Supreme Court

A funeral and burial of a ranking woman from Ulimang has been delayed due to Court order granting a Temporary Restraining Order to bar funeral and burial of Ebil ra Otong Ereong Remeliik in Otong clan lands in Ulimang, Ngaraard.

Ereong Remeliik passed away on August 28 and her funeral was set to be held at Ulimang Bai on September 21, 2019.

The order of September 30th granted Temporary Restraining Order to plaintiffs Beches Paulus Ongalibang on behalf of Otong Clan to bar defendants Augustino Blailes, Dirngerkebai Baulang Kumangai, Alfonsa Kadiasang, Dorothea Sasao from holding funeral in Ulimang Bai and burying the remains of Ereong Remeliik on Otong clan land.

Paulus Ongalibang and Juliana Ongalibang, representing Otong clan have filed for TRO to stop funeral and burial on Otong clan lands. As court recognized Beches, his consent was not sought or given for the use of clan land for funeral and burial according to court filings.

Both plaintiffs and defendants are members of Otong clan but according to court judgment, plaintiffs Paulus Ongalibang and Juliana Ongalibang are stronger members than Augustino Blailes and his siblings.

Paulus Ongalibang in previous court case was recognized by Court as Beches of Otong clan although Defendant Augustino Blailes also claim to bear the title of Beches.

According to Blailes, the council of chiefs of Ulimang recognized him as Beches according to custom.  Paulus Ongalibang is recognized by the council of chiefs of Ngaraard as Beches.

The court in its order states that there will be irreparable harm to the plaintiffs if injunction is not granted.

“If the injunction is not granted then the plaintiffs’ ownership rights and authority as senior strong members will be violated,” stated the order.

The court decision has been challenged by the defendants on appeal. Part of the appeal argument states that burial will not cause irreparable harm to the plaintiff.  Defendants argue that the same judge that issued this TRO ruled in similar case stating that burial will not cause irreparable harm and that it can be remedied.

Funeral and burial of Ereong Remeliik are pending the result of the appeal.