Ogumoro’s motion for acquittal denied


The defense started on Friday calling in witnesses for former Department of Public Safety deputy commissioner Ambrosio T. Ogumoro, who is on trial on corruption charges.

This developed as Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo, who is presiding over the jury trial, announced on Friday morning his ruling that denied defense counsel Mark B. Hanson’s motion for Ogumoro’s acquittal.

Hanson called to the witness stand Police Officer Raymond Pangelinan, who was then part of DPS staff that reported to then-DPS deputy commissioner Ogumoro in 2012.

Pangelinan said he was in charge of the DPS vehicle fleet and fuel.

Pangelinan agreed with Hanson during direct examination that DPS vehicles were going in and out at repair shops at that time because of very poor conditions.

The officer said at that time, DPS was under austerity measures.

Pangelinan said at least 30 vehicles were going in and out at four auto repair shops in 2012.

Pangelinan said among those vehicles was a 1995 Toyota Tercel, which was used by two police officers.

The 1995 Toyota Tercel, which was sold for $50 to Herman M. Manglona three days after it was repaired for $2,500, was among the DPS property that caused the filing of criminal charges against Ogumoro and Manglona.

Pangelinan said the Tercel, which was assigned to then-police officer Martin Kapileo, broke down in September 2012 in front of a bar.

Kapileo told Pangelinan that the vehicle could not reverse and had an overheating problem.

Pangelinan identified his signature in the auto shop’s September 2012 invoice in the amount of $2,500 for the repair of the Tercel.

Pangelinan also identified a computer that the government presented in court as among the evidence in the case as the same one that he dropped from Aniceto Ogumoro’s office over at Ambrosio Ogumoro’s True North Bar in Garapan.

Aniceto and Ambrosio Ogumoro are brothers. Aniceto was the DPS police director in 2012. He is currently the assistant chief for police operations.

Pangelinan said it was daytime when he delivered the computer.

During assistant attorney general Matthew Baisley’s cross-examination, Pangelinan identified his signature in many invoices for the repair of DPS vehicles, including for the Tercel.

Pangelinan agreed with Baisley that he would not agree to put the Tercel at the repair shop and pay for $2,500 if he believes that the vehicle is “done” or beyond repairable.

Pangelinan also agreed with the prosecutor that Manuel Vitug, the manager of ELS Auto Repair Shop that fixed the Tercel, “is a reasonable guy.”

When Saipan Tribune left the courtroom on Friday, the defense called another witness, Aniceto Ogumoro.

On Thursday, the government rested its case. Govendo dismissed the charges against Herman Manglona following the prosecution’s motion to dismiss.

Assistant attorney general Heather Barcinas is assisting Baisley at the trial.

The trial will resume today, Monday.

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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