President Tommy Remengesau Jr. had hoped that his 16th and final State of the Republic Address (SORA) will be a recollection of his accomplishments, but the highlight of his address was the government response to the unprecedented pandemic.

“The circumstances of the moment do not allow you to cherish the good memories, we have so much work to do,” Remengesau in an interview after his SORA.

He said that when the members of Congress paid tribute to him at the SORA, that is when it “kinda hit” him that it will be his final one.

“In the beginning, I was thinking, I was going to tell a lot of jokes, recollection of a lot of things we used to do, but then we know that coming in the middle of a crisis, we just have so many things to do than just reciting the past and the future, “ he said.

In his SORA, he said he is honored to stand before the people and deliver his last State of the Republic Address.

“I had intended to make my final annual address a statement of thanks, of celebration, of recollection, and of hope for the future. And we will move in that direction after we discuss, as a Palauan family, as neighbors, and as members of the global community, the Coronavirus that has so recently, and so extremely, impacted the world over these past few months.”

The president has a three-decade-long career in Palauan politics which would end this year.

In 2018, he said that after his term he will take time off from politics and be a full-time fisherman.

With this, members of both House of Delegates and Senate gifted him yesterday with a fishing net and a speargun for his next adventure as a prolific fisherman.

The president, who turned 64 in February, has spent most of his career in politics starting when he was elected senator at only 28 years of age.

In 2013, when his first term ended in 2008 as a president, instead of retiring from politics he ran and won as a senator.

“I am not running for anything in 2020. I intend to hang up my hat and be the fisherman I always wanted to be,” Remengesau told reporters in 2018.