CNMI Mourns Death Of Former Lt. Governor Manglona

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

State funeral held on Rota

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, May 3, 2016) – The commonwealth on Monday honored the late former Lt. Gov. Benjamin Taisacan Manglona with a state funeral on his native island of Rota.

CNMI government officials led by Gov. Ralph Torres and Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog paid tribute to Manglona’s "distinguished career in public office and his exemplary accomplishments and contributions to the commonwealth and its people."

The state funeral service started at 10:15 a.m. at the Rota Roundhouse with Hocog, "a former political foe turned friend," delivering a "touching eulogy," Press Secretary Ivan Blanco told Variety in an email.

Also paying their respect to the former lt. governor were Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, Speaker Ralph Demapan, Senate President Frank Borja, Senate Vice President Arnold Palacios, Sen. Teresita Santos, Sen. Paul Manglona, Sen. Steve Mesngon, House Minority Leader Ramon Tebuteb, Rep. Anthony Benavente, Rota Mayor Efraim Atalig and Tinian Mayor Joey San Nicolas.

Press Secretary Ivan Blanco said:

"The Rota Municipal Roundhouse in Songsong…was filled with family, friends, and mourners which included government officials both local and visiting to pay their final respects to the late Honorable Benjamin Taisacan Manglona…."

Commemorative resolutions were presented to his widow Maria and his family, Blanco said, while Governor Torres and Manglona’s former chief of staff, now Rota Mayor Efraim M. Atalig, delivered their remarks in praise of one of the CNMI’s founding fathers.

"The ceremony was capped off with the singing of the Rota Municipal Anthem, ‘I Tano-MÃ¥mi’ by schoolchildren from Eskuelan San Francisco de Borja. Following the conclusion of the ceremony, members of the Rota Legislative Delegation, Mayor Atalig and the Rota Municipal Council, Lt. Governor Hocog, Governor Torres and the family walked side by side with their late colleague and mentor for the final time."

Funeral services for Manglona will be held Tuesday, May 3, at the San Francisco de Borja church with the Mass of Christian Burial scheduled to start at 10 a.m., followed by burial at the San Jose Cemetery.

Manglona was a former Senate president, Rota mayor, constitutional convention member, Congress of Micronesia member, Marianas District Legislature member and member of the Marianas Political Status Commission which negotiated the Covenant with the U.S. government.

He passed away on April 24, 2016 at the age of 78.

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