‘My door is open. I’m here’

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“ALL of my expenditures are in public records, so whatever they want to ask  and whatever they find, I’m here,” Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said on Tuesday regarding the formation of the House Special Committee on Fiscal Review of Executive Expenditures.

During a press briefing on KKMP radio, the governor added, “I’m confident that expenditures that [were] done [were] according to the law.”

As for the House Special Committee on Federal Assistance and Disaster-Related Funding, the governor said, “I’m absolutely happy that they’re looking into that… When the pandemic [came] in, everyone was basically afraid. We [didn’t] know where it [was] coming from…who [had] it. Our departments or cabinet members or first responders, they took the helm and they stood up and they did the work.”

He added, “At the end of the day, are we safe here or are we not?  I think we should congratulate and thank those…that have stepped up and were able to provide us [with] the necessary equipment [and] supplies that no other country and other state can claim.”

Up to now,  he said, “you still have other states [and] other territories that are having issues. We don’t have issues with supplies. We don’t have issues with equipment. We have our alternate care site and [it] is ready to go. During these times, we need to do what we need to do to provide healthcare and we are doing exactly that,” the governor said.

“Yes, we are safe. We feel safe.”

Torres said the “flattening of the curve” was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the community, business partners, the Covid-19 Task Force, and the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp.

“Now that we feel safe…[the House is] going around…and [saying], ‘Okay well, let’s do some investigation.’ So, whatever it is, we are here to answer any questions,” he added.

“I’ve never attacked anybody...I was born…to have respect, and I continue to do that. My door is open. If anybody wants to come in and talk and say, ‘Hey, let’s move forward for the betterment of the community and the CNMI,’ I’m here. I hope we can do that.”

He added, “Let politics be politics. At the end of the day, we do need to work together in addressing our issues. Same thing with tourism. You criticize certain things, [but] what’s your solution? Who do you have to market the whole Marianas? What is your solution?”

“We can sit here,” he said, “and just criticize, [but] what solution do you bring to the table? Because we can [also] say, ‘Well, let’s have great ideas. Let’s collaborate. Let’s have good solutions.’ [So] at the end of the day, when you sit down, what are your solutions? How do you bring in other tourism markets? What is your plan? Who do you have to market  the whole Marianas?”

The governor said he would be happy to listen to ideas or plans for the betterment of the Commonwealth.

“Let’s hear it. If it’s a political question, we can set aside time for [it], but I would like to [discuss] issues pertaining to the CNMI,” he said.

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