Sowei clan in Peleliu continues to face controversies. In a recent letter, Chief Renguul Donald Haruo, who had served as chief Renguul of the Sowei clan since 1987, wrote a letter with Rukebai Linda Ngiratumerang urging the Palau national government to file quiet-title action enforcing conditions of the 1961 Quit Claim Deed of the land adjacent to the Peleliu Airport and to stop negotiating with persons that have “no authority whatsoever to speak for or represent Sowei Clan and its interests.”
In his letter addressed to National Security Coordinator Jennifer Anson and Senior Legal Council Ms. Lauren Henry of the Office of the President, Renguul Donald Haruo stated that the “true leaders of Sowei Clan whose property is adjacent to the airport” have agreed with the government of Peleliu, its traditional leaders and legislature to seek assistance from the allies of Palau to rehabilitate the airport runway for the economic benefit of the state as well as alternative for emergency uses.
Furthermore, he alleges that individuals, namely Jackson Ngiraingas, Priscilla Soalablai, Eric Saburo and Mayumi Remeliik have been “making baseless demands for payments of millions of dollars” on behalf of Sowei clan to “undermine this very important public welfare project” and that government should prevent delay and stop talking with “individuals with no legal authority to speak on behalf of Sowei.”
According to a letter from Renguul Haruo’s attorney to him, the airport is owned by Sowei Clan, quitclaimed by the government to the Sowei clan in 1966, and in that quit claim, the government reserved the public rights of access to the property as follows, “reserving, therefrom, all public roads, rights of way, and easements of now existing over, in and upon said lands, mineral rights, and uses essential for the public welfare.”
The letter claims that the Quitclaim deed’s exception gave the Republic of Palau or Peleliu State the “unqualified rights, inter alia, to enter such lands to improve and develop the existing airport for the public welfare of the government and people of Peleliu and the Republic of Palau.”

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