BREAKING NEWS: Torres issued $8M sole source contract to MSA without funds to back it; MSA allegedly threatens to stop air service

Governor Arnold Palacios was recently made aware of an $8 million sole source contract former Gov. Ralph Torres entered into with Marianas Southern Airways. The CNMI Department of Finance had terminated that contract, citing the unavailability of funds.

The Commonwealth government faces a more-than $300 million General Fund deficit, and an $80 million over-obligation of federal pandemic funds.

The contract and its termination is the subject of the Senate Public Utilities and Transportation Committee’s meeting today, chaired by Sen. Paul Manglona.

MSA reportedly has threatened to suspend air services as a result of the termination, though its CEO, Bill Giles is unwilling to confirm such threat.

Asked if there was truth to the threat, Mr. Giles said, “We are working on several airline projects. We are working on a couple different things. We have no comment on what you mentioned.”



  • Michael Mahinay

      02/23/2023 at 3:21 PM

    Mann, this is unbelievable; it will be harder for people from Guam, Tinian, and Rota to travel around the Marianas. Mann, Ralph Torres should get sued for this.

  • Mabel Doge Luhan

      02/23/2023 at 3:39 PM

    I saw an ENTIRELY FICTIONAL zany screwball comedy in which a struggling commuter airline uses the last of its cash to bribe a tinpot dictator for a sole-source contract on his faraway island. They pay the required bribe and give do-nothing jobs and “consulting contracts” to a bunch of the dictator’s wacky buddies (Rodney Dangerfield was in this one!), but then after paying all the bribes and all the salaries and consulting fees, find out that the dictator’s check bounced! It was a very hilarious movie that definitely deserves a place in your VCR.

    As for the reality of this air-line matter, we can refer to the local newspapers’ articles on MSA that aren’t written like advertisements, which were published on Neveruary Neverth, 20never.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *