The Senate confirmed Thursday last week the renomination of Thomas P. Villagomez, Ramon A. Tebuteb, Barrie C. Toves, and Joseph Mendiola Diaz to serve as directors on the Commonwealth Ports Authority board.
Gov. Ralph DLG Torres immediately swore in the four to their posts following the confirmation.
On Thursday, all nine senators voted “yes” to adopt the Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations’ report that recommended the confirmation of the four’s renomination.
The voting was made after some senators asked and raised some issues about CPA’s operations and projects, as well as its ongoing legal dispute with Star Marianas Inc.
Tebuteb was the only one not present at the session. Saipan Tribune learned that he was at a funeral.
With the Senate confirmation, Villagomez, Tebuteb, Toves, and Diaz will each serve staggered terms that will expire on Oct. 7, 2025.
Sen. Francisco Q. Cruz (R-Tinian), who chairs the Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations, said the committee recommended the confirmation of the four’s renomination based on the overall assessment of the four’s credentials, experiences, and testimonies, goals for the CPA, and other relevant issues considered. He said the committee is convinced that the four have the qualifications and leadership skills necessary to serve as members of the CPA board.
Villagomez said in an interview that the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered a lot of their progress but he is optimistic they can succeed. Villagomez has been serving CPA board over 10 years now.
Toves said senators raised a lot of valid questions and that he has been given special assignments to respond to those questions. He said one of the most important questions the senators asked him was the status of the commuter terminal project at the Saipan airport. He said they have a design, know the construction cost, and have already set aside funding for it.
“So we’re anticipating building a new commuter,” Toves said.