César A. Miranda Rodríguez, the Attorney General of Puerto Rico, attended the House subcommittee in the place of Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla. During the question period, Rep. Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands expressed confusion.
“This panel consists of the heads of three political parties in Puerto Rico,” he said. “Is that correct?”
César A. Miranda Rodríguez said, “I am here just as a representative of the governor in his executive level.”
Sablan reiterated that the heads of the political parties had been invited.
“You don’t just come here,” Rep. Sablan said, “This is by invitation only.”
The Attorney General said again that he was representing the Governor in his capacity as Governor, not in his capacity as the head of the Popular Democratic Party.
“You don’t want to be a state, but you want what belongs to a state,” Rep. Sablan continued. “You want something that is a privilege extended to the 50 States.”
“We like some things about states and not others,” the Attorney General had said at one point.
Sablan moved on to another concern.
“You’re holding onto $2.5 million that we appropriated for a plebiscite. You haven’t had that plebiscite. We gave you the money,” he said, “so why don’t you have the plebiscite?”
The Attorney General began again to explain that he represented the Governor only in his executive functions, but Sablan cut him off. “This doesn’t answer my question,” he said. “I yield back.”
Earlier, the Attorney General answered a question on the plebiscite process by saying, “I cannot assure you at this moment where is the actual state of that initiative.”
The Governor of Puerto Rico decided to skip a House subcommittee hearing on the status of Puerto Rico. His substitute was unable to answer questions directed to him, and after the exchange with Sablan he did not speak again.
Is Puerto Rico’s status that unimportant to the Governor of Puerto Rico?