Former FEBC compound is turned over to DPS


Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Department of Public Lands Secretary Pedro A. Tenorio formally conveyed to the Department of Public Safety on Friday the former Far Eastern Broadcasting compound in Marpi that has five buildings, several housing units, and even a swimming pool.

The compound, which sits on some 49,000 square meters of public land, will be used as the Commonwealth’s first ever Law Enforcement and Education Center, among other DPS offices.

Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Department of Public Lands Secretary Pedro Tenorio turn over the keys of the former Far Eastern Broadcasting facilities in Marpi to Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero during a ceremony on Friday. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Gov. Eloy S. Inos and Department of Public Lands Secretary Pedro Tenorio turn over the keys of the former Far Eastern Broadcasting facilities in Marpi to Department of Public Safety Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero during a ceremony on Friday. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Tenorio and Inos handed to DPS Commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero all the keys to the facility at the turnover ceremony.

In his brief remarks, Inos said the conveyance of the compound will boost the morale of DPS personnel.

“It’s now yours, keep it, maintain it,” said Inos, drawing cheers from DPS personnel.

The governor disclosed that Tenorio earlier showed him the proposal to convey the facility to DPS and even had a Google map of the site in the proposal.

Inos admitted that he made a mistake when he discussed letting the Northern Marianas Technical Institute have the facility. The governor said NMTI officials inspected the site and they liked it. Inos said he forgot to tell NMTI president Agnes McPhetres that he had already agreed with Tenorio to turn over the compound to DPS.

The governor said the compound and the facilities are appropriate for DPS training and professional development to meet the operational needs of the department.

Tenorio disclosed that he had received unofficial proposals to convert the compound into a hotel, resort, hospital, and other projects.

Tenorio said he agrees with Inos that prime land should be saved for public purposes. For him, it’s worth the sacrifice that one department gets the land and the facilities.

Tenorio said the facility needs only minor renovations.

He also commended Alex Sablan of Tan Holdings who served as custodian of the former FEBC facility. He said Tan Holdings maintained and protected the facility from burglars and copper wire thieves for three years

Tan Holdings spent $70,000 yearly or about $200,000 for a three-year period to maintain and secure the facilities.

“In the end, we saved $200,000 the past three years,” Tenorio said.

He said it was a blessing to the government because it didn’t have to worry about what to do with the facilities when FEBC did not renew its lease.

FEBC entered into a 25-year lease in August 1980 with the Marianas Public Land Corp., predecessor of MPLA, covering some 49,000 square meters of public land. The original 25-year lease commenced on Feb. 4, 1981. It expired in 2006.

DPS Commissioner Deleon Guerrero said the conveyance signifies a genuine and true testament of the administration’s commitment toward the continued development of the public safety workforce.

“With a rapidly growing tourism industry, an accelerated pace in casino development and the constitutionality of the CNMI Weapons Control Act being brought before the U.S. courts, we in law enforcement have to be vigilant, prepared, ready to respond accordingly and to quickly adapt to developing circumstances,” Deleon Guerrero said.

He said the Law Enforcement Training and Education Center will in the next several months offer a year-round training and education program for all DPS employees, including from Tinian and Rota.

He said DPS will partner with the Northern Marianas College to develop law enforcement and fire service academy programs that will produce cadets with associate degrees upon completion of their training.

For current employees, he said, a continuing education program will be offered toward obtaining a degree from NMC.

“These will all be extended to all CNMI law enforcement, regulatory and other public safety agency partners,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero acknowledged that the plans are quite ambitious in nature and will take some time and money.

“But rest assured that when the management of this department make pledges, it is not just a promise, it is not just a commitment, it is policy,” he said.

Deleon Guerrero said the conveyance of this expensive piece of real estate to DPS has put many smiles on the faces of the department’s employees.

“It is boosting the morale of our department’s employees. Officers, firefighters, and civilian general support employees are feeling proud of being a part of this department,” he said. Additionally, Deleon Guerrero said, the compound will also become home to all specialized units that cater to a limited amount of clientele from the general public. These specialized units are those involved in tactics, rescue, special operations, intelligence gathering and dissemination, internal affairs and in providing general support services to first responders and investigative personnel.

He said all of these units are currently either in different satellite locations throughout the island or are cramped into fire stations, along with other critical first response service personnel throughout the island.

“The acquisition of this compound will change the status quo and allow for better coordinated efforts to occur amongst the department’s five divisions,” Deleon Guerrero said.

The commissioner urged all directors and commanders of DPS to immediately implement a rapid transition process for the relocation of all pre-identified functions to the new site, with the Special Enforcement Action Section of the Commonwealth State Police establishing occupancy by that evening, Friday.

Deleon Guerrero said the rest should follow suit and within the next two weeks, the closure of all satellite offices within Capital Hill should occur as they will then begin the work of returning those buildings to the special assistant for administration for re-designation to other agencies in need.

He said only one of those buildings will be kept and maintained for future expansion of the community policing program.

On other issues, Deleon Guerrero said he will continue to work with the chief prosecutor and the Office of the Public Auditor in addressing the issue of case dismissals before the courts and past evidence mishandlings in the department.

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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