A leaked letter with signatures of 12 out of 16 Palau Council of Chiefs members, addressed to its leadership, Ibedul Alexander Merep and Reklai Bao Ngirmang, expressed their opposition to the removal of Surangel Sr. as Rekemesik.
Two chiefs who did not sign the letter were Madrengebuked and Heimong,
Both Ibedul and Reklai had written to the Ngatpang Council of Chiefs (the Ngaimis) requesting they submit the name of the proper Rekemesik. The Ngaimis had forwarded Shallum Etpison as Rekemesik. Both Surangel Sr. and Shallum Etpsion have been contesting in court over the title of Rekemesik.
The letter said the Council of Chiefs maintains Surangel Sr. as Rekemesik until the court resolves the Surangel title issue.
Palau Council of Chiefs does not approve or select the chiefs from each state. The Constitution of Palau says the head of the state’s Council of Chiefs is a member of the Council of Chiefs.
Palau Council of Chiefs is not a traditional organization but is made up of traditional chiefs whose role under the Constitution is an advisor to the President.