When the truth forces you to face corruption

What makes us different from most of the other news agencies? We’re honest about our bias. And what is our bias toward? Simple: The truth.

The truth is not determined by a bellwether. It is not what the highest bidder pays it to be. In a world of right v. wrong, the truth always sides with right. We must take sides, if we pursue the truth. There is no such thing as in between, or reserved from bias.

It’s either we tell the truth, or we don’t.

Oftentimes the truth is hard to hear, and ever-more difficult to proclaim, especially when we don’t want to accept it or our loved ones tell us something different.

In the runoff election for governor of the CNMI, the truth is that the race is between an incumbent governor against whom clear, convincing, and irrefutable evidence shows is corrupt, and has corrupted the institutions of the Commonwealth government of which you, the taxpayer, are supposed to own… and his lieutenant governor – Arnold Palacios – who has condemned the corruption, recognized and apologized to the people for his silence during the governor’s reign of corruption, and committed to clean up the corruption if elected.

The truth is that CNMI law forbids the expenditure of public funds to buy anyone a first class ticket anywhere. The truth is that Ralph Torres spent hundreds of thousands of your tax dollars flying first class with his wife everywhere they went, breaking the law several times.

The truth is that the law forbids – and calls it theft in varying forms and degrees – to use public funds to conduct private business or to enrich oneself. The truth is that Ralph Torres constantly used public funds to provide a lavish lifestyle for himself and his family, to go on vacations, to sail on boat cruises, and even to operate a private piggery on his private property, where the taxpayers have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on his private power and water costs.

The truth is that the law requires any person to comply with a lawful subpoena. The truth is that Ralph Torres several times refused to comply with a lawful subpoena, a crime that would have sent any of us to jail the moment a court marshal found us.

The truth is that Ralph Torres is the defendant in a criminal trial against him, where the attorney general has accused him of theft of public funds, and unlawfully avoiding a lawful subpoena.

The truth is that millions upon millions of dollars in federal and local funds have been awarded by the Torres administration to its cronies.

During this pandemic, which side of the economic ladder have you found yourself on? The top rungs of riches, or fallen by the wayside of poverty?

What is the truth? There is no greater Truth than the man who once said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace upon the earth. I have come to bring not peace but the sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and one’s enemies will be those of his household.”

In this election, there is just one question voters should ask themselves: Is corruption wrong?

If corruption is wrong, then justice is right; and if justice is the Truth and we choose the truth, then it is plain as day which side we should be on.

We side with the truth. Our bias, now and always, will be the Truth. Let’s not get it twisted.


  • Benigno Fitial

      11/21/2022 at 9:36 AM

    Puti tai salapi lao putiña kaduku.
    Pot fabot Bota Palacios-Apatang
    Numero Uno gi baloto.

  • Cade Maddox

      11/21/2022 at 11:40 AM

    Corruption can thrive when there’s no functional journalism to expose it.

    The Saipan Tribune lazily reprints press releases and the Variety’s “reporters” are still struggling to compose a sentence in comprehensible English. Neither “newspaper” has any idea about investigative reporting or critical thinking. No current Saipan “reporter” has ever asked a public figure a difficult question, nor analyzed anything in an article, ever.

    Too bad we have to rely on a blogger in Guam to bring issues to light. Just as we had to rely on a London-based journalist working for a New York-based publication to write an honest story about the casino that sits a few hundred feet from the Variety’s and Tribune’s offices.

    Time for Zaldy to write another scathing editorial rehasing for the three-hundred-forty-eighth time that taxes are bad. At least unlike the “reporters” he’s supposedly “editing,” Zaldy knows how to form plural nouns and can sometimes conjugate verbs.

    • They are under Ralph’s control. Remember the $5k a month that comes from the casino funds? And don’t forget who owns the tribune…none other than the Tan’s who got millions from the pandemic funds.

    • Mabel Dodge Luhan

        11/26/2022 at 7:19 AM

      Don’t forget the Variety’s main function: serving as a bully pulpit for mentally ill bitcoin bros. You can’t criticize island bigshots or use the word “stupid” in the comments section, but covid lies, anti-democratic conspiracy theories, and racist ramblings from a white nationalist’s droolcup are all highly valued comments on mvariety.com. Water seeks its own level.

  • Mabel Dodge Luhan

      11/23/2022 at 10:14 AM

    Immediately approved BOOST grants for a new business:

    Joey Cruz (Rafet’s bodyman) – Asteo Farm (Torres family farm)
    C. David Atalig (Secretary of Finance’s brother) – “Consulting”
    Margaret Torres (self explanatory) – Bert’s Nest (another Torres farm)

    Longtime Torres campaign donor Steve Jang immediately approved for $650,000 for Ete Cafe / Plumeria Restaurant.

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