‘That’s not going to happen’


Thus responded Gov. Ralph DLG Torres to Rep. Celina Babauta’s (D-Saipan) call for his resignation during last Tuesday’s Senate hearing on his motion to dismiss the Articles of Impeachment, adding that he does not intend to back out now.

Torres also pointed out 62% of the CNMI community voted for him to represent them. “Never in the history has any other governor gained the same results. So I represent those people, even [Babauta]. I will still represent her because as a governor, I represent everyone,” he said.

Babauta joined over 20 other community members at the Senate chamber last Tuesday to deliver comments on the ongoing hearing. While on the podium, Babauta called for Torres to take the high road and resign.


“If Gov. Torres truly wants to take the high road, he can simply resign. Make no mistake, the filing of local charges against the governor is just the beginning. Federal indictments, among others, will follow. The governor claimed that in the aftermath of these criminal charges, they will take the high road. The only high road for the governor is the one that leads to his resignation. He needs to stop dividing our community. We know this will never happen because rather than step down with some dignity, the now disgraced governor says we shall prevail. Prevail over whom exactly? The Attorney General’s Office? The FBI? Justice?” she said.

Torres said in a later interview, though, that he aims to continue to do great things for the CNMI community despite the scrutiny from the opposite political party.

“Obviously, there’s political differences. But that’s not going to sway me to continue to do great things for the CNMI. You’ve seen that there’s been progress here in the CNMI. Whether you’re a supporter or not, there are certain things that cannot be hidden. We are the safest place here in the CNMI. That’s not a coincidence. That’s through good leadership and partnership, not just local partnerships but through federal partners. So yes, I’m staying right here,” he said.

During her public comments, Babauta also added that Torres is diverting the community’s attention away from the OAG’s recently filed criminal charges against him.

“The governor confused the silence of the AG’s patient and methodical due diligence as a ringing endorsement for this misconduct. This position certainly did not age well. In an attempt to shift attention from the actual criminal charges or the potential jail time that he now faces, the governor now claims that the criminal case is politically motivated. This is absolutely shameless,” she said.

Babauta also called on the Senate to look closely into the motion to dismiss before voting on it this Friday.

“If the Senate used the same attention to detail and scrutiny that it did with our House impeachment records to lead it to find the most insignificant typographical errors and misspellings, presumably it should also be able to see the blatant and obvious abuses of the public’s trust, theft, neglect, and corruption that the record documented in over 8,000 pages. That is exactly the record the governor would want the Senate to dismiss,” she said.

The Senate is set to vote on Torres’ motion to dismiss the Article of Impeachment tomorrow during a special house session.

Sen. Paul Manglona (D-Rota) recently filed a motion in Superior Court to temporarily restrain the Senate from proceeding with the vote.

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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