JGO decides not to summon first lady’s bodyguard


Celina R. Babauta

The House of Representatives Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee has decided not to summon Jhaneeka Atalig, who is a police officer assigned as a personal security detail with first lady Diann Tudela Torres.

Committee chair Rep. Celina R. Babauta (D-Saipan) told Saipan Tribune Monday that the witnesses that have already testified before the JGO, notwithstanding Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ “attempts to impede the JGO investigation, have provided ample evidence on the issues” that they have explored with Atalig.

Therefore, she said, the JGO Committee has collectively decided to dismiss Atalig from the subpoena served upon her on Aug. 24, 2021.

The chair said Anthony Aguon, the government-paid lawyer for Atalig, has acknowledged their notice about dismissing her from the subpoena.

Atalig was scheduled to testify yesterday before the JGO Committee, which is investigating the governor’s expenditures of public funds and travel.

With the dismissal of Atalig, the committee also decided to cancel her hearing.

Babauta said this allows them to focus on the remainder of the witnesses that will be called to testify in the near future.

“The committee will be finalizing the dates for the remaining testimony. We thank the public for their patience,” Babauta said.

Jhaneeka Atalig

Police Sgt. Joey R. Cruz, who is the chief of security for Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, was served with a subpoena and testified last Nov. 23.

Police Sgt. Flora Aguon, who was formerly assigned as protective security detail for first lady Diann T. Torres, testified last Nov. 18.

Police Officer Jomalyn S. Gelacio, who was formerly assigned as protective security detail for first lady Diann Torres, was the first witness commanded to testify, through a subpoena, during the start of the JGO hearing/investigation last July 1.

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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