Funding For Partial Payment Of CNMI Land Compensation Judgments Available

Release of $9 million is small portion of $83 million Government owes

By Jon Perez 

SAIPAN, CNMI (Saipan Tribune, Jan. 4, 2017) – Several parties involved in separate cases with the government could soon receive a partial payment of their long-overdue compensation and judgments. Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is expected to sign House Bill 19-213 after the Senate, voting 8-0, passed the measure.

HB 19-213, introduced by Rep. Antonio P. Sablan (Ind-Saipan), would amend Section 302 (3) of Public Law 19-75 and names all parties coved by the appropriation for the payment of judgments. The bill appropriates $9 million as payments for land compensation—either stipulated, consented, and or other judgments.

The $9 million is part of the nearly $41-million supplemental budget, PL 19-75, that was appropriated to various government agencies and programs.

Torres had urged the Legislature to pass the measure and even attended the House session last week where he had talked to four of the six parties that will benefit from the bill. HB 19-213 would pay six of the biggest land compensation cases.

“Let’s make our payment now, settle it to stop the interest from accruing,” he had said.

The government owes a total of $83 million in land compensation and other judgments. Torres said the appropriated amount is just a start in settling some of the administration’s debt.

The heirs of Maria Mangabao would get $3 million, which is 16 percent of the $18,498,088.01 total judgment they received. Manglona vs. CNMI (Civ. No. 97-0486) would get $900,000; the Marianas Public Lands Authority vs. the heirs of Rogolifoi (Civ. No. 05-0197) would get $700,000 or 26 percent of $2,690.020.07

Lizama vs Department of Public Lands (Civ. No. 08-149) and Tano Group vs. Department of Public Works (Civ. No. 05-0100) are allotted $500,000 each; while Estate of Muna vs. CNMI (Civ. No. 96-0796) would get $400,000 or 70.3 percent of $568,966.82.

The Mangabao and Rogolifoi heirs, estate of Muna, and Lizama vs. DPL are settlement cases that are related to land compensation judgments.

Another $3 million is reserved to pay the land compensation agreements certified by the Department of Public Works and approved by DPL or its predecessor, for acquisition of right of ways and easements for primary roads.

Saipan Tribune
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