Guam – The CNMI Senate Tuesday voted overwhelmingly to kill a legislative initiative that would have placed the question of Article 12 on the Nov. 6 ballot. With only 1 of 8 Senators present voted “yes.”
Article 12 of the NMI Constitution restricts land ownership in the CNMI to persons of Northern Marianas descent or NMDs.
Under Article 12, an individual with less than 25 percent NMD blood won’t be able to own land in the CNMI. However, an adopted minor child with no NMD blood at all-a child from China or the Philippines, for example-is considered 100 percent NMD.
Passage of the legislative initiative would not have repealed Article 12, it would only have placed the question on the ballot to allow CNMI residents to decide.
However while a legislative initiative to place Article 2 on the ballot appears to be dead, the Citizens for Change of Article 12, led by chair Efrain Camacho, continues to gather voters’ signatures to place it on the ballot.
Section 805 of the Covenant allows the CNMI to revisit its land alienation restrictions 25 years after the termination of the Trusteeship Agreement in 1986. That 25-year period ended in 2011.