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Lolo again calls for Lualemaga to step down

fili@samoanews.com

Before he officially stepped down over the weekend as president of the Development of American Samoa (DBAS), Lolo M. Moliga reiterated his call for Sen. Lualemaga Faoa to excuse himself as chairman of the Senate Investigative Committee during hearings regarding the DBAS administered federal program known as Section 1602.

This was outlined in Lolo’s June 26 letter replying to Lualemaga’s letter of the same date, where the SIC chairman dismissed claims by Lolo that the probe of this federal program may be politically motivated. 

Lolo’s concerns about “certain political forces trying to undermine DBAS efforts” to implement this program — as well as calling for Lualemaga to excuse himself as chair during the hearing — were outlined in a June 25 letter.

On June 26, Lualemaga replied there was no political agenda associated with SIC’s selection of the 1602 program for review.

Lualemaga said he was also concerned with Lolo raising a “wholly irrelevant matter regarding a deceased’s house located on Lualemaga family land as a basis that I should remove myself as chairman of the SIC hearing on the 1602 program.”

The senator stated that the deceased’s house issue had been resolved by the High Court “in my favor with dismissal of all DBAS’ claims and, as far as I am concerned, is concluded and does not provide any basis for my removal as chairman.” 

(See Samoa News story June 27 for details of the first two letters between Lolo and Lualemaga)

Lolo responded, in his second letter dated June 26, that: “For your information, DBAS agreed in the court hearing, dated Feb. 24, 2012 which you did not attend, to dismiss the DBAS suit against you... because you had been making continuous monthly payments towards your delinquent loan for about two years.

“However, the fact that you are still a DBAS loan customer, that DBAS sued you in 2007, that DBAS advertised a foreclosure sale on the house funded by DBAS because of your delinquent loan, that DBAS refused to approve your attached written request dated May 4, 2009 to waive $11,797.38 of accrued interest for your loan, are more than enough reasons for you to disqualify yourself as chairman of the SIC hearing involving DBAS.”

He asked Lualemaga to “please reconsider your position” as chair of SIC during the DBAS hearing “and allow another SIC member who does not have a contractual relationship with DBAS” to be the chairman of the SIC hearing on the Section 1602 program.

Lolo also enclosed in his letter the May 2009 waiver request from Lualemaga which was addressed to the late board chairman Liufau T. Sonoma and the DBAS board. (Lolo was already DBAS president at the time, and was sent a copy of the letter. )

Samoa News should point out that the Section 1602 program hearing last Wednesday was continued to a future date due to the lack of a SIC quorum.

In a letter yesterday, Lualemaga responded to Lolo’s June 26 letter, saying that the letter has been received and reviewed “and its contents are dully noted”.

“I will cause it to be placed in the record of the Senate Investigative Committee,” said Lualemaga, who expressed his appreciation to Lolo attending last Wednesday’s postponed hearing “and apologize for the inconvenience caused by the lack of quorum” of SIC members.

At this point SIC has yet to schedule a new hearing date for the Section 1602 program.



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