‘Trips are in the CNMI’s best interest’


Whether he took one trip or a hundred trips, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres assured that he made those trips to represent the best for the CNMI and in the CNMI’s best interests.

Speaking at a radio news briefing, Torres said his responsibility is to make sure that he represents the CNMI the best he can in places and events.

This comes soon after the House minority bloc released a 24-page report last week that detailed the on-island and off-island trips that Torres has taken from January 2015 to July 2020.

The governor said he has not seen that report.

According to the report that the House minority bloc submitted to the House of Representatives last Wednesday, the records they reviewed show that Torres has so far taken 102 trips that cost the CNMI government at least $490,000 in airfare, per diem and stipends, lodging, ground transportation, boat transportation, fuel, and incidentals

The minority bloc members noted that, because Torres nearly always traveled with companions, including his wife, personal security detail, other staff, and other officials at government expense, the total actual cost of executive travel during the period in review is significantly greater.

The report was signed by House minority leader Rep. Christina Sablan (D-Saipan) and then-Rep. Franklin Babauta (Ind-Saipan), Reps. Edmund Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Richard Lizama (D-Saipan), Sheila Babauta (D-Saipan), and Donald Manglona (Ind-Rota).

Torres said he would like to see a copy of the report so he would be able to comment accurately but he also pointed out that it is part of his job as governor to represents the CNMI and he just want to make sure that he represents the CNMI in the best light in whatever trips he takes.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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