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3 GOP lawmakers walk out of Friday session

By Troy Torres

Republican CNMI House Reps. John Paul Sablan, Joseph "Leepan" Guerrero, and Angel Demapan walked out of the House Chamber Friday during heated debate about gambling in the Commonwealth, and right before the Democrats brought up their corruption investigation into Republican Gov. Ralph Torres.

Video footage of the session from the Legislature's live feed shows Guerrero and Demapan in their seats as Rep. Tina Sablan (D-Saipan) was speaking against expanding gambling policies in the CNMI. Speaker Edmund Villagomez (I-Saipan) then called a recess. Upon resumption of the session minutes later, both Guerrero and Demapan had vacated their seats and left the chamber. They did not return.

Ms. Sablan continued her speech against expanding casino gambling and began questioning the connections between gambling owners and Republicans, including members of the Commonwealth Legislature. At that point, Mr. Sablan is seen standing up from his chair and leaving the chamber. He did not return.

Moments later Ms. Sablan and Rep. Celina Roberto Babauta (D-Saipan) both formally introduced documents into the record that set the stage for the 22nd Commonwealth Legislature's corruption investigation into Mr. Torres.


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