Torres says he respects Palacios’ move to run as governor in 2022

Governor says he also respects decision of 3 Republican lawmakers to attend Palacios-Apatang’s declaration to run

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said Friday that he respects Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios’ and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang’s decision to run as governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, in the November 2022 election.

“I wish them both luck,” said Torres during his regular radio press briefing.

He said he always respects Palacios and the office that he holds and that they will continue to work together for the betterment of the community.

Torres had already announced his decision to seek re-election with Sen. Vinnie Vinson Sablan (R-Saipan) as his running mate under the NMI Republican Party.

Asked if his relationship with Palacios will be affected after the latter’s declaration to run against him, Torres said he has a role to do as the elected governor. “I need to move forward and continue doing what I’ve done in the beginning, prioritizing our community [and] trying to bring in investments for our economy. That has not changed,” he said.

Torres said the administration will continue to work and make the lives of the people in the CNMI better. “So my role and my dedication to the community, my obligation has not changed. And I’ll continue to work even harder to make sure that we’ll make our people’s lives a lot better,” he said.

The governor said he has gone through this—running for a seat in the House of Representatives, then the Senate, then as lieutenant governor, then as governor. Torres said he has always done his best, dedicating his energy to serve the people.

He said his leadership has been tested numerous times, from super typhoons Soudelor and Yutu, to Typhoon Mangkhut and now the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor said he does not want to tell stories of the good things that he has done, but since he’s being asked for example during this pandemic, people can look at all the videos.

“Who’s been at the airport? Who’s been at the alternate care site? Who’s been every day out there, while others, either your elected officials or in what capacity that you hold?” he asked. Torres said people don’t see some of these elected officials “when the tough gets going.”

“So my dedication to our community has not changed. My dedication to our community is to bring back a better life for everyone, bring back the economy and we’ll continue to work,” he said.

Torres said his energy will always be there for the people and that his love for the people has only grown stronger.

Asked for comment about Palacios’ and Apatang’s campaign slogan of “Rebuilding Trust,” the governor said he respects their slogan.

“We have an election to run and that’s their slogan and I leave it for that at this point,” Torres said.

As for the three incumbent Republican lawmakers’ presence during the Palacios-Apatang’s official declaration to run, Torres said throughout his political career he’s always been a Republican and that he’s respects the decision of the three lawmakers.

Reps. Blas Jonathan T. Attao, Ralph N. Yumul, and John Paul Sablan, all Republicans, attended Palacios-Apatang’s official announcement.

Torres said all have decisions in their lives to make. “We’re all elected. We all have the integrity to hold. And that decision that they make has to be respected,” he said.

The governor said he never wavered on the Republican Party even when he was asked to run as lieutenant governor for the late Eloy S. Inos, who was a member of the Covenant Party at that time.

“I stayed as a Republican. Throughout my political career, I’ve always been a Republican,” said Torres, adding that he will continue to be a proud Republican.

He said they will need to work together for the betterment for the community as there are a lot of issues that need to be addressed. The governor said he hopes that they can continue to work together as they are elected by the people.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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