Another mental evaluation for Kaipat


U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona has ordered a fresh psychiatric examination of Philip Kaipat, a habitual offender who burglarized the house of Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo and stole a gun.

Kaipat, who pleaded guilty to both federal and local charges, is now in the custody of Department of Corrections prison in Susupe.

Manglona’s new order directs DOC Commissioner Vincent S. Attao to deliver Kaipat to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Manglona said Kaipat must be temporarily placed in the custody of the U.S. Attorney General for assignment to a suitable Federal Bureau of Prisons facility for the examination.

Manglona issued the order in granting the U.S. government’s motion for a writ of habeas corpus ad prosequendum, which refers to a court ordering the return with a prisoner for the purpose of “prosecuting” him or her before the court.

Manglona said her order is needed to secure Kaipat’s appearance.

The judge said Kaipat shall remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service or the Federal Bureau of Prisons until such time as the mental evaluation is completed.

Manglona said the U.S. Marshal Service shall return Kaipat back to DOC upon completion of his mental evaluation.

Kaipat was supposed to be sentenced for possession of a gun that was stolen from Govendo’s house.

Manglona said the psychiatric or psychological examination on Kaipat will aid in determining whether he is competent to proceed with the sentencing.

Manglona said a hearing to determine Kaipat’s competency will be scheduled after the report is received.

The judge set a status conference for July 11, 2018.

The sentencing has been postponed several times because of Kaipat’s erratic behavior.

In March 2016, Manglona granted the U.S. government’s motion for a psychiatric examination to determine Kaipat’s competency to understand court proceedings.

In October 2016, Manglona found Kaipat to be mentally incompetent to understand court proceedings. Kaipat was then committed to the custody of the U.S. attorney general and was hospitalized for treatment. He was later found to be competent.

In November 2017, Kaipat pleaded guilty in federal court to possession of a stolen firearm, a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol. Kaipat stole it while burglarizing Govendo’s home on Saipan.

He also stole a watch, a hunting knife, and $500 in U.S. currency. Govendo was off-island when the burglary happened.

In the Superior Court case, Kaipat also pleaded guilty to burglary and theft as part of a plea deal. In November 2016, Superior Court Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio sentenced him to a total of six years in prison.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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