CNMI: Acting Governor Signs NMI-Philippine Friendship Proclamation

Recognizes 118th anniversary of Philippine independence, Filipino contributions to CNMI development

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, June 13, 2016) – In commemoration of the 118th anniversary of the declaration of Philippine independence, acting Gov. Victor B. Hocog on Sunday signed the Northern Mariana Islands-Republic of the Philippines friendship proclamation.

Honorary Philippine Consul to the CNMI Glicerio “Eli” Arago urged members of the Filipino community to continue to be an “inspiration to others.”

The program started with a parade of flags and a flag-raising ceremony led by the Emon Lodge No. 179 of the Free and Accepted Masons in the parking lot of Kanoa Resort on Sunday morning.

After the signing of the NMI-RP friendship proclamation and the cutting of a ceremonial cake in Seaside Hall at the Kanoa Resort, Hocog recognized the contributions of Filipino workers to the development of the CNMI.

“Without them it is very unlikely we would see what we see today. Our infrastructure development, our hotel development, our technical assistance, our professional assistance.”

Hocog added: “We cannot go against each other. We need to come together.... [W]ithout…critical technical people…CNMI development will face challenges and difficulties ahead.”

Hocog said and he and Gov. Ralph D.L.G. Torres are hoping that the ongoing 902 negotiation with the federal government in Washington, D.C. will produce positive results.

“I hope our American family will hear our plea and recognize the need for outside workers coming to the CNMI to continue to build our infrastructure and help with our development to ensure that the CNMI will once again revive its economy.”

Minda Castro read the NMI-RP friendship proclamation which states: “Filipinos in the Northern Marianas have, through the years, lived harmoniously with the people of the Northern Marianas, with intermarriages among members of our families, thereby further enriching the unique and colorful culture of these islands….”

In his remarks, United Filipino Organization president Bong Malasarte said the Filipino community should be proud of their contributions to the CNMI as they continue to serve in various capacities.

A message from Philippine Consul General to Guam Marciano de Borja was read by Bayani or Heroes Association president Nelida Atalig while a message from Philippine Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. to the U.S. was read by Marianas Institute of Filipino Certified Public Accountants president Butch Ordas.

Ruel Magtalas, president of the Marianas Association of Filipino Engineers and Architects, read a message from Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Jose Rene D. Almendras while Mar Masilungan, founding-president of Saipan Building and Fixing Computer Users Group, read a message from Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III.

Visiting Philippine Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara discussed his legislation that benefits overseas Filipino workers, including the Customs Modernization Act.

Also attending the program were Rep. Edmund Villagomez, Press Secretary Ivan Blanco, governor’s office staffers Luis Castro and Daisy Demapan and members and officers of various Filipino organizations in the CNMI.

Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Chalan Kanoa Fr. Ryan Jimenez led the invocation while Annamae Adaza was the mistress of ceremonies.

Marianas Variety
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