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Lang remembered for ‘fruitful’ years in office

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LAWMAKERS interviewed by this reporter recalled fondly the “fruitful” four years in office of former Gov. Froilan “Lang” Cruz Tenorio who passed away on May 4 in Fort Worth, Texas. He was 80 years old.

He served as governor from Jan. 1994 to Jan. 1998, and was also a former senator, Washington representative, and House speaker.

Rep. Roman C. Benavente who was Tenorio’s community relations adviser said: “He only had one term as governor, but it was a very fruitful one.” He was very aggressive when it came to accomplishing something, Benavente said, adding that during Tenorio’s administration, the local economy was “flourishing.”

“We worked diligently together in making sure things get done,” said Benavente who extended his condolences to former first lady Grace Tenorio, her children, and grandchildren.

Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero said the CNMI’s fourth governor had a “very fruitful” administration.

“He was the governor who built, among other things, the pathway along Beach Road. So we named that pathway in his honor. I also remember Lang for his commitment and dedication to the people,” Deleon Guerrero said.

“I convey my condolences to Ma’am Grace and her children,” he added.

Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider extended his condolences to the former governor’s family, especially former first lady.

He said the former governor was someone who was passionate in what he did.

Hofschneider said the former governor served as speaker of the 17th House of Representatives. “That was during my early years in the Legislature,” he added.

Rep. Luis John DLG Castro said the former governor earned a reputation as a bold decision-maker and a tireless advocate for the advancement of the Commonwealth and its residents.

“Throughout his tenure as the Commonwealth’s chief executive, Governor Tenorio was a proponent of economic growth and a stern voice for the CNMI’s needs when discussing local matters with our federal counterparts,” Castro said.

“In one term, his accomplishments included improving the infrastructure of our islands, particularly our highway and telecommunication systems. After leaving the executive branch, he returned to public office a decade later, being elected to the House of Representatives and chosen speaker of the House in the 17th Legislature. One of his most recognized accomplishments while in office was the   construction of the Saipan Beach Pathway in 1997, an iconic landmark still popular to this day for exercise and recreation, which was renamed after him in 2016. Always straightforward and at times controversial, Governor Tenorio left an indelible mark on the history of our islands.”

Castro said the former governor left behind a legacy of someone “who always tried to think ahead to move us as a territory and a people forward, because in   his   words   he   believed   that, ‘Clearly the world is changing, and so must we.’ As someone who looked up to Lang and as someone who followed in the path he and others carved out for us who serve the Commonwealth today, I extend my condolences to his widow Grace, his children, and their families during this difficult time.”

‘Untimely passing’

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang described the former governor as a dedicated and hardworking public servant who made the CNMI a better place.

“He dared to steer our path toward growth, prosperity, and constant expansion of economy,” Apatang said, as he expressed his condolences to the former governor’s wife, Grace, their children, and grandchildren.

He said the former governor brought the world “to our doorsteps, a decision of his that today makes being in a different place by virtual communication as easy as logging in on the Internet or dialing our mobile handheld.”

Apatang said he, the rest of his constituents, and the CNMI are mourning the “untimely passing of a good friend.”

“We pray that his vision of the CNMI will live in the hearts and minds of all who call our CNMI home,” Apatang added.

‘Sorrowful duty’

It was Gov. Ralph DLG Torres who broke the news to the people of the CNMI on Tuesday morning.

“It is my sorrowful duty to announce officially the passing of the Honorable Froilan Cruz Tenorio….”

In a statement, Gov. Torres said:

“Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and I, along with our families, join the Commonwealth in mourning the passing of Governor Tenorio. Our prayers are with his wife Grace, their children, and grandchildren.

“Governor Tenorio led a great life that was highlighted by his decades of public service. He was a true statesman in every sense of the word. He was deeply devoted to our islands and worked hard to protect them during his years as a senator, as our Washington representative, as our governor, and House speaker.

“During his time as governor from 1994 to 1998, he was praised for his commitment to growing the economy as a way of creating jobs for our people. He believed in private sector success and fiscal conservatism and worked hard to advocate for the CNMI’s needs with the federal government.

“Beyond service to our Commonwealth, he had a deep love and passion for the Marianas. He believed in personal freedom for all residents who call the Marianas home, and his belief is represented every day when we walk along the Gov. Froilan C. Tenorio Beach Road Pathway and enjoy the views of our beautiful Saipan lagoon.

“The Commonwealth will forever remember one of its most devoted public servants as a man who helped pave the way for our islands’ progress. Governor Tenorio has gone home now to his eternal home in the loving arms of our Dear Lord. He leaves us with the memories he gave us, the good work he did, and the impact he had on everyone he met.

“As a mark of solemn respect for the life and service of the Honorable Froilan Cruz Tenorio, fourth governor of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, I hereby order that the flag of the Commonwealth, together with the flag of the United States of America, shall be flown at half-staff at the Juan Atalig Sablan Memorial Building and upon all public buildings, instrumentalities, and grounds within the Commonwealth until the day of his interment.”

With Junhan B. Todino

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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