Massage-Gate Update

January 28, 2010

Rep. Antonio Sablan, former director of the Division of Immigration, told the Marianas Variety that "detainees are not supposed to be released, especially those held without bail, unless they require medical emergencies."
I'm sure that he meant a prisoner's medical emergency, not the "medical emergency" of another person, like say a governor.

From the Variety:
Sablan, R-Saipan, said detainees are not supposed to be released, especially those held without bail, unless they require medical emergencies.

“Something, obviously, seems not right on the surface. The question now is this: whether the appearance of impropriety also means a violation of the law,” he told the Variety in an interview yesterday afternoon.

Sablan, who used to oversee the detention facility for illegal aliens, said it is his understanding that the U.S. Marshal Service and the CNMI Department of Corrections have signed a memorandum of understanding allowing federal detainees to be held at the local jail which was built through federal funds.

“I think the issue should shift away from [the masseuse, Qingmei Cheng] and focus on the people who controlled or were responsible for her,” the lawmaker added.

“The thing here is this. She’s in there for a serious charge. Not only was she attempting [to sneak into Guam]. She’s been identified as one of the organizers [of the illegal entry attempt],” he added.
Of course, he is correct. The focus should be on the governor, his DOC Commissioner and the other officials who participated in the release of the prisoner.

Eleven of the 24 Chinese aliens charged with trying to enter Guam illegally have signed plea agreements and admitted their guilt. Yet three defendants want their cases dismissed. The Saipan Tribune reports:
Dong Wang, Dongxiang Wang, and Qingxu Wang, through counsels Vicente Salas, Mark A. Scoggins, and F. Matthew Smith, asked the U.S. District Court for the NMI to drop the charges against them. They alleged that they have been charged, arrested, and detained unlawfully.

The lawyers argued that dismissal is warranted because there has been no violation of law.

“Even if there had been a violation, this court would not be the proper venue,” said lawyers Salas, Scoggins, and Smith in a joint motion.

The counsels pointed out that the U.S. government has charged the defendants with unlawfully attempting to enter Guam by boat from Saipan.

“This statute simply does not contemplate the factual situation created by this situation in which a person legally present in a U.S. territory is alleged to have attempted to enter into a 2nd U.S. territory,” the lawyers said.

For this reason, they added, this matter should be dismissed.

Governor Fitial has assigned Lt. Gvernor Eloy Inos as a designate to sign all public proclamations. Most likely the governor doesn't want to have to answer any questions at the media events.

DOC Commissioner Dolores Aldan claims that her prisoner-husband does "not get any special treatment:
She said her husband is released from prison on weekends because he is among the many prisoners eligible for the home furlough program.

“We have a lot of inmates on furlough. This program has been.what.20 years old already,” said Dolores Aldan in an interview.

She said her husband, Vicente T. Aldan, is eligible for the home furlough program because his conviction-assault-is a misdemeanor.

“Me, I don't want problems. We are professionals here to handle our own discretion, judgment, whatever it is,” she said.
Holding a gun to a person's head and pulling the trigger three times must be a misdemeanor. Furloughs for prisoners is routine in the CNMI? Judge Wiseman sentenced Vincente Aldan to six months in prison without parole. So furloughs are allowed, but parole isn't. Citizens and tourists may wonder what exactly are "furlough" policies in the CNMI. How many prisoners are given furloughs, how often, and under what conditions?

Dolores Aldan said:
“Anything that goes on in here is all program. There is no such thing as VIP. As much as possible, I want to transfer him to the United States, Guam or Hawaii or anywhere that would take him away from my discretion,” she said.
Sounds like a good idea. Or maybe she could resign and another person with more respect for the law could run the Department of Corrections.


Anonymous said...

That commissioner sounds like she is unfit for any official position. She makes the CNMI sounds like the wild, wild, wild far west.

captain said...

Some numbers on the "furloughs" of inmates and the crimes they where convicted of would be a start. Does not a judge have to approve this. To my way of thinking, if a convict is sentenced without any possible parole it would seem to be thought that the Judge did not want him out for any reason.
Why hasn't the Judge looked into this on this person as this would seem to be a contempt of court action by this administrator.

Anonymous said...

I think nothing will happen, this will be forgotten just like those crimes here which remain unsolved. People are so silent, waiting for their elected officials to do their job. They are so silent. Very frustrating.

Anonymous said...

they are not waiting for elected officials to do their jobs, they are silently waiting for paybacks from the officials they put in office. that is the "game" here in the wild far west.

Anonymous said...

My huaband who is actively serving in the US army and has never been to Saipan, came here a few months ago. He found it outrageous to see inmates sittin at the back of a police pickup without any restraints whatsoever, it's as if the police are taking them out for a joy ride.

According to him it doesnt matter what the offense of the person is. If the person is in jail he should not be given special priveleges and all inmates should be treated like inmates. Afterall, the whole point of putting them behind bars is to teach them a lesson! not to give them a vacation.

He was offended to see what he saw on island because he has been deployed several times to Iraq and has risked his life for US citizens. And to have seen how these inmates are given way too much freedom was an insult to his services. CNMI Officials really has to get it straight!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I'd been told that the soldiers in Iraq were fighting FOR freedom.

april azalia said...

@Anon 7:08pm

Freedom for who the iraqis??? in a way maybe, but the bigger idea behind it was to stop those who are abusive of their power (like Saddam hussein), and to prevent any further attacks on US Citizens by corrupt people and law breakers.

Point is, any1 in that line of work (protecting the countrys citizens from criminals) whether they be soldiers, or policemen should do their job. giving these prisoners special benefits, or a lax watch isnt how it's supposed to be done. a criminal is a criminal, theyre in jail for a reason. It's disturbing to see inmates being able to leave jail on weekends, or be able to ride behind a police pickup w/ no handcuffs or restraints.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:11, welcome to Saipan! Tell your husband, there's more to see!
Just like 2 weeks ago, along Chalan Kiya road just passed Calvary Christian Academy, we have seen an inmate holding a machete no handcuffs or any restraints, hacking shrubs in front of a house (I don't know whose).We were going home from school, that's about 5pm. My 9yr old son, was so scared as we getting close to him, we have no way to avoid him. I was expecting to see a police vehicle, a police officer, but nothing! My son asked me, "mom, why is he out here?"
That's life here.

Anonymous said...

Aldan keep talking and digging your hole deeper and deeper. What a fool. Now let's see if the legislature asks some questions about furloughs. About releases. About all those who leave the jail. Let's see if they ask for accountability for hours of officials and gas. How many people were actually on duty the night that the governor received his massage? All questions asked in this blog. Now let's see if the elected officials ask them and demand answers.