CNMI govt is settling Taisague lawsuit



The CNMI government is settling the lawsuit filed by retiree Jesus I. Taisague, who questioned the constitutionality of the settlement agreement in Betty Johnson’s class action against the Retirement Fund and others.

Assistant attorney general Jacqueline A. Nicolas and Taisague, through counsel Samuel I. Mok, filed a joint status report before the U.S. District Court for the NMI last Friday.

Nicolas and Mok informed the court that settlement talks continue after a conference before U.S. District Court for Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin V. E. Manibusan Jr. last Aug. 8.

Nicolas and Mok disclosed that the parties are finalizing an agreement and expect to file a settlement agreement sometime this week.

U.S. District Court for the NMI designated Judge Frances M. Tydingco-Gatewood disclosed recently that the parties had as settlement conference with Manibusan last Aug. 8, but did not reach an agreement.

Tydingco-Gatewood ordered the parties to file a joint status report no later than last Friday, Sept. 7.

Manibusan was designated to act as a settlement judge in Taisague’s lawsuit.

Tydingco-Gatewood handles Johnson’s lawsuit after U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona recused from the case. The class action resulted in a settlement.

Manglona and Tydingco-Gatewood concurred that a magistrate from the District of Guam shall be assigned for the duration of Taisague’s lawsuit, and for any additional time required to complete any related business, and to perform certain settlement duties in the case.

Taisague filed the lawsuit in 2013 against then-governor Eloy S. Inos, the CNMI government, Department of Finance, and the Retirement Fund for entering into a settlement agreement with Johnson that, according to him, is unconstitutional and illegal.

Taisague filed the case through then-counsel Ramon Quichocho, who is now a disbarred lawyer.

In December 2013, Tydingco-Gatewood denied Taisague’s motion that seeks an order enjoining Inos and the CNMI government from withholding or failing to pay 100 percent of his pension benefits.

Taisague was among the 16 persons who opted out of the Johnson settlement agreement.

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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