CNMI Supreme Court Associate Justice Perry Borja Inos officially took office yesterday with a pledge to uphold the laws of the Commonwealth and to maintain and increase public acceptance and understanding of the court's legitimacy.
“For me, my retention by an overwhelming majority of voters was a good indicator of the people's faith in the judiciary. This is crucial to the ongoing legitimacy of the judiciary,” said Inos in his address during his investiture ceremony at the CNMI Supreme Court.
During the election last November, majority of voters retained Inos as an associate judge in the Superior Court.
Inos vowed that in his new role as an associate justice, he will continue working with his colleagues on the judiciary's various community outreach efforts-Law Week, Judges and Justices in the Classroom, We the People, Mock Trial, and the Summer Pre-Law program.
Inos said during his years as an associate judge, he strived to uphold the legitimacy and integrity of the judicial branch through applying the law fairly for all who appear in his court.
“Since learning of my nomination to the Supreme Court, I have looked forward to continuing my judicial career at the appellate level,” he said.
Inos said serving as a justice of the High Court brings with it new challenges because when cases come up on appeal, arguments often become more nuanced and complex.
Inos ended his speech by thanking his wife Debra and their children “for their patience in pursuing my new responsibility.”
In his welcome remarks, Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro said the appointment and confirmation of Inos now completes the appellate branch as mandated by the CNMI Constitution.
“Justice Inos, welcome aboard our judiciary canoe. It is an honor and a privilege to be working with you and Justice Manglona,” Castro said.
In his remarks, Gov. Eloy S. Inos said the investiture ceremony for associate justice Inos is another milestone in the government as the leadership continues to do business at hand.
Governor Inos expressed confidence that associate justice Inos and his colleagues will continue to uphold the rule of law and decide equitably and impartially.
Governor Inos admistered the oath of office for justice Inos.
In his closing remarks, Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja said justice Inos' seat on the Supreme Court makes him a part of the leadership that will continue to shape the future of the judiciary.
“Justice Inos exemplified admirable leadership qualities in the Superior Court and will continue to do so in the Supreme Court,” Naraja said.
All current judges were present at the investiture rites, along with retired associate justice Jesus C. Borja, former judges Edward Manibusan and Timothy H. Bellas, and retired associate judge Herbert D. Soll. U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona and Lt. Gov. Jude U. Hofschneider also attended the ceremony.
Among the guests were from the United Courts of Guam-Chief Justice F. Philip Carbullido, associate justice Robert J. Torres, presiding judge Alberto C. Lamorena III, and associate judge Arthur Barcinas.
The courtroom was packed with Justice Inos' family members, lawmakers, lawyers, friends, Cabinet members, and other community members.