The 14th State Legislature of Peleliu, represented by its Speaker Billy Rekemel, has been sued for accepting Eric Saburo as Chief Renguul of Teliu Hamlet of Peleliu, allegedly in violation of Peleliu State Constitution and traditional Palauan customs.

In the civil action filed on July 18, 2022, Renguul Donald Haruo asked the court for declaratory judgment against the 14th Legislature of Peleliu and Eric Saburo, declaring the decision by the 14th Legislature of Peleliu to sit Eric Saburo as Renguul null and void.

The seating of Eric Saburo as Renguul, according to the lawsuit, “is barred by the doctrine of Res Judicata.” Court’s decision in a Civil Action 99-309 in 2006 declared the plaintiff the rightful Renguul of Sowei Clan of Teliu hamlet.

Plaintiff Haruo asks the court to declare him as the rightful member of the 14th State Legislature as Renguul of Teliu Hamlet and to declare both the 14th Peleliu Legislature and Eric Saburo “jointly and severally liable”  to compensate and reimburse payments made to Eric Saburo.

Request for declaratory judgment demands the 14th Peleliu State Legislature pay compensation that the plaintiff as Renguul is entitled to and pay for punitive damages and the plaintiff’s legal expenses.

In his request for injunctive relief, plaintiff Donald Haruo petitions the court to “enjoin and restrain” the 14th Peleliu State Legislature from paying Eric Saburo as chief Renguul and to “recognize and allow” Donald Haruo to take his place as Renguul in the legislature as the “rightful holder of the traditional title Renguul of Sowei Clan and Teliu Hamlet.”

Plaintiff Donald Haruo asks the court to award him compensatory damages for the “emotional distress, mental pain and suffering” resulting from actions taken by the 14th Peleliu State Legislature and Eric Saburo.  He asked that defendants pay $100 for each day, counting from the day they “recognized and seated” Eric Saburo as Renguul of Teliu hamlet.

Donald Haruo claims that he has held the title of Renguul of Teliu hamlet of Peleliu for 35 years since 1987.  As Renguul of Teliu, he has been a member of the Peleliu State Legislature following Peleliu State Constitution.

Peleliu State Constitution states a new chief can assume the seat once the seat becomes vacant and the new chief is appointed “according to custom.” Haruo said he has been occupying the seat of the hamlet chief ever since 1987, and the position has never been “vacant.”

A court decision dated December 15, 2006, Civil Action No. 99-309, confirmed his position as Renguul of Teliu hamlet of Peleliu State, added the Haruo.

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