Senate honors late Manuel Sablan


The Senate honored last week the late Manuel Tenorio Sablan for his 52 years of public service that spanned from the U.S. Naval Administration to the Trust Territory Government period, and all the way into the modern-day Commonwealth.

Sablan was honored via Senate Resolution 19-18, which the senators unanimously passed during a session last week.

According to the resolution, Sablan began his career as a police officer under the U.S. Naval Administration days. When the administration ended in 1962, he was appointed to the position of superintendent of the Department of Public Safety under the Trust Territory government, the highest position at the time.

Under this position, Sablan managed the operations of other police stations within six island nations, including Palau, the Marianas, Chuuk, Yap, Pohnpei, and the Marshalls up until the end of the Trust Territory government.

Sablan also served as a special consultant to the CNMI Legislature from 1978 to 1980 and was employed by the Office of the Governor under the administration of former governor Pedro P. Tenorio. He also served as a researcher for the Coastal Resource Management Office, deputy resident director for Indigenous Affairs, administrator for the Energy office, and a special assistant until 1993.

“The late Manuel Tenorio Sablan was revered as a humble man who sought comfort in his love for his family, leisurely ties on the card table with acquaintances, and peaceful moments to the sounds of classical music,” the resolution stated.

Sablan’s experience during the Battle of Saipan during World War II are also compiled as part of stories in Saipan: Oral Histories of the Pacific War.

Sablan was born on 1928 and grew up during the Japanese administration on Saipan, completing school up to the fifth grade and serving as a messenger boy to the police station.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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