Villagomez says he voted based on facts presented

Manglona says evidence of corruption is overwhelming

House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) presides over a historic session Wednesday, in which 15 of 20 representatives voted to adopt a resolution impeaching Gov. Ralph DLG Torres on charges of felonies, corruption, and neglect of duty. (FERDIE DE LA TORRE)

House of Representatives Speaker Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan) said yesterday that he voted “yes” to impeach Gov. Ralph DLG Torres based on the facts presented during the House Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee’s investigation and hearings into Torres’ expenditures of public funds and travels.

This was Villagomez’s reply in response to Saipan Tribune’s request for brief comment why he voted to adopt House Resolution 22-14 that impeaches the governor.

Rep. Donald M. Manglona (Ind-Rota), on the other hand, said Wednesday that the extensive evidence of corruption against Torres is “overwhelming” and that they need “to end it now” because people demand it.

Speaking during the miscellaneous portion of Wednesday’s session, Manglona said those opposed to the impeachment would desperately say anything to distract from the truth.

“They are calling this a witch hunt, a political agenda, you name it. They call it anything other than the truth,” he said.

With 15 “yes” votes, four “no” votes, and one abstention, the House passed House Resolution 22-14 Wednesday, impeaching Torres for alleged commission of felonies, corruption, and neglect of duty.

Manglona said their actions that day were solely motivated by what the people demand and deserve, and nothing else. “The decision I made today was for the people of Rota and everyone that calls this Commonwealth home,” Manglona said.

He asked his colleagues to remember that day, Jan. 12, 2022, which according to him is the day people were “one step closer to taking back control their government, one step closer to putting an end to the corruption that has festered Commonwealth, and one step closer to ensuring a better future for all.”

Rep. Leila Haveia Fleming C. Staffler (D-Saipan) also stated during the miscellaneous portion of the session that, based on the amount of evidence presented by the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee, it is clear that the oath to defend the Constitution and the laws of the Commonwealth has been broken over and over again.

Staffler said that people are watching to see who among them are loyal to the people, who among them is trustworthy with their future, and who among them have the integrity to do what is right.

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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