By Johnnie Rosario
(Tumon, Guam) Republican Congressman Ralph Yumul, who returned to Saipan today from a family vacation in the Philippines, contacted Kandit News Group to disclose that he does not avail of the monthly allowance to legislators. He also showed Kandit evidence of a scheme by Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao to pressure Republican House members to sign the template letter that 10 other Republicans signed refusing to disclose their receipts of purchases made from public funds advanced to members of the Commonwealth Legislature every month.
The advance of between $2,500 to $5,000 every month is an option that some legislators take, while others do not take it. Thus far, it has been disclosed that House members Ed Propst, Tina Sablan, and Edmund Villagomez - all part of the independent minority - do not take the allowance. Mr. Yumul is the first and only Republican member to disclose that he does not take the allowance either.
"I don’t receive subsistence or allowance other than for travel and for operational field purchases," Mr. Yumul wrote to Kandit today.
Mr. Yumul went further, telling Kandit that Mr. Attao had the template letter that refused disclosure sent to him with the instructions to sign the letter or he would be in violation of the law. Mr. Yumul was traveling at the time. He informed his assistant to have the speaker sign it if it was important, without having the opportunity to read the letter. The congressman provided evidence of the incident, which you may view below.
Mr. Yumul even provided evidence of the off island travel - his boarding pass stub - showing his return to Saipan via Korea from the Philippines. Incidentally, he did not fly first class.