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NMI Democrats: ‘We have confidence in law enforcement’

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(Press Release) — Asked for comment on the massive FBI searches conducted targeting Gov. Ralph Torres, his family, brothers’ law firm, and casino operator Imperial Pacific International, NMI Democratic Party Chairwoman Nola Hix said the NMI Democratic Party has confidence in federal law enforcement agencies and officers, and prosecutors, and will await the indictments and outcome of the judicial process.

“We can’t help but notice that nothing of this magnitude has ever before taken place in the CNMI though,” Hix said. “We all know that all persons are presumed innocent before the law until proven guilty. We also know that search warrants will not issue unless a judge finds existence of probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found in the place to be searched.”

“Public corruption is never acceptable,” she added. “We are thankful we live in this wonderful nation and that we can depend on our law enforcement officers to protect the people and uphold the law. This gives us great confidence in the future. As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ “

“What we do know,” Hix went on to say, “is that our people have been suffering because the casino has not kept its promises and has not been fulfilling its legal obligations to the people of the CNMI.”

“Our students, teachers, and government employees suffer from government austerity while IPI owes millions in unpaid taxes.

“If IPI made what it owes, there would be, and would have been, no austerity.

“Instead of being held to its promises and required to meet its obligations, IPI has gotten amendment after amendment after amendment — all of them favorable to IPI, with nothing of value in return for the people or the CNMI government.

“Nobody wants to account for the Community Benefit Fund and for some reason the Lottery and Casino Commission either don’t know or want the community to know of any actual community benefits to the community?

“So that is what we know. Hopefully, now, sometime soon, we will see the full picture, the truth, the whole truth, of Imperial Pacific, of this casino, of the people involved, and how our public officials have handled it, managed it, or mismanaged it, and maybe why?”

Asked whether the FBI action vindicated the protests carried out by NMI Citizens for Change, Hix laughed and said, “NMI Citizens for Change is an independent group of concerned citizens. NMI Democrats have provided some logistical support but the whole point of this independent group is to step outside partisan politics and provide a forum embracing any and all persons concerned about what is happening in and to our beloved Commonwealth — Republicans, Democrats, Independents, even the apolitical or anti-political.”

“Clearly there is no direct relationship between the NMI Citizens for Change protests and the FBI searches. NMI Citizens for Change have raised a wide spectrum of issues and questions extending far beyond those apparently targeted by the FBI.

“We hope those all get addressed in due course as well — and addressed by a courageous, informed and motivated citizenry, supported by responsible leaders, without the necessity for federal law enforcement to sweep in as white knights and rescue us from our desperate circumstances.”

Public corruption never acceptable — join us

“We certainly hope that in this upcoming election the voters, and the GOP holds its candidates and office-holders to a higher standard,” Hix concluded.

The Democratic Party of the Northern Marianas Inc. cordially invites the public to its general membership meeting scheduled for Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 10:00 in the morning at the Grandviro Hotel’s – Fiesta Room. This meeting is open to all and those interested in becoming prospective members of the party are invited to attend.

At this meeting the party will hold an election for all 28 Central Executive Committee CEC members, the governing body of the Democratic Party-political organization. The allocation of Central Executive Committee members by Election District is as follows:

Election District 1 = 7

Election District 2 = 2

Election District 3 = 6

Election District 4 = 3

Election District 5 = 4

Election District 6 = 3 (Tinian)

Election District 7 = 3 (Rota)

Candidates for Central Executive Committee must reside in the election district they will represent. Nominations will be valid only when accepted by the candidate.

We invite you to be part of a growing movement that would lay the foundation for a transformation in CNMI governance premised on the basic obligation of public service.

Come learn about our party, become a CEC member or party officer, contribute your thoughts and ideas so we can get active, and stay active for the betterment of the Commonwealth and future generations to come, said Hix.

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