DOC commissioner, 10 others named in lawsuit

Inmate Jesse James Babauta Camacho has named the Department of Corrections, DOC Commissioner Vince Attao, and 10 other DOC officials and officers as defendants in his lawsuit before the federal court.

The other DOC officials and officers named as defendants in Camacho’s amended complaint filed on Monday are director of civil division Georgia Cabrera, acting pre-trial director Capt. Jose K. Pangelinan, Capt. Pius Yaroitemal, Lt. Frances Rebuenog, Lt. Manuel Quitano, Sgt. Frederick Billy, and Corrections officers Nina Aldan, Lorraine Rios, Benjamin Lizama, and Cynthia B. Santos.

Camacho named the defendants in his handwritten complaint he filed pro se, or without a lawyer, following U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona’s recent order that instructed him to name the government entities and or government officers he is suing.

Camacho has claimed in the original letter that he is now a disabled person after he underwent a heart surgery last November and blamed a DOC official and a DOC officer for allegedly causing the delay in his medical treatment.

Camacho sought help from the U.S. District Court for the NMI in his handwritten letter dated Feb. 9, 2018. He said he can’t pay a lawyer to represent him.

In his amended complaint he filed last Monday, Camacho said Attao ignored him and his countless request forms that he turned in last year and this year to meet him in person due to urgent and important issues that the officers have done to him.

Camacho said Cabrera interfered with his off-island medical treatment last year by telling a doctor at the Commonwealth Health Center that he can’t be taken to the Philippines for medical treatment.

He said Cabrera also lied to a doctor that she is an immediate family member to him and put her name and number to be contacted as immediate relative in his private and personal medical file at CHC.

Camacho accused the other DOC officials and officers of ignoring his requests for medical assistance, among other issues.

In her recent order, Manglona found Camacho’s complaint non-frivolous, that there appears to be basis for his claim for a violation of the Eight Amendment’s guarantee of medical care without deliberate indifference by officials to serious medical needs.

Manglona said Camacho’s complaint is deficient, however, because he never indicated which officials or entities he intends to name as defendants.

Camacho was tagged as the mastermind in the killing of a 13-year-old boy in Dandan in April 1988. He was sentenced in 1999 to 45 years in prison.

Camacho’s co-defendants, both minors at the time, entered a plea deal with the government and were sentenced to two years each.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com

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