Seven (7) members of the 13th Peleliu Legislature have lost their $500 monthly honorariums since March due to “lack of attendance” at Legislature sessions or doing other work of the legislature.
In a letter dated October 12 to Peleliu legislators Charles Rekemel, Joel Okada, Edberg Mabel, Umedip Ridep, Cordino Soalablai, Florah Tewid, and Billy Rekemel, Peleliu Speaker Eufrasia Remeliik stated “It is sad that you all think that you are entitled to receive compensations/honorariums even though you do not attend any sessions or do any work for Peleliu State Legislature. Please note that compensations/honorariums are not entitlements; they are compensations for the work performed for the Legislature. Because you all have completely neglected your duties as elected members of the legislature, you do not deserve to receive compensations/honorariums from the State.”
Furthermore, Remeliik added that the letter from the group dated October 6 is treated as an appeal according to Peleliu State Law No. 272-08 which addresses compensation for members of the legislature, and that the letter missed the 14-day deadline thereby waiving their right to claim compensation.
Peleliu State Law No. 272-08, passed into law in 2008, raised the monthly compensation of the State Legislators from $300 a month to $500 a month citing the rising cost of living. In addition, it states, “Provided, however, that no member may receive monthly compensation if he or she did not attend any sessions of the Legislature in the previous month, or did not participate in other legislative functions such as Standing Committee activities, all without justifiable excuse provided in advance, as determined by the Speaker.”
The letter from seven (7) legislators claims that the Peleliu State Law 272-08 was unconstitutional and that they intend to challenge it in court. Furthermore, it claimed that the Speaker’s action was a ploy to exert political pressure on them in furtherance of her political agenda.
Speaker Remeliik rejected the claim saying 7-members’ “intentional boycott” of legislature sessions show that they are failing in their duties as elected legislators of Peleliu State.