Senate President Hokkons Baules(left) and House Speaker Sabino Anastacio(right) (source: Office of the President, Republic of Palau and Pacific Women In Politics)
Senate President Hokkons Baules and House Speaker Sabino Anastacio skipped an event on Friday of visiting Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen in Olbiiil Era Kelulau (OEK), where she thanked them for upholding the core values of democracy and freedom.”
Both Baules and Anastacio have advocated a shift of diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China.
The two have also pushed for a closer “economic” relationship between Palau and mainland China.
It was learned that Anastacio left for Manila Tuesday night last week, three days before President Tsai’s address before Congress.
A staff of Sen. Baules confirmed he was on the island but attempts from Island Times to reach him were unsuccessful. Island Times reached out to Baules but was told by the person who answered his phone that he was not there.
Sens. Kerai Mariur, Stevenson Kuartei, John Skebong, Regis Akitaya, and Aric Nakamura were present at the Friday event.
Seven senators were off the island during Tsai’s courtesy call to the OEK. Sens. Mark Rudimch, Mason Whipps, Frank Kyota, Philip Reklai, Camsek Chin, Uduch Senior, and Rukebai Inaba were confirmed to be off island on Friday. Whipps and Kyota returned on time to attend the banquet hosted by the Taiwan government the next day.
A House joint resolution was presented to President Tsai thanking her Taiwan for “its continuing generous assistance and support.”
“The Republic of China (Taiwan) is an invaluable diplomatic ally. the Olbiil Era Kelulau extends its fullest gratitude to the Republic of China (Taiwan) and to her Excellency Tsai Ing-wen for her and her government’s time and resources that have aided in the development of our island home,” the resolution stated.
Tsai, in her remarks, thanked Congress or “their longstanding commitment to speaking up for Taiwan” at the UN and other world bodies, as well as for “upholding the core values of democracy and freedom”.
In an earlier statement at a press conference, President Remengesau said he does not have any say on how Congress does its business but said Palauans are known for hospitality,
He said politicians can disagree on issues but has a common duty to represent the people “in accordance with our long-standing tradition.” (Bernadette H. Carreon)