By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Saipan- CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres said he is standing by his decision to hire former Guam senator Wil Castro as his chief of staff.
"It must be an election year when a sitting senator chooses to question the just decision of the chief executive when there are more important issues facing our Commonwealth," Torres said, responding to criticisms from Democratic Sen. Edith Deleon Guerrero who questioned the hiring of Castro.
"His professional experience speaks for itself: a senior adviser to a two-term governor, a senior aide on healthcare reform, a two-term senator, a long-standing civic leader, and a former educator in both Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands."
Torres said Castro's "desire to move all of our Marianas is unwavering and a testament to his motivation to serve in this capacity."
Torres said Castro turned down higher paying private opportunities to continue his career as a public servant. He also opted not to uproot his family in Guam - Dr. Debra T. Cabrera, his fiancée, Liam and Mariåna, their kids - from their professional and educational responsibilities while he serves the people of the Commonwealth.
"If Sen. Deleon Guerrero thinks that Wil was hired solely on his educational achievements, then she is badly mistaken. Wil has proven time and again, and long before joining my administration, that the people of the CNMI and our welfare are paramount to him," Torres said.
“Rather than approach this matter with decorum, Sen. Deleon Guerrero instead chose free media over the professional route of inafa'maolek,” he added.
"Sen. Deleon Guerrero, in one breath, is both enamored by and condescending of Wil's education. This is unfortunate because she is pitting our people against each other under the guise of governance. Her 'What about?' tone is divisive, injurious and insincere."
Torres added: "By her unsound rationale, should we not hire off-island medical professionals, technical craftsmen, or entice off-island investors to come to the CNMI? This borders on hypocrisy on many levels."
"Wil has a history of bridging gaps in policy, and he is an ardent supporter of our natural resources, finance, healthcare, and economic prosperity. He is a proven communicator on many local, federal and international platforms."