Felix Francisco, Koror State legislator representing Ngerbeched hamlet, submitted his resignation to Koror State Speaker Alan Marbou, last night, the 5th day of KSL 8th Regular Session, effective September 15th, 2021. Mr. Francisco starts serving his five-year imprisonment sentence on September 15th.
After accepting a guilty plea from the government for lesser drug charge of Possession of Less Than a Gram of a Controlled Substance, Mr. Francisco submitted his resignation letter citing that “due to recent events of a personal nature, I am no longer able to effectively execute my duties and responsibilities as the Koror State Legislator for Ngerbeched Hamlet”.
Appearing at last evening session, Mr. Francisco addressed members of the 11th Koror State Legislature, apologizing for bringing ill repute and shame to Koror State Legislature. “A kmal ayamar le ke mla otuu a deribek er tial blai…ngmai a terached el mera Olbiil er Oreor.”
With his apology, he also urged KSL legislators to work together despite their differences saying they face difficult times ahead, especially putting together a state budget for next year. “We had our differences but we continued to work together and as a result, the state government never closed down.” “Bo moba keltarreng…e bom kakull.”
Speaker Marbou accepted Mr. Francisco’s resignation, thanking him for responsibly coming forward for the betterment of Olbiil er Oreor. “I was asked many times why we were not taking action to remove you but I believe that anyone can be sued but there is a due process. We allowed that due process to take place. Now you are taking initiative coming forward, taking responsibility for your actions. This was the right thing to do.”
No special election will be held to elect his replacement as there are less than 180 days left before the next general election.
Mr. Francisco accepted a guilty plea agreement from the government for a lesser drug charge of Possession of Less Than One Gram of a Controlled Substance- Methamphetamine, a felony offense punishable by a sentence of not less than 5 years imprisonment and up to $10,000 fine for the first conviction. In exchange for a guilty plea, the government dismissed the charge of Trafficking a Controlled Substance which carries a tougher penalty of not less than 25 years imprisonment and not less than a $50,000 fine.
Defendant Francisco was sentenced to five (5) years imprisonment and “given his former status as a police officer and for safety reasons, his five years jail time will be served at the substation in Ngardmau or Melekeok.” He could be eligible for parole after serving a year and eight months of his sentence. According to Mr. Francisco’s statement at the KSL session yesterday, his fine of $10,000 was waived and he will begin serving his sentence on September 15th.
The case was filed after a crate from the Philippines was found to contain the highest amount of the drug methamphetamine or (ice) ever confiscated in Palau in a single bust, a total of 500 grams of methamphetamine crystals in four canisters stored inside was picked up by Francisco’s employee. The drug street value was estimated at $2.5 million. The crate was addressed to Francisco’s employee Teddy Teodoro,
According to police affidavits, in March of this year, they were alerted to possible drug shipment from Customs agents. They reported that a crate addressed to an employee of Mr. Francisco was suspicious and upon opening it, found 4 canisters containing what was tested positive for methamphetamine. The items were taken out to reduce the chances of getting released into the public and a small amount was replaced for tracking purposes.
Customs and Narcotics Enforcement Agency (NEA) agents tracked the crate to Mr. Francisco’s residence after it was picked up. Upon arrival, they found that the crate has been taken apart by two Philippino employees of Mr. Francisco. One of the officers noticed Mr. Francisco with an item in his hands, and according to the police report, when asked what it was, Mr. Francisco placed a plastic Ziploc on the table that contained a crystalline substance. The substance was tested positive for methamphetamine.
The former police officer Francisco was charged with two felony counts, Trafficking of a Controlled Substance and Possession of a Controlled Substance. In this plea agreement, he pled guilty to the lower charge of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and the other charge was dismissed.