The CNMI Department of Corrections welcomed 38 new officers following the graduation ceremony of the 9th Cycle Corrections Academy held at the Pacific Islands Club Saipan. Yesterday, a total of 38 corrections academy cadets were administered the oath of office by CNMI Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexandro C. Castro.
The 38 cadets were: Sylvan Jr. T. Atalig, Elaine R. Attao, Tolove N. Bokuku, Manuel II Borja, Jonathan Kyle C. Camacho, Thomas Jake S. Castro, Eleniang R. Cruz, Daphne I. Cruzat, Jaedryen Deleon Guerrero, Ambros Jr. C. Delong, Anthony A. Fitial, Francisco Jacoby M. Hapdei, Niana P. Hermoso, Nievanalyn F. lguel, Ma. Sarah C. Javier, Fradley L. Jepen, James Roger P Kaipat, Jessie Noell. Kalen, Johanna K. Lizama, Klein Justine Q. Lizama, Kenneth N. Mafnas, Andy John S. Magofna, Mark H. Manahane, Eldin N. Maratita, Jessme J. Martin, Anthony Herman S. Michael, Paulino SP. Nekaifes, Jeremy R. Ngiraked, Jesse L. Olopai, Jose II K. Pangelinan, Shane Henry L. Pua, Anthony Jr. C. Rangamar, Shaina Grace B. Rios, Isael N. Saito, Jessie James C. Serrano, Louie D. Solano, Walton K. Tachielmong, and Al-lee P. Terry.
Among the graduates, Johanna Lizama landed top of the class as the 9th cycle’s valedictorian, followed by Daphne Cruzat who claimed the salutatorian title. The two were asked to recite the code of ethics and a Corrections officer’s prayer, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Top Gun award was given to Roger Kaipat.
In his speech to the new graduates, Northern Marianas College president Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero expressed his respect and admiration for the journey these new officers will now embark on.
“You have a special charge because yes you are there to protect our community, you are there to keep us safe, you are there to hold people accountable but remember you work now for the department of imprisonment, not for the department of punishment. You work for the Department of Corrections. That’s a very significant thing if you think about it. You are there to correct, to some degree, the flaws of society,” he said.
Deleon Guerrero said at the end of the day, these officers are at the receiving end of some of the worst crimes seen on our island, and must guide convicts to change, and that is no easy task.
“When we look at all the problems we have in our community, these cadets, our men and women in DOC, are at the receiving end of that. Whether its drugs, substance abuse, violence, robberies, whatever crime may be out there, they are on the receiving ends. They are not only there to hold people accountable, but in a special way, as part of their duty and responsibilities, they are there to help those who no one else can help. Yes we have some great programs like the Drug Court, we have some great rehabilitation programs, but you’re the front liners when it comes to working with those who are incarcerated. You’re there to keep them safe from themselves,” he said.
The NMC president said he has nothing but respect and admiration for the men and women in DOC because they are there to care for those who in a way, the rest of society has given up on.
“It’s up to you to keep them safe, look after them, and to really take care them. We are all blessed that you have all stepped up to take on that responsibility, to take on that sacred oath of taking care of our community by protecting those who are incarcerated. So as you move forward with your charge, please know that we all stand behind you. You all serve such an important role in our community and in our society that no one else serves,” he said.