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Corruption allegations against Terlaje consume oversight hearing; senator attacks son's accuser

By Nancy I. Maanao

Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje's son, former Superior Court of Guam deputy Marshal Joey Terlaje, was the only employee or former employee of the court mentioned by name in an oversight hearing about corruption allegations against the Judiciary of Guam.

Speaker Therese Terlaje, who called the oversight hearing, first mentioned Joey Terlaje's name, asking court officials to comment on whether they have reviewed allegations of corruption made against him by federal law enforcement in the federal trial of former Yona Mayor Jesse Blas. Court officials said they could not comment.

"First of all, we can't comment," a court official told the speaker. "We're restricted from commenting."

Joey Terlaje is mentioned in federal court documents in the Blas trial, with the insinuation by a Federal Bureau of Investigation officer that Mr. Terlaje has been involved in police corruption since his days as a court Marshal. Further allegations were made that local Marshals and other law enforcement officers abused their power in order to vacate court warrants in favor of drug dealers who paid the law enforcement officers for the favor. Only judges can vacate warrants.

In response to these allegations, court officials told the senators at the oversight hearing that there's no way possible any of them could fabricate a warrant, or cancel one without people knowing.

Joey Terlaje also was implicated in federal court by Mr. Blas's ex-girlfriend, Vickilyn Manglona (Teregeyo) of having a role in her kidnapping, illegal detention, and physical abuse by Blas. Ms. Manglona said Terlaje helped to hold her down and assault her following a party at Blas's home in 2019.

Joey Terlaje's father, Sen. Jose "Pedo" Terlaje, took advantage of his oversight powers and attacked Ms. Manglona (who was not present to defend herself), and to use the opportunity to question the local court about the situation involving his own son.

"This girl mentioned that my son tied her up and assaulted her for three days," the senator prefaced his question to court officials. "So I want to know if she ever sent you a formal complaint."

Court officials said they could not answer the question.

Joey Terlaje is the father of Guam Police officer Joneen Terlaje, who is at the center of a storm of public anger and speculation of police corruption in the incident, where a red Jeep destroyed Jerry's Kitchen in Tamuning last Thursday morning.

The Office of the Attorney General, meanwhile, has confirmed that, in cooperation with the Guam Police Department, there is an ongoing investigation into police corruption:

“At this time, we can confirm that the Office of the Attorney General and Guam Police Department have been actively investigating reports of alleged misconduct among law enforcement personnel. We appreciate your understanding that we are limited in the information we can provide because of the ongoing investigation,” Attorney General Leevin Camacho wrote to Speaker Terlaje.

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