Group seeks ouster of DPS chief

Guerrero says he’s upset about ‘secret meeting’

A week before he was arrested on charges of sexual assault of a minor girl, former Department of Public Safety commissioner James C. Deleon Guerrero allegedly had a “secret meeting” with some police officers at a Chinese restaurant in Garapan on a plan to unseat DPS Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero, according to multiple sources.

Sources said aside from Deleon Guerrero, five other DPS personnel were in the “secret meeting” at the restaurant near the Garapan basketball court in the evening of April 7.

Sources said it is not clear what issues triggered the “secret meeting” and whether all those in the meeting have agreed to make a move to oust the commissioner.

Asked by Saipan Tribune yesterday about Deleon Guerrero’s alleged participation in a meeting to oust the commissioner, attorney Joaquin Torres, counsel for Deleon Guerrero, said he has no knowledge about that meeting. He refused to comment further.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s Investigative Division arrested Deleon Guerrero and Police Officer 3 Jesse S. Concepcion on Friday and Thursday, respectively on sexual assault of a minor charges.

Asked about the ouster issue, DPS Commissioner Guerrero confirmed with Saipan Tribune on Monday that he also received the same information about the “secret meeting” involving Deleon Guerrero and other officers.

Guerrero said he was off-island when this meeting was going on.

“They waited until I was off-island to do it,” the commissioner said.

Asked how he learned about the meeting, Guerrero said some officers did the “homework” for him.

“I have more support here than I actually thought I have,” he said.

The commissioner stated that it is the reason why he is saying that police officers are professionals and are good officers.

“They see what is right and what’s wrong. They support what is right,” he said.

Guerrero said he was not so much upset about this group’s meeting, but because they did it behind his back.

“I have not done anything wrong,” said Guerrero, who was just sworn in as DPS commissioner last January.

The commissioner said he has been doing his best to provide for the officers.

Guerrero said when he took over the job as DPS commissioner, he and Gov. Ralph DLG Torres spoke about three things—to increase DPS personnel’s salaries, getting uniforms, and obtaining new vehicles.

So far, he said, they got the salary increase and are now working on the procurement of new vehicles and uniforms.

Guerrero said in every department there are always people who are not in agreement with the leadership because they don’t get the things that they used to be doing.

“Every leader that comes in has different way of leading. It is up to the leader to decide which way you should take,” he said.

Some people, Guerrero said, are not willing to accept that, but that is something that needs to be done.

“Our objective here is to make sure that the officers are taken cared of, our missions are met. And I will do everything, my way, of doing it to get it done,” he pointed out.

Asked if he will initiate talks with the officers involved in the meeting, Guerrero said he would not.

“If they are not happy, then they are not happy. The door is open. A lot of people are looking for jobs. There are a lot of good officers here,” he said.

A source said there was also a petition drafted two months ago to oust Guerrero shortly after the Senate confirmed him as commissioner.

In April 2015, Guerrero was sworn in as commissioner of the Department of Corrections. In January 2016, Guerrero was sworn in as DPS commissioner to succeed Deleon Guerrero, who was appointed to the position of special assistant to Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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