The standoff between the Senate and Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) Chairman of the Board has escalated, after Sam Masang threatened to file a lawsuit against Senator Rukebai Inabo if she will fail to return PPUC’s money she allegedly used    to pay for her personal loan.


The threat of lawsuit was sent to Inabo the same day that the Senator, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Utilities, Communications and Housing Development vowed to facilitate Masang’s removal from the PPUC.

Masang in his March 2 letter, demanded that Inabo return the $23,000 of PPUC funds she used to pay for the mortgage of her house while she was the company’s CEO.

“It is a crime to get $23,000 from PPUC funds to pay for the mortgage of your house loan at the bank under the false pretense of house rental of your own house, “Masang said in his letter.

He gave Inabo 10 days to make allotment or return the funds.

“If you fail to do so, you are giving me no choice but to file a lawsuit to recover the funds with interest and attorney’s fees,” Masang said.

Inabo in a letter to Masang said that the funds were part of her employment contract as PPUC CEO.  She said there was nothing illegal in the housing allowance given to her as it was part of her compensation package.

The senator’s letter also demanded that Masang provides her committee all invoices, payments, check copies, bank transfers and other financial documents as proof that he has not enriched himself while serving as PPUC chair.

“It is truly unfortunate for me to become the new Committee chairman that must now facilitate your removal from the PPUC Board of Directors. But, hard work must be done by someone, that someone would be me now. The Senate of the 10th OEK would be doing its best to have you removed when documents are received from PPUC showing you have a conflict of interest,” Inabo stated.

She also pointed out to Masang that he has to prove to the Committee that he has not violated the code of ethics by providing financial documents of himself and his family members related to the issue, from bid documents, bid awards to PPUC and Masang’s company Palau Telecoms.

Inabo also stated that several public hearings will also be scheduled to look into the PPUC issue. (Bernadette H. Carreon) [/restrict]