Writing to President Surangel Whipps Jr., Bilung Gloria Salii, the matriarch of Idid Clan of Koror State, rejected the letter from the Palau Council of Chiefs announcing Alexander Merep as Ibedul and objected to the announcement that Ibedul shares the chairmanship with another chief.

“I remind you again that Alex is not Ibedul of Idid Clan.  Only me, Bilung, appoints Ibedul of Idid and no one else can appoint because they are not Bilung, it’s not their title.,” Bilung Gloria Salii expressed this in her letter to President Whipps.

Rejecting Alexander Merep as Ibedul, Bilung Gloria Salii claimed that Alexander Merep had sued his siblings, former Ibedul Yutaka Gibbons, Rechucher-Ioulidid John C. Gibbons, Bilung Gloria Salii, children of his sister Sinobu Merep, claiming clan lands for his children before his death.  The case, she said, went to trial this past March.

Moreover, she said, Alex has had a stroke and is partially blind and cannot represent Idid Clan as he will weaken the clan.

In the same letter, Bilung Gloria Salii claimed a misrepresentation by the Council of Chiefs in the announcement that Ibedul shares the chairmanship with Reklai.  This statement, she said, is erroneous and not in line with cultural and traditional knowledge.

Traditional titles have different positions and responsibilities, said Bilung.  There is no majority or minority in traditional titles and a collection of titles cannot get together and oppose a higher title, argues Bilung.

Bilung contends that Ibedul is the highest title in Palau and does not share or co-chair with another title.  She claims that Koror won wars and that is why Ibedul is the highest title in Palau. 

“Koror won wars that is why it is the highest title with ten (10) states under it on the west-side (Keiukl), starting with Ngardmau to Hatohobei.  On the other side, the eastside (Despedall) has six states.”  This, Bilung said, shows the difference between Keiukl and Despedall and therefore, it is unacceptable to her for Ibedul to co-chair with another chief.

Urging President Whipps not to recognize Alexander Merep as Ibedul in government functions, Bilung said that her son James Lebuu Littler is the Ibedul of the Idid Clan.

She said that the people who appointed Alex Merep purportedly as Ibedul are not from the Idid clan.  “Their mothers are not from Idid Clan and when Ibedul passed away, they did not attend the funeral because they are not related to us,” asserted Bilung.

The fight over the title of Ibedul continues to drag on with Koror State’s traditional council of chiefs accepting the nomination of Alexander Merep from Ochob Katey Ngiraked.  Bilung Gloria Salii appointed her son James Lebuu Littler as Ibedul and disputes the nomination and the acceptance of Alexander Merep.

The Koror traditional chiefs, otherwise known as the House of Traditional Leaders (HOTL), accepted Alexander Merep and sent his name to Rubekul Belau (Council of Chiefs).  The Council of Chiefs accepted Alexander Merep as Ibedul and informed President Whipps and other national leaders that he, Merep, is the new Ibedul and co-chairs the Council of Chiefs with Reklai Bao Ngirmang of Melekeok.

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