VIDEO: CNMI Report – Sen. Ayuyu Says He Didn’t Harm Anyone, Senate Will Review Indictment Against Him

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Saipan –  A CNMI Senate panel will be looking into the charges and allegations against Sen. Juan M. Ayuyu. Ayuyu was indicted along with former Rota Municipal Council staffer Ryan James I. Manglona for violations of the Endangered Species Act. They allegedly tried to smuggle eight fruit bats from Rota to Saipan in October 2010.

The Senate Committee on Rules and Procedures, chaired by Senate Vice President Jude U. Hofschneider, said yesterday it may recommend a course of action, if any, on Ayuyu.

Ayuyu said he never intended to break any law and did not harm anyone but that he respects the judicial process.

“In my heart, I didn’t do anything wrong. As a public servant, I felt I didn’t harm anyone. I didn’t do anything to advance any political interest. I believe justice will prevail. I hope they will hear my side [of the story]. I believe in our judicial process,” he said.

The Senate, in a separate statement yesterday afternoon, said it is “saddened” by the news about Ayuyu.

Ayuyu, 48, is the latest among CNMI lawmakers indicted or charged while in office.

Last year, a House Special Committee on Ethics was formed to review and make recommendations on issues involving Rep. Ray Palacios in connection with alleged “ice” use and trafficking. Palacios stepped down as Education Committee chair and did not seek re-election.