By Eric Rosario
Drey Pangelinan, spokesman for the CNMI Department of Public Safety, could not answer a single question about DPS's supposed investigation into former Congressman Ed Propst relating to alleged crimes Propst is accused of committing 20 years ago.
When Kandit asked him what authority DPS has to investigate allegations that have been outside the statute of limitations for 17 years, Mr. Pangelinan responded, "I don't have any information on that. You'll have to ask the Attorney General's Office."
Mr. Pangelinan supposedly is the DPS official who issued a press release detailing DPS's investigation into Mr. Propst. Pangelinan is the DPS public information officer. The PIO had said he had no information about the case, or refused to comment on several questions Kandit asked him.
When asked how it is possible DPS does not have information on an investigation it is conducting and for which it issued a news release, Mr. Pangelinan said he had no comment.
When asked whether his department was trumping up charges against Mr. Propst to extort the former congressman, Mr. Pangelinan did not deny it.
Mr. Propst received the greatest number of votes in the General Election to the CNMI House of Representatives. He did not campaign or seek the office. He has not publicly stated whether he will accept his election.
If Mr. Propst accepts the election, the Democrats will have an even number of seats in the House as the Republicans. All it will take is for one person from either party to switch sides in order for that party to become the majority and decide who will be the speaker of the House.
The speakership is critical to Gov. Ralph Torres's future as the governor. The speaker is a powerful position in that chamber, able to raise and designate special investigative committees and impeachment proceedings. Mr. Torres reportedly is pushing for the election of his chief of staff, Angel Demapan, to be the speaker in an effort to quash any impeachment proceedings in the next House.
Mr. Propst, sources confirm, has been threatened by members of the Torres administration to decline his election or face a full investigation and arrest by Mr. Torres's cronies.
That. Is. Extortion.
And it is against federal law.