Ogumoro lambastes Fitial


Former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro is now lambasting former governor Benigno R. Fitial for not helping him out with his attorney’s fee when he was charged for shielding then-attorney general Edward Buckingham from being served with penal summons at the Saipan airport in 2012.

Ogumoro said it’s a disgrace on Fitial’s part because he did not come forward, did not call him, and did not even hand him a penny to help pay for his attorney’s fee.

“There are three things that I have to say about Fitial: He is a hypocrite. A coward. And he betrayed the whole Carolinian community, to include the CNMI people,” he said.

Saipan Tribune tried but failed to get comments from Fitial.

Ogumoro believes the former governor is a coward because he is scared to call him.

Ogumoro said before Fitial’s impeachment, he told Fitial that by putting James C. Deleon Guerrero as DPS commissioner, he (Fitial) is “lighting a fire.”

It was the first time that Ogumoro broke his silence on Fitial, who was also implicated in the effort to shield Buckingham.

Ogumoro, however, was only the defendant in that case to actually serve a prison term.

The other defendants were Buckingham, former Commonwealth Ports Authority police chief Jordan Kosam, CPA police captain John T. Rebuenog, and Fitial’s former personal driver and bodyguard, Jermaine Joseph W. Nekaifes.

In January 2015, a Superior Court jury found Ogumoro guilty of conspiracy to commit theft of services pertaining to the shielding of Buckingham.

Then-associate judge David A. Wiseman found Ogumoro guilty of five counts of misconduct in public office, one count of obstructing justice: interference with a law enforcement officer or witness, and one count of criminal coercion.

In March 2016, Wiseman imposed a one-year prison term on Ogumoro plus other conditions.

Fitial resigned as governor on Feb. 20, 2013, days after the House of Representatives impeached him on charges of corruption, felony, and neglect of duty.

Fitial and Kosam pleaded guilty, while Buckingham was convicted during a bench trial. Fitial, Kosam, and Buckingham did not serve prison terms. The charges against Rebuenog and Nekaifes were dismissed.

Last May 2, Ogumoro was found guilty of two corruption charges and acquitted of four other charges.

The jury found him guilty of theft by deception and not guilty of theft by unlawful taking.

Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo, who decided on the misdemeanor charges, found Ogumoro guilty of one count of misconduct in public office, not guilty of two counts of removal of government property, and not guilty of one count of misconduct in public office.

Sentencing will be on Sept. 12, 2017.

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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