‘Strong economy’ remains priority

File photo shows the façade of the Office of the Governor on Capital Hill. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Nearly a week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed several search warrants that have ensnared the Office of the Governor and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres himself, his administration is soldiering on, with a statement yesterday that a strong economy remains a priority for the Commonwealth.

Angel Demapan, chief of staff of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, told Saipan Tribune in an email response yesterday that the Torres administration is unaware of what will happen after the FBI investigations, which continues to be shrouded in mystery and much speculation.

“The administration is not aware what happens next. The execution of the search warrant was a function of the FBI. The administration…is not privy to any other information other than the execution of the search warrant,” Demapan said in the email, in response to a Saipan Tribune query.

As to what should be expected from the administration moving forward, Demapan said the focus is the continued operations of the government and on a “strong economy” for the CNMI.

“[The governor], Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios, and the administration remain focused on continuing the operations of the government and ensuring that the delivery of public services remains unhindered. We continue to seek the community’s patience to respect the integrity of the process and the systems of justice,” Demapan stated.

“Ultimately, Gov. Torres looks forward to bringing closure to this matter so that he can fully focus his efforts on his longstanding commitment to public service and the administration’s goals toward building a strong economy for the Marianas,” he added.

While the governor’s family recently lost a close family member, Demapan said that Torres would not be going on leave.

The FBI agents executed several search warrants last Thursday that included the Governor’s Office, the office of Alfred Yue of Marianas Consultancy Services LLC, a consultant for Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC; Legend Realty Saipan; the Torres Brothers’ law office, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ home, and vehicle.

The FBI, along with the CNMI Office of the Public Auditor, also visited the Commonwealth Casino Commission Tuesday. CCC executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero did not disclose the reason for their visit.

Demapan noted in a previous statement that all the information the FBI reportedly provided to the administration is that it was an investigation on “allegations.”

“In an effort to preserve the integrity of the process, the administration continues to seek the community’s patience and support to allow the system of justice to take its course,” he said in a separate statement Monday.

“We have provided them with all the information and access that they have asked for, with the intent of being completely transparent and helpful in the investigation,” Palacios noted in a press conference last Thursday afternoon.

An IPI statement released late last Thursday said: “Our companies have nothing to hide and will cooperate with law enforcement authorities.”

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.
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