Five Senators sued Palau’s President for alleged mishandling of Uighurs funds
In an effort to close the U.S. Detention Center in Guantanamo Bay, Obama sought refuge for the Chinese Uighur detainees who otherwise risked mistreatment if they were repatriated to China. In an act that some characterized as a great humanitarian gesture and others as a brilliant diplomatic move, the President of Palau offered its assistance to the U.S. in its time of need by extending asylum to the Uighurs.The President of Palau now faces a lawsuit over issues surrounding the Uighurs’ resettlement to the Pacific island nation of Palau. On March 7, 2012, Five Senators of the Republic of Palau filed a private civil suit against Palau’s President and Vice President in both their official capacity and private capacity over the use of the funds provided by the Government of the United States to the Government of Palau in the amount of approximately $500,000 for the resettlement of five Uighurs. The suit alleges that President Toribiong took personal charge of the Uighur funds and that the funds were ordered only to be disbursed pursuant to the President’s authorization. The lawsuit contends that approximately $250,000 of the funds were disbursed in large lump sum payments to Toribiong Enterprises and to the President’s sister- in -law, Sandy Toribiong, for housing, renovation, and furniture for the Uighurs’ residences. These payments were allegedly made without any competitive bidding and contrary to Palau’s procurement laws. The lawsuit claims that the President’s conduct was an ethical violation in that his immediate family members directly financially benefited from these disbursements. The lawsuit also alleges one cause of action unrelated to the Uighurs, but is also another issue of financial mismanagement, claiming that 2009 audit reports show that the President and Vice President spent more funds then the Executive Branch were authorized by Congress to spend and such spending was in violation of the Republic’s laws. The full complaint in .pdf format is available here: complaint-uighurs-palau-president
Fuel, Water, and Sewer price continues to rise
A recent fuel price continues to rise up, and the water, and sewer price also continues to rise up. This previous Monday, the cost for gasoline at our local gas station continues to rise. The gas station located in downtown Koror called IP&E of NECO Plaza raised the cost for 1 gal. of gasoline with and additional of 10 cents. Another gas station called Blue Bay Did-ra-Ngmatel, which is located next to NECO Plaza also follows the same rise of gas price. So the cost for fuel today is now $5.45. The community is now concerned for the rising of water and sewer price. The rising of the water and sewer price happened earlier in February 07, 2012. Meters in every household needs at least 5,000 gallons or less, and the cost had rise up to 11 cents additional. Also the cost for wastewater or sewer continues to rise to 93 cents or rise to 72 percent additional.
Electric Bill will rise at the beginning of April
Prices for fuel, water, and sewer are not the only things that have a never ending price change. Cost for electricity will rise at the beginning of April 2012. The rising of the cost of the electric bill will follow the Automatic Fuel Adjustment Clause.
Two Delegates were pulled off from the committee chairmanship of the House of Delegates
Marhence Madrangchar Delegate of Ngarchelong state and Swenny Ongidobel Delegate of Ngaremlengui state were pulled off from the committee chairmanship of the House of Delegates.
Murderer arraigned in Court
On Monday March 5, 2012, 31-year old Reggie Remoket was arraigned in court for the stabbing murder of Japanese Chef Norikazu Kobayashi. Remoket was charged with murder in the second degree, voluntary manslaughter and aggravated assault. He will be held in the koror jail until his trial unless he’s able to post a 25 thousand dollar cash bond or a 50 thousand secured bond. If he makes bond he will have to surrender his passport to the court, remain under house arrest and he will not be allowed to drink alcohol. Public defender Jason Shaw will not represent Remoket due to a conflict of interest. The court instead appointed John Rechurer as his legal counsel. Remoket has been in court six times before for crimes of malicious mischief, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disturbing the peace. He pled guilty in four of those cases. Remoket is entitled to a trial by jury because of the nature of this murder case.
Republic of Palau HealthCare Fund
Palau’s President request assistance from the OEK Olbiil Era Kelulau to review the Health Insurance Policy.
Palau receives $4 Million Emergency Grant
On March 2nd Ambassador Yoshiyuki Sadaoka and President Johnson Toribiong exchanged notes on Japan’s emergency grant aid of up to 4 million dollars to cope with the power crisis in Palau. The emergency grant funds the installation of four 500 KW power generators at the Malakal Power Plant. This comes as a result of the fire that broke out at Aimeliik Power Plant last November, causing the electricity supply to decrease by half. President Toribiong then issued an emergency declaration on November 7, 2011. Japan decided to immediately provide support in the area of electricity supply including the provision of power generators after receiving requests for emergency aid from Palau. The emergency grant is another example that shows the strong relationship between two countries. The Government and the People of Japan hope that this emergency grant aid will contribute to the stable condition of electricity supply in Palau.
Micronesian Youth Services Network MYSN
On March 15th and 16th , the 8th Annual Micronesian Youth Services Network (MYSN)Regional Conference, will be held in Palau at the Ngarachamayong Cultural center. Set to be the largest youth gathering in the region, the conference will include members from Guam, CNMI, FSM, the Marshall Islands, and Palau. Each year the MYSN holds a regional conference to bring together youth service providers, policy makers, educators, and the youth to discuss dialogue and develop strategies to improve policy and practice within and throughout the region. This year’s theme “CARVE IT! for a healthier lifestyle” was designed to encourage participants to reflect on their health status and to develop personal, familial, and community strategies to improve health lifestyles. “CARVE IT” implies a commitment of permanency in behaviors and attitudes that will reverse the current trend of premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases or NCD’s in Micronesia.
Jacob Yangilmau will become the next Governor of Sonsorol state.
Dugong was found dead
A very young dugong was found dead next to the reef of Ngeremdiu. The dugong was brought to the Division Office And Wildlife.
80 percent of the local stores in Palau was able to follow the new law of purchasing tobacco.
Scholarship for Taiwan
The “Taiwan Scholarship 2012”, for undergraduate, master or doctoral degrees, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of China, is currently accepting applications until April 13th 2012. The Embassy of the Republic of China welcomes Palauan applicants who meet the criteria set by the scholarship program. The Palau National Scholarship Board will administer the process of receiving submissions of completed application documents. It will also conduct the screening process on all applications. The scholarship recipients will receive a roundtrip ticket between Palau and Taipei, as well as a monthly stipend of approximately 830 US dollars and approximately 1,000 US dollars for a degree program to cover tuition and other fees. The Scholarship spans from five, 3 to 5 years for pursuit of undergraduate, master or doctoral degree, respectively, including the conditionally optional first year Mandarin learning. For a complete set of detailed information on the Taiwan Scholarship 2012, please contact the PNSB at 488-3608/5424.
A huge number of tourist visiting Palau went up to 19.9 percent on January 2012.
Palau Community College Honor Society
23 students of Palau Community College entered for the honor society. The name are as followed:
2. Malari Ambai
3. Leilani Buck
4. Chance Douglas
5. Christopher Isamu
6. McKlaine Iyekar
7. Sonja Kotaro
8. Maria Lawrence
9. Delaine Meteulechol
10. Rade Masaich
11. Dana Chin Ngiraungil
12. Shari Nicolas
13. Percis Omelau
14. Alalofi Ongalibang
15. Timothy Rafael
16. Jorian Remengesau
17. Natsua Sadang
18. Amanda Sasao
19. Byron Silil
20. Elsei Tellei
21. Sim Tellei
22. Cornellean Thomas
23. Ashley Umetaro
On Thursday, March 8th a group called Palau People’s Committee gathered with other concerned citizens at Bethlehem circle to voice their opinions about inflation, the minimum wage, the ADB loan and crime. Moses Uludong and Santy Asanuma conducted the meeting and specifically discussed the unaffordable prices of gas, water, sewer, and power, the lack of leadership by our government and how the elected officials suffer less than 95% of the population. Even our very own Rondy Ronny stepped up to mic to speak his mind about a politician’s decision not to promise the people anything in order to avoid people’s expectations of him if he’s elected again. This is one of many movements held by the public as a result of the frustrations brought on by social and economical issues.
ROP President’s meeting with the House of Senate
A meeting with the Palau’s President and the House of Senate came up with a Compromise. This Compromise is to approve the budget version of the House of Delegates, at the same time they will also review the over expenditures so there won’t be any confusions.
Thank you for watching OTV News for Palau