Dispute over the ownership of Ngercheu island of Peleliu, also known as Carp Island where Carp Island Resort is located, is currently awaiting the final decision of the Trial court.
The ownership of the island is being contested by two parties, each claiming that the island belongs to the Edaruchei clan but each party claims an Edaruchei clan from two different villages of Peleliu, the Edaruchei of Ngerkeyukl and the Edaruchei of Ngerdelolk.
The ownership of Ngercheu island was determined by the High Court of the Trust Territory government to belong to the Edaruchei clan but it did not specify which Edaruchei clan. While waiting for a certificate of title to be issued, opposing claims were raised by two clans with same name of Edaruchei led by different people.
The contest was first raised in 1990 with one party “Uchelmekediu Ichiro Loitang represented by Joseph Koshiba on behalf of the Edaruchei clan of Ngerkeyukl and one party led by “Idesiar Santos Olikong on behalf of Edaruchei clan of Ngerdelolk.”
In 2006, the certificate of title was issued to the Edaruchei clan, and the claims by the two opposing Edaruchei clans for Ngercheu continued.
Central to the dispute is which of the two Edaruchei clans, Ngerkeyukl or Ngerdelolk is the real owner of Ngercheu.
The history of claims for Ngercheu involved Rubasech Fritz who claimed the land for the Edaruchei clan as the “chief of the clan”. The case was appealed and in that appeal, Ulemekediu Ngirblekuu was listed as one of the appellants in the case together with Rubasech Fritz against the government.
The contest involved determining which Edaruchei clan Rubasech Fritz represented. Ngerdelolk party claimed that he represented their clan therefore the land belonged to Edaruchei of Ngerdelolk. Edaruchei of Ngerkeyukl claimed that he represented them not as a chief but due to familial ties and that Uchelmekeiu Ngirblekuu’s role later as appellant further shows a stronger claim of Edaruchei of Ngerkeyukl.
Also central to the dispute is whether Edaruchei of Ngerkeyukl is a real clan or not. Ngerdelolk party claimed that it was not a real clan while the Ngerkeyukl party claimed that the former “Idesiar”, chief of Edaruchei clan of Ngerdelolk did not file claims and that Rubasech Fritz never bore the title of Idesiar based on census records.
Ngerdelokl party had to prove that Fritz represented Edaruchei of Ngerdelolk while the Ngerkeyukl party have to prove that there is a standing for Fritz to represent their clan and that the Edaruchei clan of Ngerkeyukl does exist.
The case went to trial after the court denied the motion for summary judgment from the Ngerdelolk party. The outcome to determine which party owns Ngercheu island is expected to be out soon.
There are reports that the island has already been leased to outside investors for millions of dollars by the Ngerkeyukl party and that the investment is on hold pending the outcome of the case.