Sablan: OPA playing central role in FBI probe


Responding to questions of some netizens why the Office of the Public Auditor and Office of the Attorney General seem to be silent in the investigation being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rep. Christina Sablan (Ind-Saipan) said yesterday it is her understanding that OPA played a central role in conducting this investigation against Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and several others.

She is unsure, though, as to the Office of the Attorney General’s involvement in the investigation.

OPA has been working side by side with federal investigators for a long time, said Sablan.

The lawmaker said photos of OPA investigators working with the FBI during the raids last month were even published by local media.

“So, of course, OPA won’t comment on any ongoing case. Neither would the FBI,” she said.

With respect to the OAG, Sablan said she would hope that the OAG is supporting and assisting the investigation, particularly if violations of local laws are implicated.

“After all, the OAG has a mandate to combat public corruption too,” the lawmaker pointed out.

Sablan recently stated that the CNMI House of Representatives has enough cause to open an inquiry—independent of any criminal investigation—related to the ongoing FBI probe of Torres and several others.

“Any impeachment process, should we come to that, would be separate from the criminal process, though evidence that is presented in criminal proceeding may be examined by the Legislature as well,” she had said.

Torres chief of staff, Angel Demapan, had taken issue with that, describing it as “political posturing” and nothing more than self-serving talk.

The House will hold a session today, Tuesday, at 10:30pm. Sources said the session “will be very interesting.” Sources refused to elaborate.

The FBI is looking into multiple possible violations of federal laws that involve Torres, his family, and Imperial Pacific International (CNMI) LLC, and other persons, resulting in the execution of search warrants on several sites last Nov. 7 and 8.

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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