglona (Ind-Rota) informed the members that he had no interest in the leadership position and urged her, Sen. Victor B. Hocog (R-Rota), and Rep. Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota) to decide amongst themselves who the officers would be.

She said when the floor was opened for nomination, no member spoke until Hocog nominated her to lead the delegation.

Santos said Sen. Manglona then stated that he and Rep. Manglona are also interested in the position.

Santos said since the delegation was unable to reach a consensus as to who would hold the leadership position, she requested that the informal meeting be adjourned to allow the members more time to contemplate the matter and meet again to discuss the matter the following week.

She, however, proposed that she and Rep. Manglona share the chairmanship.

“I even went as far as offering him the first year of the chairmanship to show good faith to a new and fruitful beginning,” Santos said.

The senator said prior to any organizational session, a speaker/president pro tem must be chosen to official call and conduct an organizational session.

Santos said since then she made several inquiries to Rep. Manglona as to the status of her proposal and the delegation organization.

She said Rep. Manglona stated that he had to first consult with Sen. Manglona before a decision can be rendered.

She said the last information that she received from Rep. Manglona was that he is no longer vying to be the chairman of the delegation and is now supporting Sen. Manglona.

Santos said Rep. Manglona indicated that Sen. Manglona would like to be the chairman for the first 10 months and then she would assume the chairwomanship for the remaining 10 months.

Santos said in response to Rep. Manglona’s counterproposal, she informed him that she had offered that compromised proposal when all four delegation members were present during their first informal meeting last February.

She said she recommended that any counterproposals should be offered and discussed in the same manner, with all four delegation members present.

Santos said Rep. Manglona told her that he is ready for a meeting after May 11 since he has budget hearings on Rota and Tinian.

She said to her surprise, she was informed that an organizational session had been scheduled for May 6 without even verifying and coordinating with all four members’ schedule and without a designated chairperson pro tem to officially call and conduct an organizational session.

Santos reiterated her recommendation that the delegation meet first prior to the formal organization session to discuss and mutually agree to the roles each member woiudl assume to decide on a chairperson pro tem.

She requested all delegation members to attend an informal meeting for May 3 at 10am in the Senate’s chamber.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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