Spat boils down to ‘he said, she said’

The exchange of words between Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and former Labor secretary Edith DeLeon Guerrero continues—a “he said, she said” issue with the former Labor chief saying that corruption is prevalent within the administration.

DeLeon Guerrero has refused to respond to Saipan Tribune requests for interviews but in a report on KSPN, she claimed that Torres tried to block the ongoing investigation of unfair labor practices made by three construction companies of an ongoing casino-resort project.

She said that Torres had asked her to have the construction workers sent back to China. The workers have been protesting after the firms that hired them—MCC International, Gold Mantis, and Beilida—have allegedly not paid their wages.

DeLeon Guerrero said her refusal to follow Torres’ orders is the reason why the governor accepted her courtesy resignation on May 19.

Torres denied DeLeon Guerrero’s claims and questioned the timing of her accusations.

In a statement, the Torres administration, said the allegations made by DeLeon Guerrero are “factually and blatantly inaccurate.”

“Gold Mantis and the United States [U.S. Department of Labor] had already reached a settlement on the payment of workers and at that time CNMI [Labor] was the last component before allowing these workers to return home with payment,” the administration said.

“The governor’s primary interest throughout this issue has been and will continue to be for the contractors to pay these workers and for them to return to their home country.”

The statement added that Torres’ intention is the continuing collaboration between U.S. Labor and its local counterpart in working within the boundaries of federal laws to find solutions to the ongoing issue with the Chinese workers.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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