The misplaced theatrics of the AUSA while the Feds keep us waiting on the big fish

By Mabel Doge Luhan

It’s such a relief to hear AUSA Albert Flores announce that a prominent CNMI political figure is finally going to prison after years of feasting on Chinese bribes!

No, not that one.

Not that one either.

No, no, not him either. Not yet, anyway.

I’m talking about Juana Leon Guerrero.

Because if AUSA Al Flores is to be believed, the worst public mischief going down in the CNMI is… some people renewing their driver’s licenses without having valid immigration status?

Oh, the moral outrage is strong! “[T]he public harm caused by the defendant is practically impossible to quantify,” Flores argued, his lower lip no doubt theatrically quivering.

Apparently, Juana “grossly violated the trust of the public, which damaged the credibility of the CNMI government.” 

The CNMI government has credibility? Manu, prim? Because as far as I can see, long time already nothing that one. 

Is Flores, like the great satirist of our times Bryan Manabat, speaking tongue-in-cheek?

Flores’s tone-deaf histrionics get better though!

“Her actions endangered public safety by arming unqualified drivers to operate vehicles on the roadways,” Flores claims, no doubt gushing crocodile tears. 

Is this guy for real?

How does it endanger public safety when people with expired CW papers Juana renew their licenses? Does driving require immigration status?

Secondly, has Flores driven a car on a public road in the CNMI? Ever? There is no concept of right-of-way, everyone enters a 35 MPH roadway at 5 MPH and expects traffic to panic-stop for them, traffic lights are ignored, hordes of kids ride in the back of Hiluxes, and bicyclists ride the wrong way, at night, without lights or helmets. This is all “normal,” and there is zero enforcement.

And people driving with expired immigration status are the problem?

Granted, every prosecutor gets a bit of rhetorical license (no matter what his immigration status) and leeway for hyperbole and histrionics. Flores certainly wants a perceived Win in his column, in light of public outcry about the apparent lack of prosecution of massive public corruption. But is this really how he’s going to get it?

Juana took some bribes. That’s not so nice. What’s the sentence for that these days in Camacho’s court — ninety days, all suspended, maybe? 

But Juana certainly didn’t endanger public safety, destroy trust in government, nor ruin thousands of innocent lives. Those honors belong to a well-connected red cabal, who have been lawyering up, and who know well enough not to confess. Yet those perpetrators haven’t even been indicted yet, and nary a peep have we heard about their dereliction of duty.

Before lecturing us on the trust bestowed upon a public servant, or scapegoating immigrants as dangers to our safety, Mr. Flores might have a look in the mirror. 


Mabel Doge Luhan is a woman of loose morals. She resides in Kagman V, where she pursues her passions of crocheting, beatboxing, and falconry.

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