CNMI Governor Breaks Silence About Health Condition

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Inos "Okay" after treatment for symptoms of pneumonia

By Joel D. Pinaroc

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Feb. 4, 2015) – Gov. Eloy S. Inos finally broke his silence on his noticeable absence from public view with a statement yesterday that said he is "okay."

His absence in the last few days due to medical concerns has triggered questions and speculations. Inos was last seen in public on Jan. 12, 2015, during the inauguration of the new administration.

"Over the last few days, there have been many questions concerning my well-being. It is only fitting that I let you know what is going on," Inos said in the statement.

According to Inos, he has been "interned at the Commonwealth Health Center for what the doctors were calling symptoms of pneumonia."

"Because of the need to make sure that the treatment I have been given alleviates those symptoms, the doctors held me back, and I have complied with their orders," he said.

The governor cited the "excellent services provided by our very own doctors, nurses, and CHCC staff have been nothing but superb. I am well, recovering, and anxious to be back at the office."

The governor also cited the efforts of his second-in-command on Capital Hill.

"Furthermore, I want to assure you that the operational and delivery of government services continue on a daily basis. I am most pleased by Lt. Gov. Ralph Torres’ initiatives to take on some of the public functions of the office while I am away for the past few days," Inos said.

On the issue of new Cabinet appointees, Inos said, "Members of the Cabinet will be announced soon so that bona fide leadership for the departments and agencies will be assured. The transition period is not an easy process as it involves the review of past performances, current goals, and opportunities for each of these agencies moving forward."

"I appreciate all your thoughts and prayers, and please rest assured that I am okay," Inos added.

The governor, according to his top aide, has been doing official work while recovering from an illness.

Acting press secretary Ivan A. Blanco told reporters that the governor has been signing proclamations and doing official duties while in recovery.

"He needs rest," Blanco said, when asked about the governor’s current condition.

He said he recently talked with the governor over the phone, describing Inos’ voice as sounding "okay."

Blanco, however, said there is no definite schedule yet as to when Inos will return to Capital Hill.

"As soon as it becomes official, we will inform the media," he said.

In an earlier interview, Torres said he "is not acting [governor] in any way" and he is just "doing [his] duties" such as going to proclamation signings and making speeches on behalf of the governor. Inos still has the final say when it comes day-to-day operations, Torres said.

Torres also said he is in frequent communication with the governor while Inos is in the hospital. "I have actually been in frequent communication with the governor. While he has been recuperating in the hospital, we have had several productive conversations regarding key Cabinet positions, the eventual lifting of the government hiring freeze, and on critical legislative items that have been forwarded to him," Torres said in an email to Saipan Tribune.

Inos was absent when Philippine Consul General to Guam Marciano De Borja made a recent visit to Capital Hill.

Torres, instead of Inos, also attended the Saipan Chamber of Commerce Installation Dinner at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan.

The governor also didn’t act on a bill creating the Department of Fire and Emergency Management Services, failing to either sign or veto it, leading to the bill’s enactment into law.

Inos has always been open about his health condition, earlier revealing that he’s been receiving dialysis thrice a week.

Shortly after returning from a routine checkup in the Philippines in early November last year, Inos disclosed that his medical leave to Manila was for a follow up to a bypass heart surgery he had in 2006.

Blanco has said he and the rest of the Inos administration is appreciative of the concern of the community and asked for the public to continue to pray for the governor’s health.

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