October 8, 2012
Eight months after the brutal murder of Filipino foreign worker Emie Romero her family and friends want to know why there has been no arrest.
The Saipan Tribune reported that Chief Prosecutor Peter Presley stated last week that the acting Attorney General, Viola Alepeyo will hold a press conference concerning the case. She appears to be in no rush.
It was not CNMI law enforcement agencies, but the Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC and the Philippine Consulate in Saipan who appealed to the FBI lab in Virginia to speed up the processing of the DNA evidence.
I have been told that the monster who murdered Emerita Romero on February 5, 2012 is a violent 38-year-old career criminal who should have been behind bars at the time he murdered Emie. He was released from jail in December 2011, but was arrested again in January 2012 for violating his probation and possession of crystal methamphetamine. I was also informed that the alleged suspect is a relative of a CNMI senator.
Emie, a bartender at Godfather's Bar, was a loving mother, daughter, sister and friend before her life was taken by the brutal killer.
Former Department of Public Safety Commissioner Raymon Mafnas was accused of interfering with the case. Mafnas spoke to a key witness, but refused to turn in a witness report, saying he would not turn in a "God damn statement." Mafnas was put on administrative leave on March 26, 2012 after over 138 DPS employees signed a petition requesting his removal. He is now the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections.
Did the CNMI's flawed legal system, and web of political and family allies play a role in Emie's death? How many cases have gone unsolved or not prosecuted because the system supports letting those with family or political connections walk? How many lenient sentences, suspended sentences and awards of early parole allowed dangerous career criminals to be on the streets instead of behind bars where they belong?
Now we wait to see how long it will take the Office of the Attorney General to arrest the suspect.