CNMI Governor seeks report detailing 102 govt trips

5:01 am on 19 January 2021

The Northern Marianas Governor has defended himself over a report showing he took 102 government trips, mostly overseas, from December 2016 to December 2019.

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres.

The governor of the Northern Marianas, Ralph Torres. Photo: CNMI Republican Facebook

The House of Representatives report said 78 of the trips involved travel outside of the CNMI and at least 40 were first-class, contrary to restrictions on government travel.

The report said the first-class and business-class airfare costs for Ralph Torres during the period totalled around $US178,000.

The governor said it was part of his job to represent the CNMI in the best light possible on whatever trips he takes.

Torres also called for a copy of the report so he could answer any allegations accurately.

Minority bloc members said, because Torres travelled often with companions, including his wife, personal security detail, staff and other officials, the total cost of executive travel was significantly higher than the amount published.

The governor recently took a trip during the Covid-19 pandemic which brought the CNMI economy to its knees last year.

Torres accompanied social media personality Robert Arrington of the YouTube show 'Deer Meat for Dinner' to Pagan on a trip to promote the CNMI as a world-class destination, and particularly the Northern Islands as a "high-end" ecotourism location.