“Trust is a word that is being thrown around much this election.”
—Gov. Ralph Torres, Nov. 3, 2022.

Gov. Torres used the sentence above to preface his list of what he supposedly did as governor of the Commonwealth, all of which he handsomely got paid for.

Gov. Torres, you are emphatically wrong again. The use of the word “trust” is not being thrown around by your own citizens and by people who voted for you in previous elections. Trust has been used to accurately describe the deception of your personal character as a leader. Trust is not being thrown around by your political nemesis as you seemed to be inferring. Trust is what you personally destroyed by your flagrant disregard for the truth.

Gov. Torres, sometimes I wonder whether you truly trust yourself because if you do, you would not be engaging in desperate attempts for “superficial” redemption but, instead, engage in a voluntary self-imposed punishment for your deceitful acts or wrongdoing against the people of the Commonwealth and probably be more acceptingly contrite.

Even in your desperate attempt to portray yourself as someone who worked to fulfill his constitutional duty, you continue to be ungratefully deceitful to the people of the CNMI. You have never publicly acknowledged that not a single member of your Republican counterparts in the U.S. Congress voted to support the Democrats’ massive social spending bills to deal with the economy, climate change, and the COVID-19 epidemic.

Gov., you never publicly admitted that it was the Democrats in the U.S. Congress and Kilili being instrumental in including the CNMI in the trillion dollars massive economic recovery legislations they passed last year. You were never receptive to the idea, offered by Democrats and the majority in the House, to include provision in the government’s spending budget bill to prudently account for all federal expenditures because politics, self-enrichment, and personal redemption was more of your compelling motivation.

Gov. Torres, deceit, mistrust, distrust, and unethical conduct were behavioral infractions that caused your own citizens not to trust you. The scary part of your attitude is that you seem to enjoy and relish being dishonest and deceitful both in your words and actions.

The list of activities you described promoting yourself to make you look good were funded by monies made available exclusively by Democrats.  Your deceitful expenditure of these funds to benefit you personally and politically is very dishonest. You cannot get credit for misusing funds that were never part of your party’s political efforts yet, you arrogantly claimed ownership. This is the kind of leadership behavior that is so pathetically deceitful and inherently dishonest.

You are patting yourself in the back and trolling around the islands, claiming projects being done that Democrats provided the funds for to make it happen. The simplest thing to do as a wise leader is to graciously acknowledge that the Democrats’ fortitude and empathy in Congress, President Joe Biden’s leadership, and Congressman Kilili’s intervention prevented the sufferings of our people from the COVID-19 pandemic and the total collapse of our economy.

The fact is, the Democrats were directly responsible for rescuing your administration and provided more than two billion dollars of financial reliefs for our citizens and support all pandemic recovery efforts. Disappointingly, though, you continue to arrogantly use these federal funds to promote your political ambitions.

By comparison, when Tina Sablan and Leila Staffler receive the mandate of our citizens this Nov. 8, 2022, these islands and its citizens will witness, for the first time in its post-Covenant history, transformational changes in ways public services are to be delivered. Our citizens will be empowered to believe in themselves and build on a solid foundation of accountability, transparency, and trust, led by very able and inspirational Democrat leadership.

Let us not forget that it was the Democrats that led in building the institutional foundation of our Commonwealth.  It was the Democrats that got for us the dream of our citizens, self-government. It was the Democrats that negotiated to administer our internal oversight of immigration policies as a means to accelerate our economic survival.

Again, it will take a Democrat administration to prudently leverage the natural and emerald wonders of our pearl islands, accentuate its majestic beauty and cultural uniqueness, strategically market its political assets, preserve its pristine characters, to stimulate economic interests and be truly worthy honoring and reciting the preamble of our constitution

Gov. Torres you may think that you are being exceptionally and unfairly judged over others in similar situations, but the simple truth is you are not. You are being judged based on what you volunteered to do and swear to protect and defend, and based on those expectations, the judgment of the public, per your conduct and ethical infractions, they agree on the decision of the Attorney General in filing criminal complaints against you. Unfortunately, the outcome of your indictment and the verdict of the juries would not be known until after the election. In the meantime, our citizens trust that in the end justice will be served.

Gov. Torres, your impeachment by members of the House and the indictment by the attorney general of criminal complaints against you is not that trust is being thrown around, but because you willfully perverted their trust by the egregiousness of your conduct in public office. The travesty of the trust that you said is being thrown around is that you seem to convince yourself that you are the victim rather than the perpetrator of mistrust.  I guess in the end, you would rather be surrounded with an abundance of love than to be trusted.

I will never claim that I am blessed with the virtue of righteousness, because I am not. I am just a voter who placed his trust in Gov. Torres in past elections, and now I dreaded that decision since.

Daniel O. Quitugua 
Kannat Tabla, Saipan

Contributing Author

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