Violence breaks out at GOP camp


As tomorrow’s runoff election raises tensions to a feverish pitch, that stress reportedly spilled into actual violence at the GOP camp last Tuesday night, with police called to respond to a report of an alleged assault.

A video of Department of Public Safety cars rushing to the GOP camp across the Pedro P. Tenorio Multi-Purpose center went viral in the CNMI yesterday. Based on the video, police responded to a reported assault at the GOP camp at around 8pm last Tuesday. An official police report has since been filed and DPS is currently investigating the matter.

The following day, Nov. 23, a video of Kim Evan Aldan Taisacan, the alleged victim of the assault, surfaced on the internet, in which he stated that he was choked on Tuesday night by Steve Rasa, an alleged supporter of Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang gubernatorial camp. Taisacan is a supporter of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Sen. Vinnie Sablan gubernatorial duo.

“The AD group is so aggressive that they want to hurt us, [Torres-Sablan supporters]. The cops are now after him and I’m just thankful,” he said.

Taisacan did not go into further detail about the events leading to the assault.

The independent party has since denied the allegations that Rasa is part of the AD campaign or that the party itself had anything to do with the incident.

JB Palacios, a worker for the AD campaign, firmly clarified that the incident did not involve anyone from their camp.

“We can’t speculate on innuendos, especially in times of misinformation. All I can say is that the incident absolutely did not involve anyone from the independent camp. I myself does not know the individual. The individual has no influence on the campaign other than maybe being an overzealous supporter,” said Palacios.

Meanwhile, GOP president Candice Celis, stated in a separate interview that violence is unacceptable, that at the end of this election season, everyone in the CNMI is a family and should refrain from further hurting one another.

“What happened was very unfortunate and these acts are unacceptable. We would just like to ask everyone to please respect each other’s boundaries. What happened remains under investigation so that is all we can say at this moment, at this time. Again, let’s all just respect each other because at the end of the day, after this election, we’re all family. All this negativity going on doesn’t need to happen. Let’s just continue to remain positive from now until election day,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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