Senate JGL panel looking to collaborate on DPS oversight


Sen. Steve Mesngon (R-Rota), who chairs the Senate Judiciary, Government, and Law Committee, said he was advised to collaborate with the House Judicial and Governmental Operations Committee on a planned oversight hearing for the Department of Public Safety.

Though a date has yet to be set, Mesngon told Saipan Tribune that he was advised by Senate President Arnold I. Palacios (R-Saipan) to collaborate with House JGO committee chair Rep. Ivan A. Blanco (R-Saipan), who has already initiated talks with DPS Commissioner Robert Guerrero.

“The president…advised me that I need to confer with the House [JGO]. I had a brief talk with the [DPS] commissioner and I told him we had to sit down and talk about the letter from Sen. Paul Manglona (Ind-Rota),” said Mesngon.

“We agreed to have that meeting with the committee. I might change the course right now because the president is advising me to meet with the House JGO chair Rep. Ivan Blanco (R-Saipan) because the House earlier initiated a meeting with the commissioner, so I am going to check with [Blanco] on how far they are already in in discussions,” he added.

Manglona wrote both Mesngon and Blanco in early November, requesting that an oversight hearing be held on DPS due to many unsolved cases, which include murder cases, missing persons, and drug-related crimes.

In a previous statement, Blanco said he has already met with his House JGO committee and his members have agreed that an oversight hearing must be held on DPS.

Last November, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres said in a statement that he is “genuinely concerned” about the public’s safety.

Press secretary Kevin Bautista earlier said in a statement that the governor has already initiated talks with the DPS commissioner about his concerns. The statement noted that the governor is also including the Attorney General’s Office in the discussions.

Blanco told Saipan Tribune last week that he believes the oversight hearing is needed on DPS and other agencies.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

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