Troy Talks: Episode 3 • Forgetting what Ralph Torres did also means letting his powerful enablers off the hook

Zaldy Dandan wants people to move on from criticizing Ralph Torres and the crimes he committed – both known and yet-to-be-discovered. In an editorial – “Happy New Year” – published today in the Marianas Variety, the editor mocked members of the CNMI House for wanting to find out the totality of Mr. Torres’ corrupt use of public funds during his tenure.

Mr. Dandan called on the Commonwealth Legislature to turn its attention from criticizing what Ralph Torres did to fixing the financial mess. Ironically – and this is something he fails to include in his editorial – it’s a financial mess Ralph Torres created and left for everyone to fix.

The thing is that Ralph Torres and company were able to commit so many crimes because the establishment – especially the media – was not criticizing him. Now that he’s out of office, he’s supposed to get away with it?

Mr. Dandan suggested judicial finality to society’s grievances against what Mr. Torres did occurred when he sought reelection and the voters said ‘No.’ If that’s the case, criminal masterminds have been doing this all wrong. Al Capone should have become governor of New York, then run the mafia from Albany until the voters kicked him out at reelection time. According to Mr. Dandan’s logic, that squares it all away. Until the next Ralph Torres comes to office; or maybe even Torres himself.

The longtime- award-winning newspaper editor also advocated for the legislature to move on from its investigations because Ralph Torres already is facing criminal charges in court. What he fails to mention is that the basis of that case sprang from documents and evidence that popped up because of legislative corruption hearings. Where the media and law enforcement failed to stand up to the Torres regime, the legislature came to instill at least a semblance of justice and accountability.

Let’s get to the most fundamental part of this critique. Why would a newspaper editor advocate against finding out more information about the corrupt use of public funds by a governor? I would imagine that every news outlet would clamor for the next piece of hot news stemming from a legislative or criminal corruption investigation. It is quite literally why the media exists.

Why would any editor not want that investigation to continue, especially when it’s such a public forum?

Yesterday – and this was not covered in the Marianas Variety yet – the House corruption committee voted unanimously to issue subpoenas to the Marianas Variety, the Saipan Tribune, and KKMP. The reason? To find out how much money these media companies made from the BOOST program alone.

The one Mr. Dandan mocks the House corruption committee for investigating.

Imagine what the numbers will be – just how much money the media in Saipan made – once the House corruption committee starts subpoenaing documents to tally how much they made during the whole of Ralph Torres’ administration.

I wonder how many stories will be written about that.


  • Russ Mason

      12/29/2023 at 1:34 PM

    No surprise here. The Fix has been in for a long time. Same with the Saipan Tribune. Mabel called it right.

  • Mabel Doge Luhan

      12/31/2023 at 9:10 PM

    I doubt Zaldy got any of that money. On the sixth floor of the Akasaka Biz Tower, 5-Chome-3-1 in Minato-ku, there’s an unmarked metal door, maybe #603 or #605, where if you knock three times, for 475,000 yen, between 11 AM and 8 PM (except Sundays), a woman known only as Sakura will let you shit on her face. She does it for the money. Zaldy does it because he likes it.

Leave a Reply

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