Manibusan is named judge in Taisague suit vs Johnson deal


U.S. District Court of Guam Magistrate Judge Joaquin V. E. Manibusan Jr. has been designated as a settlement judge in the lawsuit filed by Jesus I. Taisague, who questioned the constitutionality of the settlement agreement in Betty Johnson’s class action against the Retirement Fund.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney R. Thomas made the designation last week. U.S. District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood, who presides over Johnson’s lawsuit, concurred with the designation.

Tydingco-Gatewood handled Johnson’s lawsuit after U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona recused herself from the case. The class action resulted in a settlement.

Manglona and Tydingco-Gatewood recently assigned Taisague’s case to a magistrate judge in Guam.

Manglona and Tydingco-Gatewood both agreed that a judge from Guam shall be assigned to handle Taisague’s lawsuit and to perform settlement duties in the case.

Manglona and Tydingco-Gatewood have determined that recusal of all local federal judges from Taisague’s case has created an “emergency,” requiring the temporary assignment of a judge from Guam.

Taisague filed the lawsuit in 2013 against then-governor Eloy S. Inos, the CNMI government, Department of Finance, and the Retirement Fund for entering into a settlement agreement with Johnson that, according to him, is unconstitutional and illegal.

Taisague filed the case through counsel Ramon Quichocho, who is now disbarred. Taisague was among the 16 persons who opted out of the Johnson settlement agreement.

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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