SENATE HEARING ON THE ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT
‘Torres’ travel served a public benefit’
Today, the Republican Party of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands issues the following statement relative to the Senate hearing on the Articles of Impeachment:
Based on the sworn testimony of former senior policy adviser Glenna Sakisat Palacios, Governor Torres’ trips to Oregon and Alaska served a public benefit.
Ms. Palacios testified that the trip enabled Governor Torres to meet with the Western regional director of the Office of Defense local community cooperation as well as with representatives of new and growing space industry, as well as with CNMI constituents abroad. The space industry is a national security priority with a positive outlook for economic growth.
Governor Torres’ meeting with space industry officials was with the intent of developing a small-scale spaceport facility in the CNMI that supports the emerging commercial small satellite/launch vehicle market for equatorial orbits. It is a booming industry. Spaceports are becoming an important economic driver in the U.S. as it creates job and education opportunities in the aerospace sector.
She stated that the recorded meetings, as evidenced in an official trip report and further supported by photos, proved beneficial in exploring new industries with the hope of bringing new and higher paying jobs to the CNMI. More so, Ms. Palacios informed the Senate that the meeting between the Western regional director of the Office of Defense local community cooperation and Governor Torres yielded approximately $3 million for the CNMI.
It should be noted that Governor Torres also met with U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, who was the chair of the Senate committee with jurisdiction over the CNMI. The unique privilege to interact with the only sitting U.S. senator to have visited the CNMI is an investment that must absolutely be made. Sen. Murkowski is the CNMI’s biggest supporter and defender in the U.S. Senate.
The bottom line is that the JGO misled the public by withholding information about Governor Torres‘ trip to Oregon and Alaska and how it served a public benefit.
Attorney Anthony H. Aguon closed by stating that Governor Torres did not travel for personal recreation, personal benefit, or for political purposes and that, in fact, the trip served a public benefit in more than one instance.