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Press Release

Palau International Coral Reef Center
Press Release
Contact: Ines Kintoki
Phone: 488-6950 ext. 244
Date: July 21, 2017

Eckerd College student joins PICRC for a month long internship.

Gillian Smith Houston, a student from Eckerd College in Saint Petersburg, Florida in the United States arrived in Palau this week to begin her month long internship with Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC).  Ms. Houston started her internship on the 19th of July and will be with PICRC until the 19th of August.  In her time at PICRC Ms. Houston will work in the Research and Aquarium Department under the supervision of PICRC Communications and Outreach Officer, Anna Parker. Over the next month, Ms. Houston will work with the Communications and Outreach staff, assist the aquarium with tank renovations and conduct fieldwork with PICRC researchers.

Ms. Houston is currently a junior in college majoring in Environmental Studies with a minor in Coastal Management.  Through this internship Ms. Houston is expecting to gain knowledge that she will be able to apply to future academics, internships and eventually her career. She is also eager to gain more hands-on experience working with marine life and learning research techniques.

Throughout college, Ms. Houston has become involved in numerous internships and volunteer opportunities so that she can broaden her view of what she has learned in school and how to apply it to the real world. “I found out about PICRC when I came to Palau last year to go diving with my family,” Ms. Houston says. “I fell in love with the scenery and the culture and am excited to start my internship and get back to the best diving in the world.” Ms. Houston hopes to one day return to school for a graduate degree and is taking this opportunity to narrow down her educational interests.

PICRC receives requests from interns and volunteers from all over the world in all types of academic institutions. These students work closely with PICRC staff on a wide range of projects in the field and in the office. The internship programs remain valuable to the Center by bringing in new ideas and engaging students in conservation efforts in Palau. In return interns learn from researchers and gain hands on experience in research and conservation work at PICRC.

To learn more about our internship and volunteer program, please visit www.picrc.org.


Koror, Republic of Palau
Press Release
Date: July 20, 2017

5 th Drawing Winners for Blue Bay’s $pend This $ummer Promo
Drawing was held on July 20, 2017 at Topside Gas Station

$200 Gift Certificate Winners

Spend This Summer Promo!
For every $8 worth of Blue Bay fuel, get a chance to be one of 8 winners of $200 each Gift
Certificates.  Drawings are held every Mondays and Thursday.

Hurry and fuel at your nearest Blue Bay Gas Station.  For more information on Blue Bay
Petroleum, Inc.’s 2017 Spend this Summer promo please visit us on our Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/bluebaypetroleumpalau. You can also get more information by visiting Blue Bay gas stations near you

Republic of Palau Ministry of Health
Press Release
phone: (680) 488-2552/2553
Date: July 20, 2017

> Palau Minstry of Health & E-Da Hospital: Signing of the I-Shou University MOU (Memorandum of Understanding)


> Palau Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts (left) and E-Da Hospital, I-Shou University Superintendent Dr. Yuan Kun Tu (right) signing the MOU


> MOU is signed


On July 14, 2017 the Republic of Palau Ministry of Health (MOH) and E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in support of a joint medical internship program. The MOU was signed by Republic of Palau Minister of Health Dr. Emais Roberts and E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University Superintendent Dr. Yuan Kun Tu. Present to witness the signing were Tenth Olbiil Era Kelulau (10th OEK) Senate President Hokkons Baules, 10th OEK Speaker of the House of Delegates Sabino Anastacio, Republic of China—Taiwan Ambassador to the Republic of Palau His Excellency Michael Y. K. Tseng, Airai State Madame Delegate Victoria Kanai, Ngarchelong State Madame Delegate Dilmai Saiske, the Honorable Senator Stevenson Kuartei, the Honorable Senator Aric Nakamura, and officials from the Ministry of Health.

The MOU outlines a pilot internship program that would allow medical students graduating from I-Shou University to complete their internship requirement at the Belau National Hospital. The medical interns will be practicing under the guide of attending physicians from both Palau and E-Da Hospital. The attending physicians will rotate on a monthly, two-week basis and will provide expertise in different medical specialties. In addition to supervising the interns, the attending physicians will also offer medical consultation to patients in Palau.

E-Da Hospital and I-Shou University are located in the Dashu District of Kaohsiung, Republic of China—Taiwan. Both institutions are supported by the E United Group, a group that operates a number of businesses in Taiwan spanning from the manufacturing industry to educational institutions. The group supports the improvement of Taiwan’s community through projects that promote better living quality, learning opportunities, and health services. E United Group was established by its chairman, Mr. I-Shou Lin.

The MOU between MOH and E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University is a step towards improving the quality of healthcare services offered to Palau’s community. By encouraging the internship of local as well as international medical students, Palau opens an opportunity to utilize the expertise of accomplished medical professionals as well as improve its understanding about the continuous advancements in the medical field.

Two Palauan medical graduates, Ms. Samantha S. Olkerill and Ms. Rilang Roberto, will be the first participants of the pilot internship program. Ms. Olkeriil and Ms. Roberto graduated with high honors (valedictorian and salutatorian respectively) from I-Shou University last month. They will begin their internship at the Belau National Hospital this August.


Press Release
MOJ Serial No. PR-17-025
July 18, 2017
Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Justice

Palau 10th Basic Police Academy Commencement Exercise

On July 14th 2017, the Ministry of Justice along with its Bureaus celebrated
their 10th Basic Police Academy Graduation with its twenty-four (24) Cadets that
successfully completed the program. The program is a fourteen week prerequisite
course for the Conceptual and Physical training for newly sworn-in officers for the
different law enforcement bureaus within the ministry.

Of the twenty-four cadets, two of them will join the Division of Marine Law under the
Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection, and one will join the
Division of Customs for the Ministry of Finance, while the rest will all take the role of
Police Officers for the Bureau of Public Safety.

During the Ceremony the Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold B. Oilouch
addressed the Cadets by noting the importance of their roles as Law Enforcement
Officers in protecting the people, properties, and resources of our island nation. The
Vice President and Minister further informed the public that right after this
commencement a new Academy will initiate specifically for the Division of Marine
Law Enforcement On-the-Job Training participants starting on August 7 until
September 29 of this year in anticipation of the new patrol boat arriving in Palau on
January of 2018 from Japan.

There were five categories of awards presented to the cadets that include Academic
Excellence, Perfect Attendance Award, Physical Fitness Award, Against All Odds Award,
and Leadership Award. Recipients’ of these awards are presented below:

Academic Excellence
Jake Meltel
Chris Pablo
Junior Joey Sumor
Josh Ngiraswei
Fremont N. Mengidab
Etirwir Franz
Jeracie M. Oiterong
Sean Joshua Pedro
Vadi Kali Beketaut
Vahid Beketaut
Ucheriang Ramarui
Jashely N. Inawo

Perfect Attendance Award
Josh Ngiraswei
Jake Meltel
Jashley N. Inawo
Ewatel Esebei
Vadi Kali Beketaut
Hoyt D. Blailes
Junior Joey Sumor
Centennial Sapemang

Physical Fitness Award
Vahid Beketaut
Junior Joey Sumor
Centenial Sapemang
Lloyd Helacio
Ewatel Esebei
Malone N. Iyekar

Against All Odds Award
Omar Micah Mereb
Georgette Mad

Leadership Award
Vahid Beketaut


The Ministry of Justice wishes to congratulate all of you for a job well done to all the
Cadets and that we look forward to working with you as well as being a part of the Law
Enforcement Family of the Ministry.

Thank you.

Press Release
MOJ Serial No. PR-17-024
July 18, 2017
Office of the Vice-President and Ministry of Justice

New Officers Sworn In for the Bureau of Public Safety and Bureau of Maritime
Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection

On July 17, 2017 three (3) new Officers were sworn in for the Bureau of Public
Safety (BPS) and Bureau of Maritime Security and Fish & Wildlife Protection
(BMSF&WLP). The Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold B. Oilouch
relayed his appreciation and excitement of additional members of the law enforcement
family to the Officers and their families that participated in the Ceremony.

The new Officers were Mr. Kalany Higgins whom will be a law enforcement officer for
the Division of Marine Law Enforcement under (BMSF&WLP), and Ms. Loretta
Dilbodel Leeroy and Mr. Hubert Amalei whom will be working with the Division of
Patrol under (BPS). Director Aloysius Alonz from (BPS) initiated the oath to Officers
Leeroy and Amalei, while Director Thomas Tutii from (BMSF&WLP) initiated the oath
for Officer Higgins.

The new Officers all expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Vice-President
and Minister of Justice along with his Directors and Chiefs of both Bureaus for their
considerations and opportunity to be a part of the bigger law enforcement family.

Congratulations everyone and may the FORCE be with you.



Palau International Coral Reef Center
Press Release
Contact: Ines Kintoki
Phone: 488-6950 ext. 244
Date: July 16,2017

“PICRC Summer Interns from left to right and top to bottom: Onglibl Diana-Rae Lakobong, Maikani Osisemereng Andres, Kaylee Giramur, Yubee K. Isaac, Itungelbai Bells, and Kelutel Darrin Yoshiwo”


Six Palauan college students complete  their PICRC Summer Internship  

Friday July 14th marked the final day of the Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) Summer Internship Program. The students selected for this summer’s program were Maikani Osisemereng Andres and Onglibl Diana-Rae Lakobong, Environmental and Marine Science majors from Palau Community College; Itungelbai Bells and Kelutel Darrin Yoshiwo, Marine Biology majors from University of Guam; Kaylee Giramur, an Environmental Studies major from Chaminade University of Honolulu; and Yubee K. Isaac, an Environmental Studies major from the University of Hawaii at Hilo. Throughout the program these interns worked on individual projects with mentors from PICRC. To complete the internship program each intern presented on their project and what they have learned over the past month and a half.

Throughout the past six weeks PICRC interns gained field and lab work experience, data handling skills, and a deeper knowledge of the research being conducted at PICRC. The interns also were given the opportunity to work with the Ebiil Society as part of their Cultural Immersion Program. For a week, interns worked as staff for Camp Ebiil with nearly 50 students from across Palau. During this week interns acquired local knowledge of marine and terrestrial ecosystems as well as traditional customs, to understand how Palau’s history plays a role in today’s conservation efforts.

These internships are key building blocks to future careers. Internships give students the opportunity to work hands on in a professional environment, gain connections and learn how to communicate in a professional environment. Students are also given a chance to explore career interest and narrow down their plans upon graduating. Through the PICRC Summer Internship Program, students gain a deeper understanding of current conservation efforts in Palau. Upon completing their degrees PICRC wishes to see these students return to work in Palau and continue conservation efforts at home. PICRC would like to recognize and give thanks to Blue Bay Petroleum Incorporated for making this Summer Internship possible.


Press Release SPR 10-23
July 12, 2017
Senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau – Statement from the President
For Immediate Release


Senate Joint Resolution No. 10-11 : Urging His Excellency Tommy E. Remengesau Jr., President of the Republic of Palau to establish a Trade Agreement with the People’s Republic of China was introduced on May 25, 2015 by Senate President Hokkons Baules. The resolution’s legislative findings state that “In order for the Republic of Palau to advance and develop its economy, all avenues should be explored to facilitate a sustainable economic future for the Republic.” Options that include the consideration of a trade agreement with the People’s Republic of China should be considered. A similar Senate Joint Resolution No. 10-12 was introduced on the same day by Senator Regis Akitaya and Camsek Elias Chin and awaits committee consideration.

As recently reported in the media, Senate Joint Resolution 10-11 was placed on the Agenda of the fifth day of the Third Special Session on July 5, 2017 with an accompanying Standing Committee Report No. 10-45 submitted by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and State Matters Chaired by Senator Aric Nakamura. Following discussions on the floor, the Committee Report was adopted while SJR 10-11 did not receive enough votes for adoption.

A report on the Island Times newspaper attributes the same day announcement by the Senate President to remove Senator Reklai as Chairman of the Committee on Tourism and Development Committee to his “no” vote on SJR 10-11. Without confirming other possible reasons, the writer reports this as the sole purpose for removal and reports it as uncontested truth when it is not. On record, Senator Reklai expressed support for efforts to explore trade and other agreements between the People’s Republic of China and Palau in statements made during the Fourth Day of the Third Special Session, contrary to his dissenting vote made later on the resolution. The article further quotes President Baules on a response he purportedly made. This comment is erroneous and lends neither veracity to the statement nor credibility to its undisclosed source, all in the name of “reliable news reporting”. One may surmise you can create so called news as you please or cry wolf in the name of the same if you were the publisher.

The President of the Senate made an announcement for the removal of Senator Reklai as Chairman of the Tourism and Development Committee and as a member of the Foreign Affairs and State Matters Committee, stating as well that appropriate resolutions to conform to any requirements outlined in the Rules of Procedures of the Senate 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau will be forthcoming in this Third Regular Session of the Senate. This is fact.

Each Senator of the Olbiil Era Kelulau has the privilege to influence and to persuade other members to vote one way or another or to be convinced to take a particular view on any given issue. This actually brings out the passion in healthy debate and heated discussions on any given issue that eventually result in a stated position of the institution of congress. Senator Reklai, as with any other Senator may continue to participate in these debates at his discretion, relying on tactful persuasion and political finesse or continue to engage in these floor debates of congress in the pages of his Island Times newspaper.

The Leadership of the Senate of the 10th Olbiil Era Kelulau does not share the most recently published opinion that the electorate should be alarmed when the Executive Branch and both Houses of the Olbiil Era Kelulau are mindful that cooperation and compromise is key to its deliberations and the resolve of decisions that best serve the electorate. It will continue to perform its work in the interest of the public, less the dramatic flair of impulsive bickering.


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Ministry of Justice
Serial No. PR -17-023
Keiden Kintol
July 12, 2017


Case Dismissal – ROP v. Inis Remoket

Upon request of the Minister of Justice, the following is provided to assist the public in understanding case dismissals and the considerations that accompany filing and/or dismissing criminal charges.

The First principle to understand is the governing concept that a prosecutor occupies a unique position in the legal framework. Whereas all other attorneys are tasked solely with zealously advocating for their client’s interests, the prosecution has a much more ambiguous responsibility to not merely seek conviction, but to see that justice is done. This responsibility is reflected in the Rules that govern filing a case and the discretion that a Prosecutor exercises in case disposition.

The second principle that needs to be understood is the presumption of innocence and burden of proof. A person is presumed innocent and cannot be arrested by police without some basis for doing so: this level of proof required of police arrest is referred to as “probable cause.” Probable Cause has been defined by some courts as “facts or circumstances that would lead a reasonable person to believe a crime has been committed and that the person arrested committed a crime.” There are actually a number of these levels of proof in the legal system, with the lowest level labeled “reasonable suspicion” and the highest level of proof labeled,  “beyond a reasonable doubt;” probable cause falls somewhere between these two levels. While a person may be arrested based on probable cause, conviction of a criminal offense requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt as follows:

Proof beyond a reasonable doubt is proof that leaves you firmly convinced the defendant is guilty. A reasonable doubt based upon reason and common sense and is not based upon and common sense and is not based purely on speculation. It may arise from a careful and impartial consideration of all evidence, or from lack of evidence. If after a careful and impartial consideration of all evidence, you are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty, it is your duty to find the defendant not guilty.

This discrepancy between levels of proof leads to the practical result where a person arrested for a crime may not be tried for that offense, since a mere arrest requires such a lower proof threshold.

Jaycee Ochob was last seen in the Republic of Palau around September 18, 2016, but her disappearance was not noted until almost a month late. After an extensive investigation, police submitted an affidavit of probable cause to support an information and arrest warrant for her estranged husband, Inis Remoket, Mr. Remoket was charged with Murder in the Second Degree, or in the alternative Manslaughter. After some preliminary matters, the matter was set for trial to commence July 11, 2017. On June 20, 2017, the defense filed a Motion to dismiss alleging a lack of probable cause to support the information, or charging instrument. This motion was denied by the Court, which found there was probable cause and also finding the motion to be untimely.

In preparation for trial, however, after a careful thorough review of the evidence under the greater scrutiny of reasonable doubt, the case prosecutor determined the matter should not proceed to trial and the case was dismissed upon motion by prosecutor on June 28, 2017.  This action was in accordance with the American Bar Association Standards for Prosecutors, Standard 3-3.9(a), which mandate in the prosecutor “should not permit the continued pendency of criminal charges in the absence of sufficient admissible evidence to support a conviction.” Since the matter was dismissed before trial, the dismissal is “without prejudice”, meaning charges could still be filed again at anytime with the statute of limitations. In the case of Murder, there is no time limitation in which to file a charge.

Palau International Coral Reef Center
Press Release
Contact: Ines Kintoki
Phone: 488-6950 ext. 244
Date: 06/08/2017


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PICRC brings on new researcher to assist Research Department and Support the PNMS

Michelle Dochez from the the United States, has been hired by Palau International Coral Reef Center (PICRC) as the newest Researcher. With four PICRC researchers overseas pursuing their PhD and Masters Degrees, Ms. Dochez will full fill a large gap at the Center and ensure that the research department can continue to work while the researchers off-island complete their education.

Aside form assisting the PICRC Research Department, Ms. Dochez responsibilities will include support for the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Office. PICRC is committed to supporting the PNMS with science and research to help guide the management of the Sanctuary. The hiring of Ms. Dochez will ensure that PICRC can effectively support the PNMS Executive Director and the Executive Committee by developing and implementing the PNMS Science Plan as well as collaborating with different partners to ensure relevant scientific information on PNMS is gathered and available.

Ms. Dochez received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology for George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and her Masters in Marine Biodiversity and Conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, California. Ms. Dochez first came to Palau in 2009 and was instantly captivated by Palau’s beauty, above and below the water. Ms. Dochez spent five years in Palau working as dive guide and an underwater naturalist with Sam’s Tours.

Ms. Dochez worked in clinical research for eight years and spent three years working in biomedical labs. Prior to returning to Palau, Ms. Dochez worked a s consultant with Sirenas, a marine drug discovery start – up in San Diego. She developed a benefit sharing solution that promotes marine conservation initiatives in, and provides financial compensation to, nations that permit Sirenas to collections of marine sponges and cyanobacteria whose chemistry is being analyzed for potential biomedical applications to treat cancer, tuberculosis, malaria and other neglected tropical diseases.

“I am really excited to have the opportunity to explore and learn more about the coral reef environments of Palau” Ms. Dochez shares on her new position. ” I hope to contribute to the important research PICRC is doing to benefit marine conservation efforts in Palau, the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, Micronesia, and the world.”



Palau International Coral Reef Center
Press Release
Contact: Ines Kintoki
Phone: 488-6950 ext. 244
Date: 06/24/2017

“Last week PICRC staff visited Camp Ebiil to talk about coral reefs”