Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro swore in two employees—Sonia A. Camacho and Jason T. Tarkong—last Monday, Jan. 8, at the NMI Supreme Court, making them the newest employees of the NMI Judiciary.
Camacho took her oath as director of Courts for the CNMI Judiciary, while Tarkong took his oath as chief marshal.
The oath-taking rites were held before Supreme Court justices, Superior Court judges, court managers, deputy marshals, and other law enforcement officers.
Castro thanked Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Lt. Gov. Victor B. Hocog, Senate President Arnold Palacios and members of the Senate, and House Speaker Rafael Demapan and members of the House for providing the needed FTEs and funding for both positions.
“Because of your support,” Castro said, “the court is in a better position to deliver efficient and effective judicial services to the people of the Commonwealth. I also thank Sonia Camacho and Jason Tarkong for accepting their position as well as the challenges that lie ahead. I have no doubt that director Camacho and chief Tarkong will fulfill the responsibilities to the best of their abilities.”
Camacho has been with the CNMI Judiciary for over 20 years, initially appointed in 1995 by then-Presiding Judge Alexandro C. Castro to serve as a judicial assistant to then-associate judge Edward Manibusan. She has since served through four chief justices and three presiding judges in various capacities.
Prior to her recent appointment, Camacho was the special assistant to the presiding judge/deputy director of courts and assisted the chief justice as acting director of courts.
She has served in various management teams, supervised chamber assignments, facilitated court programs and projects, oversaw transitional and budgetary initiatives, and assisted with the development of case management strategies.
Camacho’s new role will involve the supervision of personnel with the CNMI Judiciary Administrative Office. She will be overseeing the Judiciary’s policy development and planning, court performance monitoring, and assisting with the implementation of the Judiciary’s strategic plan, Judicial Council initiatives, and justice programs.
Associate Judge Teresa Kim-Tenorio said after the proceeding, “It comes as no surprise that Ms. Camacho was appointed to lead the administration of the courts. Director Camacho is a capable leader with vast experience and institutional knowledge of the courts. What I appreciate most about director Camacho is her ability to foresee not just the proximate but the distal goals of the CNMI Judiciary and to implement the tough decisions. I look forward to continued progress in the Judiciary with her as our Director of Courts.”
Presiding Judge Roberto C. Naraja said about the appointment: “Ms. Sonia is definitely an asset to the CNMI Judiciary. I am proud of her appointment. She is the best qualified person for the job. She has the institutional knowledge. My colleagues and I wish her the best of luck and congratulate her on the new appointment. Her appointment as the director of Courts will definitely also be a benefit for the Superior Court.”
Tarkong joins the CNMI Judiciary after over 25 years in various law enforcement posts with the Commonwealth. Leaving his latest post as a police lieutenant with the Department of Public Safety, Tarkong brings to the Marshal Services Division his experience in investigative and police work and program management.
While at DPS, he had served as officer-in-charge of the Bike Patrol Unit and Sex Offender Registry, Crime Stoppers coordinator, certified firearms instructor, former range master and armorer, public information officer, and SWAT team leader.
Tarkong’s new role will involve the supervision of deputy marshals and handling all aspects of court security management, including safety and security protocols for members of the bench, court personnel, service providers, consumers, proceedings, and facilities. (PR)