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NEWS: Antonio Borja took nearly 200% of and on top of his salary in allowances

(Editor's note: This is the fourth in an expose of the members of the Commonwealth Legislature, who have taken monthly allowances on top of their salaries)

CHAPTER 4: Antonio Borja

By Johnnie Rosario

(Yigo, Guam) The monthly legislative allowances for members of the Commonwealth Legislature were established years ago for the members of the Tinian and Rota legislative delegations, who incurred additional operational expenses in functioning both in their home islands and in Saipan. The Twenty-first Commonwealth Legislature, which took office January 2019, changed its rules and began allowing Saipan congressmen and senators to take this monthly allowance as well.

Kandit in January sent an Open Government Act request to the Legislature for the receipts of spending from these allowances that the Legislature's rules require its members to keep. Most of the Republican members in both houses refused to disclose their receipts, so Kandit sent an OGA request to the Department of Finance and has received the documents pertaining to the disbursal of checks to these members.

Among those who refused to disclose receipts is Congressman Antonio Borja of Tinian, who according to the DOF documents took $57,903.22 in allowances in 2019, or almost the maximum annual amount of $60,000. This is on top of his $32,000 salary. There is no way of verifying what he spent that money on without access to the receipts of his spending.


Mr. Borja's 12 requests to both former secretary of finance Larissa Larson and current secretary David Atalig, Jr. for the release of his monthly allowances all refer to the allowance as a subsistence/housing allowance.

All 12 of his requests were for the maximum $5,000 per month, beginning with his January 14, 2019 request for the January allowance. The documents indicate Mr. Borja was paid only $2,903.22 for January, despite his request for the maximum amount.

Rent in Saipan for a home typically ranges between $600 - $1,000, which begs the question: Where did the rest of that monthly allowance go?

Aside from the allowances that total nearly 200 percent of Mr. Borja's annual $32,000 salary, Mr. Borja requested something illegal: advance payments of his allowances. He did this six times:

  • On January 29, 2019 he requested advance payment for February allowance

  • On April 16, 2019 he requested advance payment for May allowance

  • On May 6, 2019 he requested advance payment for June allowance

  • On May 29, 2019 he requested advance payment for July allowance

  • On July 1, 2019 he requested advance payment for August allowance

  • On July 30, 2019 he requested advance payment for September allowance

Janet Maratita

Mr. Borja's total allowances for 2019 can pay the salaries of three government employees, and could have kept 15 government employees from being furloughed every Friday and losing 20 percent of their gross income to this second round of Gov. Ralph Torres's austerity program.

Mr. Borja's Republican Party has refused to move forward on any investigation into corruption and misuse of spending on Mr. Torres's part.

As his Republican colleague, Congresswoman Janet Maratita would say, "Ekua dai sa ti kurupted yu."

1,460 views12 comments


Sophomoric name-calling is back in season. OK, so Borja is a thief and a crook. To add racial slurs ultimately says more about you than him.


Borja looks like he should be leading a cadre of Mexicans down from the hills in some Clint Eastwood western movie. Maybe call it Viva La Stupido?


@aloha You seem to be one angry person. If you have the inclination, check out videos on YouTube by Tom Campbell or Richard Kelly. You may be pleased to discover that none of this is real.


Business as usual out here in the CNMI, right? Is it any wonder why entire families are invested when one of their own decides to run? Not only do they love the status but they know the trickle down effect that comes along too if you catch my drift. "Oh, you know Congressman such and such? He's my prim!" "Oh you know Senator such and such? He's my second cousin!" "Oh, you know the Lt. Governor? He's my niao!" Status and financial symbols bc there's nothing else going on out here. And then if a politician's local relative works for a private company here on island they use their political connections to get a high position without the qualification. Yo…


Re: Russ Mason

What a douche - asking Kandit to look into phone calling card that expire. Wha they should look into is haoles that are married to Chinese woman that ripoff other people on rental properties.

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