The House Committee on Judicial and Government Operations on Tuesday asked 2 Police Officer Adrian T. Mendiola several questions about certain trips made by Governor Ralph DLG Torres on Department of Public Safety boats.
The committee showed Mendiola a trip report dated June 19, 2017 indicating that he, M3 Emery Kaipat, M3 David K. Rabauliman and M3 Arnold K. Seman “escorted the Governor by boat to Guam”.
According to the trip report, which the four officers signed, they left Smiling Cove Marina at 11 a.m. on February 9, 2017 aboard DPS boating safety vessel Zodiac III and arrived at the marina. from Hagåtña the same day at 4 p.m. The next day they left Hagåtña Marina at 7 a.m. and arrived at Smiling Cove Marina in Saipan at 2 p.m.
“The purpose of this trip is to escort the Honorable Governor Ralph DLG Torres to Guam aboard the Boating Safety Vessel DPS Zodiac III and return to Saipan aboard the Zodiac III,” the trip report said.
But a travel voucher for the travel itinerary indicated that the governor had left Saipan on flight DL297 at 4:10 p.m. on February 9, 2017, bound for Narita, Japan, where he was due to land at 7:05 p.m. And from Narita, he was to leave at 5:25 pm for Seattle where he was to arrive at “1419” hours.
A Delta Airlines boarding pass indicated that “TORRES / RALPH ANTHONY”, seated on “4C”, had left Saipan at 4:10 pm and was due to arrive in Narita at 3:15 pm Japan time.
Asked by Representative Donald Manglona about the travel report “to escort” the governor to Guam, Mendiola said “we had to escort the governor, which is our main mission”.
“Was the governor on the boat at any time on this trip?” Manglona asked.
Mendiola replied: “Yes, as stated in the trip report.”
The chair of the committee, Representative Celina Babauta, reminded Mendiola that he was under oath and asked him a “question of clarification” if he, Mendiola, was simply okay with the document being presented or if he actually remembered “escorting the governor” onto the boat. .
Mendiola replied: “Again, ma’am, this was in 2017. I have done so many boat trips, I don’t remember. Whatever supporting documents you have, I will use them, as all the notes I used in the field, whether it was two or three years ago. We rely on notes. What is provided here is exactly what I remember. 2017 goes back many years. years. I am relying on these documents that you provided to me. “
Mendiola said he had been a police officer for about 15 years and a boat captain for five or six years.
When Babauta asked if the information in the trip report “is true and correct to the best of your knowledge”, Mendiola replied yes.
When Manglona mentioned the governor’s travel documents to Narita, Japan, Mendiola’s legal adviser Anthony Aguon said Mendiola’s responses to lawmakers’ questions were based on the documents and that he was not saying that he remembered that the governor was on the boat.
Babauta asked for recess around 11:45 a.m.
When the hearing resumed at 2 p.m., the committee presented Mendiola with a copy of another travel report, this time dated June 21, 2018 to June 23, 2018.
He said: “Left the Smiling Cove Marina on the DPS Impact boat and headed for Guam. We arrived in Guam at noon where we waited for the car rental. We left the Guam Marina, are went to King’s Restaurant where he had lunch, went to Payless Supermarket to buy some supplies and I walked over to the Guam airport hotel and got settled in. “
The committee also presented copies of a travel authorization and boarding pass showing that on the same date the governor was traveling to Boise, Idaho.
Rep. Edwin Propst said a person cannot be in two places at the same time, so he wants to know how Governor Torres got to Guam on a DPS boat while “another Governor Torres” was in there. plane to Japan and the United States.
Mendiola replied: “I base all my information on what I remember and what is stated on these documents.”
The House committee is investigating the governor’s public spending it deems questionable.