Gov. Eloy S. Inos swore into office yesterday his legal counsel, Teresa Kim-Tenorio, as the newest associate judge of the CNMI Superior Court, two days after the Senate confirmed her and three other governor’s appointees, including CNMI Labor Secretary Edith DeLeon Guerrero.
CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro Castro, CNMI Superior Court Presiding Judge Robert Naraja, and Delegate Gregorio Kilili C. Sablan (Ind-MP), along with Kim-Tenorio’s family, were present at the swearing in, press secretary Angel Demapan told Saipan Tribune.
“I pledge to diligently serve our community in my new capacity by safeguarding the law and the rights of all individuals who appear before the court,” Kim-Tenorio told Saipan Tribune on Saturday.
She is now the only woman on the local bench and only the third female judge to serve in the CNMI Judiciary.
The schedule for Kim-Tenorio’s public investiture will be announced soon, Demapan said.
“I sincerely thank all the members of the Senate for their vote of confidence and for giving me this opportunity to serve our community as an associate judge for the CNMI Superior Court. I am also grateful to Honorable Governor Inos for attending the session in support of me and for his nominee for the Department of Labor, Ms. Edith Deleon Guerrero,” Kim-Tenorio said.
The governor traveled to Rota to attend Friday’s Senate session, wherein senators adopted a committee report recommending the four nominations’ confirmations.
The new Labor secretary, meanwhile, will be sworn in tomorrow.
During its session on Rota on Friday, the Senate confirmed by a vote of 8-0 each the nominations of Kim-Tenorio, DeLeon Guerrero, Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. board trustee Roy Rios of Saipan, and Commonwealth Development Authority board member Ignacio Perez of Tinian.
There is no schedule yet for Rios and Perez’s swearing in.
Of the nine senators, only Sen. Frank Cruz (R-Tinian) didn’t make it to the Rota session because of a death in the family.
The Inos administration is “very much pleased with the favorable action of the Senate on the governor’s nominees,” Demapan said.
“Governor Inos attended Friday’s session on Rota, where the Senate’s approval of his judicial nominee finally brings the Superior Court bench to completion. Governor Inos, after the session, noted that it was a good day in history as Associate Judge Kim-Tenorio becomes the only female on the bench now and only the third female judge to serve in the CNMI Judiciary. Gov. Inos also thanked Kim-Tenorio, his long time legal counsel, for her hard work during her tenure in the executive branch,” Demapan told Saipan Tribune.
Kim-Tenorio practiced as an attorney in the CNMI private sector, then in the Legislature, and finally in the Executive Branch. She said her background and experience will bring to the Judiciary “many different perspectives and experiences to make a well-rounded, fair, and impartial judge.”
“In other words, I have seen and scrutinized the coin from different angles. I learned fairness and impartiality in many different arenas and in many different ways. I will protect our Constitution and ensure justice is served,” she earlier told the Senate Committee on Executive Appointments and Government Investigations.
Kim-Tenorio, a juris doctorate graduate of New England School of Law in Boston, received her certification under the CNMI Bar in May 2004 and the Michigan Bar in 2002.