Govendo’s house burglarized; pistol, ammunition are stolen


A habitual offender allegedly burglarized the residence of Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo in Dandan and stole the judge’s government-issued 9mm pistol and several ammunitions on Thursday.

Cling Philip Kaipat, 19, was taken to court for a bail hearing on Friday on charges of burglary, theft, and other offenses pertaining to illegal carrying of firearm.

Cling Philip Kaipat

Cling Philip Kaipat

Associate Judge David A. Wiseman imposed a $50,000 cash bail and set the preliminary hearing for Nov. 10 at 1:30pm.

Assistant public defender Tillman Clark was appointed as counsel for Kaipat. Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas appeared for the government.

Police said a surveillance camera at a nearby store led to the identification and arrest of Kaipat, who then led investigators on Thursday night to a trash bin where he hid the stolen gun.

Govendo was off-island when the incident happened. As of Friday, he was still in Palau for a conference, Saipan Tribune learned.

The judge’s wife discovered the burglary when she returned home from running errands Thursday at 1pm, police said.

A police officer was dispatched to the Govendo residence on Thursday at 1:04pm, in response to a report of burglary and theft.

Mrs. Govendo told the officer that she left the house at 11am that day to do some errands. When she returned at 1pm, she discovered that the house had been burglarized and her husband’s government-issued gun and ammunition had been stolen from their bedroom.

Police detectives fanned out to canvas the area around the judge’s house that same day, Thursday, at 1:20pm.

Police detective Rhonda John later procured from a store a surveillance footage showing the intersection leading to the judge’s residence.

In that footage, a man wearing dark pants and dark shirt was seen walking into the intersection leading to Govendo’s house on that day at 11:42pm. At 12:44pm,the video showed the same individual walking out of the intersection from Govendo’s residence.

Detectives then went house to house in the area to ask neighbors to identify the individual in the footage video. A man later identified the person in the video as Kaipat. The tipster, who requested anonymity, disclosed that Kaipat lives in the Dandan area.

Detectives went to Kaipat’s apartment, where they met the suspect’s 16-year-old brother, who told them to check their mother at Seventh Day Adventist Church in Gualo Rai and his brother Kaipat at Herman’s Bakery where he works.

One detective proceeded to Seventh Day Adventist Church, while three other detectives went to Herman’s Bakery.

Detectives learned that Kaipat was late for work that day as he was supposed to come in at 12pm, but his time card showed 1:19pm.

Kaipat also stated that he did not bring any backpack, but a surveillance footage taken from another store showed that he had a backpack when he left their house at 12:58pm.

The mother arrived home at 6:06pm and agreed to have the investigators search their apartment unit.

One detective saw on the table a bullet that appeared to be police-issued ammunition.

Police detective Catherine B. Pangelinan said she arrived at Herman’s Bakery at 6:12pm where hse met with Kaipat and informed him of his constitutional rights.

Pangelinan said Kaipat identified himself on the video footage taken from a store leading to Govendo’s house. Kaipat then led the investigators to the location of the intersection and to the judge’s house, where he admitted he came from.

Kaipat showed detectives the backside of Govendo’s house and the damaged sliding window, where the point of entry was during the robbery.

Kaipat told investigators that he knew Govendo owned the house.

At 7:49pm, Kaipat led detectives into the kitchen of Herman’s Bakery where he hid the stolen gun in a trash bin. The detectives recovered Govendo’s police-issued 9mm pistol.

Police arrested Kaipat several times in the past for various violent crimes.

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

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.