Editor’s Note: The following is a statement issued yesterday by the NMI Democratic Party.
The Democratic Party respectfully provides the following statements in response to an article published in Monday’s newspaper wherein the GOP president publicly proclaimed his support for a beleaguered governor, irrespective of mounting evidence of misuse and abuse of public funds and an ongoing federal criminal investigation.
It is strange that the GOP president felt the need to voice his support for the governor instead of offering his party’s reassuring support to the people of the CNMI who are being victimized by Gov. Torres’ un-repented transgressions. It is hard to understand why the leadership of the Republican Party sacrifices the integrity of its membership to rescue the titular head of the GOP who has brought shame and untold future damage to his organization. From the outside, it appears that the GOP president is simply pledging his allegiance to the governor in total disregard for the truth. The truth is that the governor is a subject of a federal criminal investigation, as documented by the publicized raids on the Governor’s Office and his family’s private residence through search warrants signed by a federal Judge indicating the probable commission of a crime. Additionally, Guam’s Kandit News has publicized a plethora of highly questionable expenditures by the governor. These unrestrained and conscious attempts to raid the CNMI Treasury are now a matter of public record.
The Republican leadership has had more than 32 years of opportunities to improve the lives of our people and the entire Commonwealth, yet all they have to show for it are budget deficits, pay cuts, and an unfinished casino that can’t keep its promises, can’t pay its bills and is at the very core of a corruption investigation under the federal RICO statute for “organized crime” in the CNMI. We find it odd that Imperial Pacific can pay its monthly obligations to several high-profile local consultants but has yet to pay millions of dollars in contractual obligations to the CNMI and our local vendors. What’s even more insulting is that our Republican governor and his administration stand by and allow it, and refuse to take any action.
The GOP press release seemed like a desperate attempt to paint the governor as a victim of the FBI’s investigative overreach and to appeal for public sympathy. The Democratic Party takes the position that, if anyone deserves our sincerest sympathy, it is the hardworking people of the CNMI and the governor’s children, who are the innocent bystanders of all their father’s dishonorable behavior. No one wants to see the office of the leader of the CNMI raided by federal law enforcement officials. The general membership of the Democratic Party deeply extends their heartfelt and profound sympathy to the people of the CNMI, along with the young and innocent members of the governor’s family who have to go through these traumatizing and painful ordeals.
The GOP president’s continued support of Gov. Torres—a governor who has taken advantage of his own party, the people of the Commonwealth, and is clearly in legal peril—is, in our opinion, misplaced loyalty. The Democratic Party believes that when “disloyalty to our people begins, loyalty to the party ends.” This is the fundamental difference between the Democrats and the leadership of the Republican Party.
A defense of the governor’s actions cannot be made through press releases. It must be done through facts. The GOP president’s blind loyalty and perceived stonewalling of investigations into the governor’s actions and spending are indefensible. The real victims here are the citizens of the CNMI, not a governor who has violated his duties to the people and tarnished the integrity of his office. The best and most qualified defender of Gov. Ralph Torres is Ralph Torres himself, the truth, nothing but the truth, so help him God.
The governor and the GOP leaderships have betrayed the people with their lies and yet, with everything that have been uncovered, they appear to be “untouchable” as they see nothing wrong to even apologize. Gov. Torres has caused so much division within this community that it takes a strong leader to repair the destruction he has done. The governor owes the people, especially the children of the Commonwealth, the absolute truth to explain why his office and his family home was raided by the FBI. Why an FBI subpoena, signed by federal Judge Mona Manglona, was served to him?
Gov. Torres also needs to clearly explain to the entire citizens of the Commonwealth his off-island travel escapades. What particular benefit did the people of the CNMI got out of these off-island expensive travels? How can he explain his unbelievable requests for monetary reimbursements at a time when the people of the Commonwealth are suffering?
If Gov. Torres cannot do so and the president of the GOP cannot help him, he must resign. There is absolutely no point in prolonging the inevitable. These are the times for a strong leader to courageously expose wrong and accepts the truth. Please, governor, spare this community from the agony of despair.