Democracy works best when people know their options and people can distinguish facts versus hearsay. The U.S. Delegate Debate was held on Thursday, September 20, 2018 and was sponsored by the Saipan Chamber of Commerce and the Northern Marianas College. The debate provided our people with the opportunity to know more about the candidates vying for the CNMI’s U.S. Delegate position in the upcoming General Election.
I would like to take this time to correct several misleading and false statements made by Delegate Gregorio Kilili Sablan at the debate.
First, Kilili falsely accused me of being in Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention and lied that I voted for President Trump to be the GOP nominee. However, although I was elected as one of the delegates, I did not go on the trip to Cleveland nor did I attend the convention. Therefore, I was replaced with an alternate delegate and I no longer had a vote to cast.
Second, Kilili falsely accused me of voting to legalize casino gaming on Saipan. However, Kilili failed to check his facts because I was not a member of the 18th Commonwealth Legislature that voted on the bill. In fact, I was employed as the governor’s press secretary and, as we all know, press secretaries have no vote in the Legislature.
Third, Kilili falsely accused me of being in the White House when President Bush signed the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument on Ja. 6, 2009. However, I was not employed by the Office of the Governor in 2009. In fact, I was living in Honolulu managing the Marianas Hawaii Medical Referral Office. Unfortunately, there is no correlation between the monument designation to my job of taking care of our patients from the Marianas who were undergoing medical treatment in Honolulu.
The truth of the matter is I have never been into the White House—the actual building occupied by the President of the United States. Kilili tried to further mislead our people by circulating a photo of me standing outside the White House gate and implying that I did go into the White House. Unfortunately, contrary to his imagination, I did not. The closest I’ve been to the White House is attending a meeting in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building with the CNMI 902 Team to fight for our rights pursuant to our Covenant with the United States.
The official White House website describes the Eisenhower Building as follows, “Next door to the White House, the Eisenhower Executive Office Building commands a unique position in both our national history and architectural heritage.”
So what is Delegate Kilili trying to accomplish by spreading lies and misleading information to the public? His actions are unbecoming of a statesman and more so, unbecoming of anyone who wants to be a decent human being.
Delegate Kilili preached about “trust” at the debate. And so I ask, now knowing that he blatantly lied in public, not once, not twice, but three consecutive times in one event, is this somebody we can trust? Who do you trust? Hayi un honggi?
I am a candidate for U.S. delegate running for office because many people have lost trust and confidence in our representation in Washington. And after ours debate, I can understand why so many people in our community feel this way.
These are the facts. I owe it to our people to set the record straight. Our people deserve to know the truth. And as my late father and mother always told me before they passed away, “The truth always prevails, son.”
Rep. Angel A. Demapan is a member of the 20th CNMI Legislature’s House of Representatives and is chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means. He is the Republican candidate for U.S. delegate in the general election.