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Dear Editor,

Am I the only one who minds the prejudice, egotism, and hypocrisy that pervade and pervert our society? These traits may be culturally embedded in our ways as a people, but they should have no place in proper public service. I am especially appalled by insolent or audacious hypocrites in such crucial aspects of our society as the government or the press, where ethics and objectivity are much desired, while a biased government predisposes us to institutionalized discrimination and inequity, biased journalism fosters adverse public indoctrination and manipulation. To really serve others, one mush separate self from such character flaws that only hinder sincere and equitable service.

Of concern is Tia Belau’s publisher trumping his conviction to muster support for unscrupulous relative caught red-handed smuggling drugs into the Republic? Mr. Uludong is an outspoken advocate of “zero tolerance” who has the scandalous habit of castigating drug offenders. This hypocrite even pestered his wife to practically disown her own son because of the son’s drug use. Why all the noise for this Taman, a devious sycophant who, by his own free will, brought on himself what he deserved? Such insolence and audacity! It is good that Taman got nabbed’ otherwise, he may have had a free pass with authorities at our airport. It is hard to believe that this educated journalist could be so heedless and risk his credibility and reputation as well as his paper’s. His ridiculous, contrary behavior may have been only nepotism, but there is more to this unseemly affair. There have been many other Palauans in trouble with the law abroad, even many who have suffered injustice here at home, and none of them have gotten such sympathy from our government. It seems the government did not just get dragged into Taman’s “rescue” by Mr. Uludong’s audacious campaign. Taman is indeed a paid snitch for the local drug enforcement, bragging of over 100 “successfully” buys over many years. He may still be owed for his snitching services, even for his smuggling, which fuel the local “epidemic” used by authorities to justify their “war” and careers. What about zero tolerance? If anything good should come out of this whole Taman affair, it is that this prominent, journalist and our authorities have shown their true colors.

It does not take a rocket scientist to see that drug smugglers, not petty local dealers, are the reason for drugs on island and should be the ones targeted for punishment. In every smuggling case, we are talking open-and-shut case with tens, even hundreds, of grams of meth. While most of such cases have enjoyed unmatched leniency, selected dealers have had to serve excessive sentences for measly amounts much less than a gram. I myself am serving 25 years for 2 “plates” of meth (less than ¼ of a gram) that I was must caught processing or selling but attributed to me by a snitch under dunes. Where is the justification for tolerance on one hand and censure on the other? What about the inverse proportion of punishment to drug yield? Of course, we don’t all have well-connected champions for our interests, and authorities tend to make destinations’ between individual offenders to the detriment of the oppressed minority. I believe authorities saw me as insignificant, unworthy of equal protection, even expendable to serve their agenda. The scheming snitch who implicated me was actually the one must deserving of punishment and correction, as he was a chronic drug user and dealer, a repeat offender and ex-convict, and a pardon violator facing still more trafficking and importation charges. Because he was the brother of Task Force chief, he was given preferential treatment and enabled to evade deserved justice at my expense. Similarly, my fiancé was entrapped by a junkie who drove around with her toddler scavenging for meth scraps. It is downright pathetic how authorities exploited these individuals as means to their and instead of helping them.

It is commendable that our lawmakers are making effort to rectify shortfalls regarding drug cases, because rampant inequities in bails, pleas, and sentences do undermine our court’s credibility and reputation. However, the underlying problem is not necessarily in the statutes, more in biased discretion exercised by imprudent judges with regards to the law and its application. This makes it sensible to limit judicial discretion, but categorically denying bail to any class of citizens may be discriminatory and unconstitutional as it undermines due process. The real intent of bail, as institutionalized in American justice, is to afford reprieve to the accused, who must be presumed innocent while still awaiting further court proceedings. Bail should be proportionate to flight risk as weighed by the judge exercising discretion and held as collateral to ensure the accused makes court appearances as ordered. Let’s not temper with due process just to quench our desire for revenge and risk injustice to the innocent. And worst comes to worst, we may start thinking about electing our judges. Thanx…

/s/ Personal Non Grata