Letter to the Editor
Island Times Newspaper & Tia Belau Newspaper
Dear Senator Toribiong:
I am writing to express my shock and disgust at the way Delegate Alexander Merep of Koror State addressed the issues of the extension of the deadline for public lands claim and the revival of claims at a televised meeting conducted by both houses of the OEK on September 22, 2016. [restrict]
Delegate Merep talked about two rock islands- Ngerchong and Ulong-during the entire conference committee meeting and used the Land Court’s decision in these two rock islands to justify House Bill No. 9-209-255. First of all, this is clear evidence that House Bill No. 9-209-255 addresses issues that are relevant only to Koror State, not the entire Republic of Palau. Second of all, none of the other 15 states in the Republic support this bill as evidenced by the fact that none of the Governors or the Speakers from the various states wrote in support of this bill. Third of all, it astounds me just how the powerful Speaker Anastacio and all other delegates are allowing Delegate Merep to run the show on this House Bill No. 9-209-255 especially when they know that Delegate Merep has an ACTUAL CONFLICT with this particular bill. The delegates are probably not as smart as they think.
Delegate Merep holds the 4th title of the Rechucher-ra-Techekii in the Ngaramaketii Council of Chiefs. He stands to benefit a lot if this bill passes through the Olbiil Era Kelulau. Delegate Merep as a member of Ngarameketii went to the Land Court claiming ownership of both Ulong and Ngerchong and he lost! Instead of accepting defeat, Delegate Merep is now trying to pass legislation that will allow the Ngarameketii and the Rubekul Kideu another chance to claim the rock islands. This is wrong! Where is the Rule of Law?
Basically, what Delegate Merep is saying to the People of Palau is if you don’t like the law as it applies to you personally, you change it!
We all know that at one time this two-term Delegate of Koror was the Executive Director of KSPLA and he filed a claim on behalf of Koror State Public Lands Authority (KSPLA) on December 5, 1988, claiming ownership of all of the rock islands. This was all fine and dandy for Delegate Merep until he and his family (Ibedul and Bilung) were no longer part of KSPLA. Now that they are not part of KSPLA, they cannot allow KSPLA to administer the rock islands. In other words, KSPLA can administer and be a trustee of the rock islands only IF Delegate Merep and his siblings Ibedul and Bilung, are in charge of KSPLA. That is the reason why Delegate Merep introduced House Bill No. 9-209-255-to remove KSPLA from administering and controlling the rock islands.
Because the Ngarameketii and Rubekul Kideu (House of Traditional Leaders) have no ownership interests in the rock islands, Delegate Merep is trying to reopen the claims to these rock islands. Delegate Merep is tring to change the law to allow the late claim of Ngarameketii and Rubekul Kldeu which was filed in 2006 to be a valid claim under the law. I ask you again, WHERE IS THE RULE OF LAW.
Named Withheld [/restrict]