Troy Talks: Episode 9 • A test of integrity for the Senate president

If and when the CNMI Senate considers and votes on Marissa Flores’ bill granting the Office of the Attorney General express power to subpoena documents and witness testimony, the integrity of every one of its nine members will be tested.
The OAG began prosecuting Ralph Torres while he was in office, and continues an expansive investigation into the corruption of his administration. Black and white evidence uncovered so far shows a conspiracy involving former high level officials that squandered hundreds of millions of public dollars on an elite group of people and companies closely connected and even related to Mr. Torres.
Evidence also shows Mr. Torres and several other former republican elected officials were in cahoots with criminals and con artists with a direct line to the Chinese Communist Party. Maybe lessons in citizenship were taught so long ago that Mr. Torres and his gang simply forgot: A good citizen does not sell out his country for a quick casino buck.
Edith Deleon Guerrero

But this is evidence the Republican Party of the CNMI ignored, when it controlled the Senate during the impeachment trial of Mr. Torres. It is evidence then-minority Senator Edith Deleon Guerrero and others fought to bring to the forefront of public thought.

Three of the republican senators who successfully postured the Senate from removing Mr. Torres from office – Jude Hofschneider, Francisco Cruz, and Karl King-Nabors – remain in the Senate. It really should be a surprise to no one if they vote against Ms. Flores’ subpoena bill. Republican Senator Dennis Mendiola of Rota was a member of the Torres administration, but I do want to believe he is a man of integrity and would vote to pass the bill with the necessary amendments.
There likely is an expectation from many that the loyal members of the somewhat democrat-independent majority will vote to pass the bill. Those include Celina Babauta, Paul Manglona, Corina Magofna, and Donald Manglona. Any one of them voting against this bill would have a lot of explaining to do.
That leaves Ms. Deleon Guerrero, who now is the Senate president and who lately has signaled her retreat back into the convenient arms of the republicans. The test of integrity for her is different, though.
If the majority and minority parties oppose each other on this bill, that creates a 4-4 deadlock on the vote, with Ms. Deleon Guerrero being able to break that tie. There is only one type of vote she can cast where she comes out smelling like a bouquet of honesty and righteousness.
The Senate president has a conflict of interest in this matter. Her daughter is being prosecuted by the OAG. The public defender – the guy opposing this bill – is her attorney. Voting against Ms. Flores’ bill will give the appearance of retaliation; some may even argue, obstruction.
The thing is, if she conflicts herself out knowing the remainder of the vote will be a 4-4 deadlock, then she essentially is voting ‘no,’ as well, disguising the conflict.
If Ms. Deleon Guerrero wants the public to know she can be trusted to make the right decisions, even when the problems and questions before her are personally complicated, she needs to bring Ms. Flores’ bill to the Senate floor and vote to send it to the governor for his signature.


  • O what a tangled web we weave
    When we practice to deceive.

    Fear makes people do foolish things.

  • She better think twice before becoming a kangaroo then will most certainly end her political career.

  • Terribly true. The Families run the show, and have done since the TT days, under the tutelage of H. Willins.

    Similar families are Lucchese, Gambino, Bonnano, Columbo, and Genovese.

    Wanna buy some meat?

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