Saipan to honor late mayor Rios


Former Saipan mayor Jose Santos Rios passed away last week and the Municipality of Saipan is working on his memorial service. He was the Saipan mayor from Jan. 8, 1982 until Jan. 7, 1986.

He was the third mayor to govern Saipan since the CNMI was declared a commonwealth in January 1978.

According to Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, he knew Rios back when he was in the eighth grade, with Rios serving as his teacher.

Apatang said that Rios was an amazing instructor and mayor who greatly cared for the island.

Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council chair Luis “L.J” Castro said it is only fitting that the ceremony to honor Rios is held at the Kiosku in Chalan Kanoa, as it memorializes all former island leaders.

Friends and families of the late mayor will attend the memorial even if his remains will be buried in the United States where he and his family currently reside.

Castro said the municipality would host the memorial service in February. Specific dates and details will be announced later.

The Governor’s Office was also made aware of Rios’ passing and the municipality hopes the office will possibly commemorate Rios in some way.

Rios passed away sometime last week. The Municipality of Saipan was made aware of Rios’ passing late last week.

According to Apatang, he is still awaiting word from Rios’ eldest son, Joey Rios, about his father’s cause of death and additional information.

Rios is survived by his wife, Emilia Rios, and their four children, Joey Rios, Roy Rios, and two daughters.

Kimberly B. Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Albiso Bautista has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at

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