By Nancy I. Maanao
Vickilyn Manglona, the woman former Yona Mayor Jesse Blas beat and locked in his house, said the federal court should not believe a word that comes out of Blas's mouth at his sentencing hearing this week.
"He's saying he's sorry to the court? If he was sorry, he would have told me he was sorry," Ms. Manglona exclaimed with incredulity. "He has never apologized. He's never said to me, 'I’m sorry for making people hold you down, and for hitting you.' Nothing. It was as if it never happened to him."
Ms. Manglona was referring to a now-infamous party at Blas's home, described by Federal Bureau of Investigation officers as being attended by Superior Court of Guam marshals.
"The marshals are like his little minions," Ms. Manglona said, accusing several local court marshals of breaking the law constantly, and abusing their authority as they do favors for politicians and each other. "He was able to call his pare to have me locked up for nothing while he was in the Philippines. He makes a phone call to Probation, and all of a sudden someone doesn't need to go do their drug check in."
She said even with Blas out of the picture, she knows "the corruption there never stopped. It didn't start or end with Jesse."
Ms. Manglona and Mr. Blas were a couple at the time. According to court documents, Blas had men at the party hold Manglona down on the floor as he beat her, then locked her in a room inside the house. Several witnesses, including law enforcement officials, saw the crimes, but did nothing to stop or report them.
Agat Mayor Kevin Susuico, Mayors Council of Guam executive director Angel Sablan, and a host of former local law enforcement officers who knew Blas sent character letters to Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood begging her to be lenient on him, when she sentences him. According to a sentencing memorandum filed by the U.S. Attorney's Office, prosecutors are asking the federal court to sentence Blas to 37 months, with credit for time served, "and at least three years of supervised release."
Mr. Susuico and Mr. Sablan said Blas is remorseful for his crimes, which include a major corruption conspiracy involving his abuse of public office, personal enrichment, and bribery, all surrounding major meth distribution on the island.
"Jesse does not know how to be remorseful," Ms. Manglona said of Blas. "He knows how to play the victim, though. He always manipulated any situation to where it only benefitted him. He always found the blame in someone else. Nothing was ever his fault in his mind. If he didn’t get his way, he’d get angry."
"Jesse would only help people if it was to his advantage," she said, alluding to public speculation about the motives of Mr. Susuico and Mr. Sablan's character testimonials for Blas.
Several of Mr. Blas's friends in high places, and his family wrote to the federal court that jail has changed and humbled the ex-mayor, who refused for months to resign from office after being incarcerated, causing the business of his village to come to a screeching halt.
"He didn’t change," Ms. Manglona said. "He got better at hiding himself. He’s probably sorry now because he doesn’t want to do jail time. There’s even this recording when I asked him whether I was the only woman he ever hit. He said, 'yes, it’s because you’re the only person I loved.' Sick."
Manglona said it doesn't matter to her how long Blas spends in jail.
"I’ve come to a point where I don’t care. Just as long as he leaves me alone. As long as everyone knows what he did, and they took away his power. That much power in the hands of one person - no one should have that power."