Angaur Governor Steven Salii and legal counsel Brien Sers Nicholas, representing the Angaur government, filed a motion claiming, among other allegations, that President Surangel Whipps Jr. does not have the authority to appoint Minister Charles Obichang as an applicant in the EQPB permit on TACMOR (Tactical Multi-Mission Over the Horizon Radar) project in Angaur and that the exhibits in the civil case it filed against the government and EQPB supports Angaur’s claims.
The motion was filed in response to the Government’s motion that sought court sanction against Angaur State Governor and legal counsel Brien Nicholas for alleged violations of “ROP R. Civ. P. 1(b)(3), where Plaintiff’s Complaint alleges facts in direct contradiction to the Exhibits attached to the Complaint.”
For example, the government’s motion states that one of the appendices attached to the Angaur State’s complaint was the MOU between MPII and BCHP/I-IPO stating “the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and Industries has assumed the role of the TACMOR project applicant on behalf of the United States Air Force (USAF)” and Angaur claimed that Palau government did not have the authority to submit an EQPB application for TACMOR project.
Angaur State’s countermotion against the national government’s claims asserts a number of illegal acts demonstrated by the appendices to its original lawsuit.
One, Angaur claimed that the Diplomatic note from the United States government accepting Palau’s environmental laws as applicable laws for use on the TACMOR project was illegal because amending the language of the Compact would require a law change and would involve the Congress and not the diplomatic note.
Two, it also claimed that the lease agreement between former Vice President Raynold Oilouch and the Angaur clans for land for the TACMOR project was not valid because former Vice President Oilouch was not the authorized person to negotiate or authorize land use, but the Palau Public Land Authority.
“It follows, therefore, that the United States is now occupying the Angaur TACMOR Project site illegally, as the United States cannot claim any rights to the Angaur TACMOR Project Site through this Republic,” states Angaur State civil suit.
Third, it claimed that President Surangel Whipps Jr. does not have the authority to designate Minister Charles Obichang to file an EQPB permit application on behalf of the United States Air Force or the United States government.
Angaur State motion further asserts, “The fact that President Whipps designated him as an “Applicant” for the USAF was illegal, to say the least. Again, President Whipps had no legal right or power to have done what he did under the laws of this Republic, constitutionally and statutorily speaking.”
Angaur State, in the countermotion, sought a hearing on the matter with the court and requested the court to “grant them sanctions in the form of attorney’s fees and costs as against the Defendants.”