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Saturday, August 30, 2008


ST Rls - Letters to the EditorFriday, August 22, 2008

Vote for change

I'm here in the U.S. with my fellow comrades of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Infantry, E. Company for our annual training, then mobilizing to Middle East. While sitting around listening to our guys from Saipan chatting, they appeared to be angry, while others were surprised about the bad news from Saipan. “Hey, did you know that Tim, our Lt. Governor, was indicted?” One person said, “Wow, I don't believe it, the Lt. Governor will do no such a thing.” Another person said, “He is such a nice person, I never thought he would do such a thing.” In another corner of the group popped another comment, “I'm not surprised, with those corrupted politicians.”

My first reaction in my mind was, “Oh my God, I cannot imagine how his children will be affected at school and their peers. They are the innocent in all these problem, and yet they will forever be affected for the rest of their lives. I felt the urge to contribute to the discussion, but I thought if it would really matter. I continued to sit around the training area and listened to the chatting group, only to feel angrier about how our soldiers are concerned about the political corruption problems in the CNMI. Here we are, going to another country to risk our lives to fight another corrupt government, even as it is happening in our own island.

People of the CNMI, if we don't rise up and vote smart for new leaders, this disease of corruption will continue to exist. It irritates me to see veteran politician laugh at the newly elected officials for their inexperience. I see veteran politicians as the experienced ones in the corruption game. It's time for a change in the next election for better lives. Vote for new leaders, vote for change, and for better lives.

SSG Fabian M. Indalecio
San Antonio, Saipan

CONCERN CITIZEN BURGLURIZED! Help support our crime rising CNMI

ST rls. -Letters to the Editor Friday, August 29, 2008

Seeking help for missing items!

Now that the burglars who robbed our place on Capital Hill are behind bars, I would like to ask the public if you know or know anyone who has bought any of our missing belongings from the burglars sometime between Aug.20 and Aug. 22. We've learned that our belongings have been sold to random people at the time so please come forward with our things. You can contact me at 484-6069 or or return them to the detectives.

-Compaq Presario Laptop & Charger from DRTO along with a black and white LG mouse in a black laptop bag. We have important documents in the laptop and need it immediately!

-Black Sony PS2 game console (thin version) with one black controller with plugs. Has one PS2 game (Prostreet).

-Gray Trutech portable DVD player with initials J.A.E. and C.C on the outside of LCD screen. Has minor scratches.

Whoever bought our belongings, please return them. I have contacted all the pawnshops on island and they are very well aware of the things we are looking for.

Christine Santos
Capital Hill, Saipan

Thursday, January 24, 2008

4 arrested for Chalan Kanoa brawl plead not guilty

By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa Variety News Staff 012508

THE four individual who were charged for engaging in a fight in Chalan Kanoa and assaulting each other with a dangerous weapon have denied the charges.

Michael Castro, Sos Ludwig, Sipson Ludwig and Onochew Iata appeared in court for arraignment on Tuesday.

Presiding Judge Robert C. Naraja set the status conference for Feb. 12 for Ludwig brothers and Iata while Castro’s status conference was set for Feb. 21.

Sipson Ludwig was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon for assaulting Patrick Castro with a knife on Jan. 10, 2008.

Sipson Ludwig, Sos Ludwig and Iata were also charged with riot for engaging in a fight with Castro’s group on the same day.

Castro was charged separately with assault with a dangerous weapon for assaulting Sos Ludwig with a rock, assault and battery and criminal mischief for damaging a vehicle.

Castro’s brother Patrick was charged with riot and assault while their friend Seichi Aoki was charged with riot.

Only Michael Castro, Ludwig brothers and Iata were arrested by the police and were held for custody.

Patrick Castro is still undergoing treatment at the hospital while Aoki remains at large.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Police arrest armed robbery suspect

Wednesday November 7, 2007 By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa Variety News Staff

POLICE have arrested the masked individual who robbed Jenny’s Store in Dandan last month.
Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Lei Ogumoro said Anthony Campos Jr., 20, was arrested in Koblerville at 5:35 p.m. on Saturday by DPS Criminal Investigation Bureau investigators.
Tips provided to Crime Stoppers led to the identification of the suspect, Ogumoro said.
Police have also identified the second suspect — John Mafnas.
Superior Court Judge David A. Wiseman issued a warrant of arrest for Campos on Saturday.
Yesterday, Campos was brought to Superior Court for a bail hearing before Judge Kenneth Govendo.
Assistant Attorney General Joseph Taijeron asked the court to increase the $50,000 cash bail to $150,000, which Govendo granted.
Campos, who is on bail release for other criminal charges, was remanded to the custody of the Department of Corrections.
His preliminary hearing was set for Nov. 14 at 9 a.m. and arraignment was scheduled for Nov. 19 at 9 a.m.
Ogumoro said they are thankful to the community for providing information that led to the arrest of Campos.
She said they are hoping to get more information regarding other crimes.
The armed robbery at Jenny’s Store in Dandan was the third in October.
The incident was reported to the police at 8 p.m. on Oct. 24.
The suspect wore a blue ski mask and a grayish, long-sleeved shirt and black short pants and was armed with a machete when he entered the store.
The second suspect, John Mafnas, was seen waiting outside the store holding a baseball bat.
According to an affidavit filed in court, a minor saw a baseball bat, wig and mask in the back of a vehicle belonging to Campos and heard rumors that it was Campos and Mafnas who robbed Jenny’s Store.
The investigators interviewed Mafnas who, according to the affidavit, signed a statement admitting the crime.
Other armed robberies happened at Classic Design Mart in Koblerville, Marianas Resort in Marpi and Kim’s Market on Navy Hill.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


mv-Friday November 23, 2007 By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa Variety News Staff

233 DUI arrests so far this year

POLICE arrested 227 persons on Saipan, one on Tinian and five on Rota in DUI incidents from

January to October this year, according to the Department of Public Safety.

DPS said Saipan also recorded one alcohol related fatality.
In 2006, 354 people were arrested for DUI and one pedestrian died as a result of an intoxicated driver.

In 2005, there were 414 DUI arrests and five alcohol-related fatalities.
DPS said traffic fatalities nationwide in alcohol-related crashes fell by 0.2 percent from 16,919 in 2004 to 16,885 in 2005.

In 2006, 42,642 people were killed in motor vehicle accident and 13,470 of those were alcohol related.

In December 2006, there were 1,076 traffic fatalities nationwide.

On Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Villagomez designated December as CNMI Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month.
The proclamation stated that “although the holidays bring joy in celebrations with family and friends, they also bring a tragic increase in the incidence of impaired driving.”

The public is encouraged to drive free of the influence of alcohol or drugs and to prevent others from driving under the influence to help save lives.
DPS said it will intensify its campaign against impaired driving starting on Thanksgiving by increasing patrols targeting impaired drivers and conducting sobriety checkpoints.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


John Santos is seen after a bail hearing yesterday. Photo by Cherrie Anne Villahermosa Marianas Variety.

Thursday November 22, 2007
Son of police officer arrested for copper wire theft
By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa Variety News Staff
THE 18-year-old son of a police officer was arrested on Tuesday after he was caught at the La Fiesta III building in San Roque with individuals who were loading copper wire into a pick up truck.
John Santos Jr., the son of Sgt. Bernard Santos, Department of Public Safety’s Boating Safety Section commander, was brought to Superior Court yesterday morning for a hearing.
The police detective who arrested the suspect was called to testify yesterday before Associate Judge David A. Wiseman to determine if there was probable cause to arrest and charge Santos Jr. with the offense of burglary and theft.
Wiseman, after hearing the testimony of the detective, said there was probable cause to arrest Santos Jr. and ordered the defendant to be placed under house arrest.
Wiseman allowed Santos Jr. to post a $10,000 appearance bond and be released from custody through a third party custodian, Sgt. Hillary Tagabuel.
Wiseman ordered the defendant not to leave his house without his third party custodian or his father.
Santos Jr. was ordered to stay away from his co-defendants Roland Kaipat, 26; Vicente Kaipat, 27; and Jeff C. Magofna, 26.
Assistant Attorney General Melissa Simms said the government would not object if Santos Jr. was released from the custody because he has been very cooperative in the ongoing investigation.
Sgt. Santos told the court that a private lawyer will be hired to defend his son.
Sgt. Santos declined to comment further.
Sgt. Tagabuel said the defendant is a “good man.”
DPS spokeswoman Lei Ogumoro said the police detective was doing a routine patrol at the La Fiesta III building in San Roque on Tuesday at 1 p.m. when he saw a green Toyota pick-up truck parked near the La Fiesta III building and two men loading rolls of copper wire into the bed of the truck.
When the officer approached the individuals, the two suspects fled on foot along with another suspect who was in the building.
The responding officer was able to detain a fourth suspect who was identified later as John T. Santos. At the time of the incident, he was acting as a lookout.
Police discovered that a quantity of copper wire had been cut from the location.
The detective in his testimony yesterday said that they recovered 15 rolls of copper wire from the truck.
DPS said the three other suspects have not yet been arrested and are still at large.
Anyone having information about this crime should call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 234-7272. All calls are kept anonymous, no caller ID is used and a reward of up to $1,000 is given for any information leading to an arrest.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ex-principal gets 5 months

mv- Local Wednesday, November 21, 2007 By Ferdie de la TorreReporter

Former Kagman High School principal Doreen M. Tudela was sentenced yesterday to five months in prison in connection with charges that she stole the school's sale of pizzas worth over $37,000.

Tudela pleaded guilty to issuance of bad checks.Superior Court Associate Judge David A. Wiseman sentenced Tudela to five years in prison, all suspended except for five months. Wiseman gave the former principal credit for one day that she spent in jail.He ordered Tudela to start serving the five-month prison term at the Department of Corrections in Susupe on Dec. 15 at 8am. After completing her sentence, Tudela will be placed on supervised probation.The judge required the defendant to write a letter of apology to Kagman High School students and pay to have the letter published in the Saipan Tribune and Marianas Variety.Wiseman required the defendant to perform 500 hours of community work service and pay a $1,000 fine, $25 in court assessment fee plus probation fees.Pursuant to the Commonwealth Code, Wiseman said, Tudela shall be prohibited from being employed by the CNMI government for 10 years from the date of her conviction.He said a government employee convicted of stealing government funds must do time in prison in order to send a message to others that such corrupt conduct cannot and will not be tolerated.“However, such sentencing is subject to reduction where mitigating factors are found to be present. After a thorough examination of the facts of this case, the court finds that mitigating factors are present,” Wiseman said.He said Tudela has taken full responsibility for her actions and offered to make restitution and did in fact do so in the sum of $37,000.Wiseman said Tudela has no criminal record and has expressed sincere remorse for her actions.He said the defendant has also cooperated with the government regarding other cases of alleged violation of laws.“It is for these reasons, as well as defendant's lack of contact with the criminal system and considering the terms and conditions of the plea agreement that the court believes it to be in the best interests of justice to accept it,” the judge said.Police arrested Tudela in June 2007 after a Public Auditor's investigation showed that, as principal of KHS, she allegedly obtained $37,000 that belonged to the school over a three-year period and used the money for her own needs.The Attorney General's Office initially charged Tudela with one count of theft, two counts of issuance of bad checks, and one count of misconduct in public office.Tudela had initially pleaded innocent of the charges but changed her plea yesterday on the charge of passing bad checks. The AGO dismissed three of the charges and proceeded with the single charge of issuance of bad checks.At the change of plea hearing, Wiseman said he reluctantly accepted the plea agreement.“I use the word reluctantly because this court believes that a great harm to any society or community is corruption in any form and especially in the form of a breach of the public trust that is vested in employees working for the government,” he said.The judge said corruption undermines faith in public institutions, and takes away valuable resources aimed at improving the quality of life of citizens.Public auditor investigator Rolando G. Decena said in court papers that Tudela confessed she used her position as then KHS principal to steal the money for her “personal use.”Decena said Tudela voluntarily signed a statement and submitted it to OPA.“During my term as school principal, I do hereby admit to requesting and receiving monies from the non-appropriated school funds under the administration ledger account,” said Tudela in her statement.The defendant also stated that the monies were used to help with her family's cost of living and financial problems as her husband had lost his job.“What I did was wrong and I want to do what is right by admitting the truth in this statement and by paying back all monies to the school,” she said.According to Decena the investigation started after OPA received a complaint from an anonymous caller in November 2006.The caller requested that Tudela be investigated for stealing the collection of rental from a concessionaire of the KHS Student Canteen from 2002 until she transferred to the PSS' central office for another position in 2006.OPA learned in December 2006 from then new KHS principal, Alfred Ada, that Barny's Pizza and Kalayaan are the two businesses that have a contract with the Public School System to serve lunches for KHS students at the school cafeteria.