Uludong sues Chief Reklai for defamation, violation of freedom of expression
Seeks $250,000 for punitive damages
(Koror, Palau) Moses Uludong, holder of title Ngirmang of Ngermadel Clan of Melekeok filed a complaint against High Chief Reklai Bao Ngirmang and four other chiefs of Melekeok claiming violation of his right to freedom of expression and defamation among other allegations.
He further seeks $250,000 in compensation for punitive damages caused by the alleged actions against him. [restrict]
In the suit, Mr. Uludong claims Chief Reklai and four other chiefs violated his constitutional right to freedom of expression and press, violated customary law on removal of a chief and customary right to defend one’s self, and further alleges extortion and defamation.
According to Uludong, during a regular radio program he reported a news item that George Kebekol had been appointed by Omrekongel Clan and installed as the head chief by the Ngarameseksikt of Ngerkebesang Hamlet as ESPANGEL, of Ngerkebesang Hamlet. However, Santos Ikluk is considered by High Chief of Koror, IBEDUL Yutaka Gibbions to hold the chief title of ESPANGEL.
Uludong claims that based on this information, Chief Ibedul of Koror fined Reklai of Melekeok, Ngirakebou of Ngchesar and Uherbelau of Angaur for Uludong’s report.
Uludong further claims that Reklai told him to pay the fine and when he didn’t, they paid the fine but sent a messenger to the “ourrot” to find replacement to bear Ngirmang title. According to the suit, the “ourrot” wrote Reklai and chiefs asking what offense Uludong has committed and stated that Uludong will remain bearer of title Ngirmang.
Additionally, Uludong claims that High Chief Reklai and other chiefs “ordered” other women member of his clan to meet at Longshoreman Restaurant and “threatened, intimidated and commanded” the women to pay $1,500 and to submit new name of a person to bear title of Ngirmang.
According to the suit, the women paid $1,500 and submitted the name of Richard Alonz as the new Ngirmang.
Mr. Uludong, asserts that customary law of removal of chief was violated when he was not notified of the offense he allegedly committed and was not given an opportunity to defend himself or mitigate the offense.
Furthermore, he asserts that the Chiefs have no judicial power to try and to punish persons and that the act of trying him and punishing him is no longer within their authority, but the now the authority of the courts.
Moreover, obtaining money from women of his clan and seeking his replacement are acts of extortion and defamation.
Uludong seeks to have the action to remove him as Ngirmang declared null and void, order defendants to return money taken from women of Ngermadel clan, grant restraining order against Reklai and other chiefs from interfering with affairs of Ngermadel clan and to award him $250,000 as compensation for damages.
Defendants could not be reached for comments before publication of this paper. They have 20 days to respond to the allegations made against them. By: L.N. Reklai [/restrict]