Mendiola testifies at JGO hearing


Police Sgt. Adrian T. Mendiola of the Department of Public Safety’s Boating Safety appeared before the Judiciary and Governmental Operations Committee of the House of Representatives last Tuesday as it continues its investigation into Gov. Ralph DLG Torres’ expenditures of public funds and travels.

Mendiola, a Boating Safety shift supervisor and a boat captain, was sometimes detailed to accompany Torres during boat trips. He stated that his priority on these trips was to ensure the safety of people aboard these boats. At one point, Mendiola appeared to take exception to the line of questioning when he was asked about cargo.

“You guys are asking me about cargo. I’m telling you time and time again, I don’t recall what the cargo is. That’s the least of my worry on that boat. I’m there to provide safety for the people in there,” he said.

He said he is not looking at cargoes as his main focus is the headcount of the vessel.

Mendiola appeared before the committee with his counsel, Anthony Aguon, who was hired by DPS to represent DPS personnel who’ve been summoned by JGO to testify.

In one instance, Rep. Christina E. Sablan (D-Saipan) cited travel documents that Mendiola had submitted to the JGO about a trip in June 2018 to Guam. She said the document showed a memo from DPS Commissioner to the Finance secretary dated June 13, 2018. Sablan said the purpose that DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero stated is to escort Torres and first lady Diann Torres to Guam by boat. She said the memo goes on to mention that repairs were needed for the boat as well.

Mendiola said he did not prepare the travel documents and does not know who from DPS prepared the documents.

Sablan noted that the actual travel authorization shows that Torres was the authorizing officer and Guerrero was the requester. Sablan said the document shows that Guerrero had indicated that the purpose was to escort Torres, and that somebody crossed out that purpose at some point. Mendiola said he does not know who crossed out the purpose and initialed it.

As to the questions about Torres’ fishing trips to the Northern Islands, Mendiola said sometimes the governor would use his private boat and sometimes he would be on a Boating Safety vessel.

In response to Sablan’s questions, Mendiola said he recalled that in those trips, Torres was with his brothers and that he does not recall the first lady joining in fishing trips.

Mendiola said he was only following orders from DPS officials and that he can’t answer why DPS officers would escort the governor during those fishing trips.

When interrogated about a trip to the Northern Islands by social media personality Robert Arrington of the YouTube show Deer Meat for Dinner in June to July 2020, Mendiola affirmed that he was part of that expedition to the Northern Islands. He said he saw Torres and the first lady on that trip and other members of the Torres’ family.

Mendiola said his superior instructed him to go on that trip and that he did not receive any per diem or stipend for it. He said he also did not receive any reimbursements for any expenses on that trip.

Mendiola said he does not recall exactly what cargo was transported on that trip.

At the start of the JGO hearing last June, Rep. Edwin K. Propst (D-Saipan) disclosed that they got a copy of a non-disclosure agreement between the Office of the Governor and DPS as first party, and all Customs, Airport, DPS officers that were at one point assigned as personal security detail as the second party. Propst described the NDA as disgusting and deplorable.

When Rep. Vicente Camacho’s (D-Saipan) asked Mendiola about the matter, he said nobody asked him to sign a non-disclosure agreement.

When Saipan Tribune left the House chamber of 4:20pm Tuesday, Mendiola was still testifying.

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.