In a decision issued on March 9, 2022, the Land Court awarded a large parcel of land in Ngkeklau, Ngaraard State, about half a million square meters, to the “Rechad ra Ngeaur”.  The Adjudication and Determination came after the Land Court heard the claims of Angaur opposed by Ngaraard State Public Lands Authority. 

The Angaur claimants consisted of Rubekul Ngeaur by Sintaro Kual, Rechad ra Ngeaur by Delegate Mario Gulibert, Ngelechel Lineage by Andres Ucherbelau, and Orakiblai Clan by Lorenso Edward.  The Angaur claims were consolidated as a claim for the people of Angaur but altogether were opposed by Ngaraard State Public Lands Authority.

The basis of the Angaur claim was that both Angaur and Ngkeklau have strong ties going back to before the Japanese period, stemming from the relations of people of Orakiblai in Angaur to the people of Kermong Clan in Ngkeklau who are said to be one people from an even earlier time before migrations separated them.  As World War II neared, the people of Angaur evacuated and went to Ngkeklau by way of these relations.  This was during the reign of Ucherbelau Ngelechel and his aunty Dilbelau Sekang of Orakiblai Clan.  Kloulubak of Kermong Clan and the chiefs of Ngkeklau bequeathed the land in Ngkeklau and a piece of Palauan money was given out by Ucherbelau Ngelechel. It was actually a money bead (yek) of the Ucheliou Clan which was the clan of Ucherbelau Ngelechel’s wife.

During the Land Court hearing, the historical relations and the land exchange was confirmed by current chiefs of Ngkeklau, including documents signed by previous chiefs of Ngkeklau verifying the transaction including prior resolutions from the Ngaraard State Legislature and the Olbiil Era Ngeaur.  There was a testimony of klechedaol visits by both villages and in one such klechedaol visit, $10,000 was gathered and given by Angaur to the Ngkeklau chiefs as sengk for the land.

The Land Court credited all the foregoing evidence and denied Ngaraard State Public Lands Authority’s argument that the land is public land because all other private lands in Ngaraard have been registered so any remaining land must be public land.  “The Land Court finds that before the events that gave rise to this case — in the early 1900s and before when no public lands authority existed — the Land was owned village land wholly by Ngkeklau Chiefs” who, under Palauan custom, had the authority to gift or sell the land.

The Angaur claims were represented by Attorney C. Quay Polloi, a son of Angaur.

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