The resident director of the Department of Public Safety on Rota is disappointed with DPS Commissioner Robert A. Guerrero.
In particular, Eusebio M. Manglona is upset with Guerrero for allegedly not inviting Rota to take part in many DPS events. He also claims that Guerrero has not acted on their request to deputize two Rota Mayor’s Office employees as police officers, among other issues.
In his reply, Guerrero was surprised that Manglona would be disappointed about not being aware of department events on Saipan, considering that, as often as he travels to Saipan, one would assume that he would know more about such activities.
On the deputizing issue, Guerrero said the two mayor’s office employees are not employed by DPS and, regardless of their position title, deputizing them would violate the law.
“Until such time that those individuals are transferred and employed directly under the Department of Public Safety and in compliance with the law, that such order will be lifted,” said Guerrero, adding that both the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of the Public Auditor were apprised of the situation
In his May 26, 2017, letter to Guerrero, Manglona said they have been trying to reach the commissioner, with no luck.
“Correspondences were sent to you via email and fax but we’ve never had any response to those letters,” said Manglona in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by Saipan Tribune over the weekend.
Manglona said he makes it a point to come by Guerrero’s office or phone him when he is on Saipan.
He cited one occasion on Oct. 12, 2016, at 12:40pm when he had to wait for Guerrero for over an hour.
“Sir, if you are not on the phone, you are either in a meeting or out of the office. On another occasion, after a long wait, I found out you left your office without acknowledging my presence and meeting with me,” Manglona said.
Manglona said that, in early April 2017, he sought assistance to resolve the issue of two detailed employees from the Rota Mayor’s Office that Guerrero had disarmed.
He said the two employees are more than qualified to perform the duties of a police officer. He noted that the only issue was the funding of their payroll, which comes from the account of the Rota mayor.
“Other than that, they both completed all requirements. I can’t quite understand why deputizing them as police officers is difficult but not difficult for some,” Manglona said.
He also cited that at a command meeting in October 2016 on Rota, Guerrero twice instructed Manglona’s staff to leave the briefing room as he wanted to talk to Manglona privately.
Manglona said it was at this time that Guerrero informed him that Lt. Gov. Victor Hocog had instructed him to pressure the Rota DPS, especially Manglona, because of party-political opinions, such as the rumor that he was supporting Sen. Paul Manglona’s candidacy for a seat in the Senate.
Manglona said Guerrero even apologized to him about this.
In his response on Thursday to Manglona’s letter, Guerrero assured that Rota DPS officers communicate with Saipan DPS officers as to what goes on between the two islands.
As for seeing Manglona, “if my directors have any questions and/or concerns, they come visit me or pick up the phone and call. They don’t write novels to inquire.” Guerrero said he has an open-door policy for all employees and officers.
Guerrero also said that at no time during any of their conversations he did mention Hocog’s name.
“I did, however, inform you that all the information that I’ve been receiving was from within Rota, and as a friend, I thought you should know. Unfortunately, you took it out of context, and obviously, the wrong way,” Guerrero said.
He did ask Manglona’s staff to leave the room, saying Manglona was literally in tears and crying out loud.
“See, director, like you, I lost my father a year before you lost yours, so hiding behind such does not hold water in my books,” Guerrero said.
On the deputizing issue, Guerrero said upon graduation of the 21st cycle of the police academy, it was brought to his attention by the AG himself that two of the cadets that just graduated were actually community workers under a memorandum of understanding with the Rota Mayor’s Office.
In line with this, Guerrero said the Office of the Public Auditor was also informed about the situation.
Guerrero said they asked Manglona’s office to work with the mayor’s office to correct the issue. A year later, Guerrero said, the issue has not been resolved, with the OPA receiving complaints of the same community workers at DPS, who were still armed and working as police officers.