16 Jun 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
THE commonwealth government is paying tribute to the memory of the late Gov. Eloy S. Inos by enacting a law that names a new park after him.
On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Torres signed House Bill 20-56 which is now Public Law 20-2.
Authored by Rep Angel Demapan, the measure names the new Puerto Rico park the “Governor Eloy S. Inos Peace Park.”
Inos’s children, grandchildren, and brother were present during the signing of the bill which was also witnessed by Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio, who served as legal counsel to Inos.
The judge became emotional while speaking about the late governor and his contributions to the commonwealth as a leader, a father and a friend.
Governor Torres said the new law highlights the good work and memories of Inos.
“The governor touched the lives of many of us in different ways, and I thanked him for giving me the opportunity to run with him. I wouldn’t be here in this position if not for him. Signing this bill is an an honor and privilege for me, and I thank the family for accepting this opportunity to name the park after him. Thanks also to the Office of Management and Budget for the all the hard work to make sure the project was done. The groundbreaking ceremony to close the [Puerto Rico] dumpsite was actually my last groundbreaking with him. I will not forget that day. From a landfill to a park. A lot of our off-island visitors told me that they’ve walked from the Hyatt to the park to see the nice things about it and they appreciate it. But it’s really not the park but him that they are appreciating for all the work he did for all of us.”
Torres said the $5,000 allocation to beautify the park is just the start.
“Let’s appreciate it and enjoy the park. I urge the community to take care of the park, to protect it and enjoy it. I will make sure it’s well maintained and more flowers and trees will be planted there to make it a really nice park.”
In an interview, Torres recalled the time Inos asked him to run with the then-governor in 2014.
“I had a lot of respect for him as a person and as a leader. When he asked me to run with him, I couldn’t come up with a good reason why I shouldn’t. I tried to, but I could not. He had a pure heart for helping people and he was a genuinely good guy.”
Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog said he will not forget his last conversation with Inos regarding the former dumpsite in Puerto Rico.
“He once told me many people didn’t understand that the land they saved by cleaning it up would one day turn out to be their own. Today we can see the significance of that statement which this new public law will memorialize. I join the governor in asking everyone to help keep the park alive so that the late governor’s spirit will linger forever in that park.”
In an interview, Rep. Angel Demapan said he wanted to name the park after his mentor to remind people of all the hard work that Inos did to convert the former dumpsite into a beautiful park that everyone can enjoy.
“The closure of the dump had gone along slowly through different administrations, but it was only during the administration of the late governor that the final closure took place as well as the funding of $29 million — it was all under his leadership. I know some people suggested we name a building after him and not the park. I don’t disagree with that. In fact the Department of Finance was an option, but the department is spread out in different buildings, and this peace park had no name yet. People need to understand the magnitude of this project, and how much it meant to the late governor, how proud he was of this project. He was determined to make sure it was done,” Demapan said.
He added, “It is truly an honor for me to author and introduce legislation to pay tribute and honor to my late boss and mentor, the late Gov. Eloy S. Inos. Today, as we inscribe this legislation into the laws of our land, I cannot help but give praise and thanksgiving for the opportunity to have lived and learned under the tutelage of such a fine leader, unparalleled statesman and gentle, loving family man in the person of the late Governor Inos. May the new Governor Eloy S. Inos Peace Park forever inspire each of us to live a life of service and humility for our people.”
Inos’s eldest daughter, Dora Inos Deleon Guerrero, thanked everyone for making this tribute to her father possible.
“We thank the governor and the Legislature for honoring the memory of my father,” she said. “We’re grateful and we want to acknowledge both the previous and the present administrations for all their hard work to make the park what it is today. We are just very grateful.”
A former Finance secretary, Inos became lt. governor in May 2009, and governor in Feb. 2013 following the resignation of then-Gov. Benigno R. Fitial.
With Torres as his running-mate, Inos was elected governor in 2014.
While recovering from open heart surgery in Seattle, Washington, Inos passed away on Dec. 28, 2015, PST. He was 66.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/96122-new-law-names-park-after-late-governor