Open letter to Chuukese from former FSM President

By John R. Haglelgam

Dear Chuukese:

I write this letter because of the vagueness and woefully inadequate response from Sabino Asor, the principal strategist of the Chuuk secession movement, to former Speaker Jack Fritz’s statement. Mr. Asor claimed that the establishment of the Chuuk State Political Status Commission is not unconstitutional because it was established by the Chuuk state legislature like any state institutions in Chuuk such as the Board of Education. He was wrong to compare the establishment of the political status to the creation of the Board of Education. First, the establishment of the political status commission violated Section 3 of Article XIII of the FSM constitution. The FSM constitution is the supreme law in this country, and that an act of the Government in conflict with this (FSM) Constitution is invalid to the extent of conflict (Section, Article II, FSM Constitution). The establishment of the Chuuk political status commission by the Chuuk state legislature is an act of a government in the FSM that contradicted Section 3 of Article XIII of the FSM constitution, and therefore, the creation of the CSPSC is unconstitutionally ab initio.

Second, in establishing the Board of Education the Chuuk State Legislature acted within the legal parameters of its constitutional power granted to the states by the FSM national constitution. (See Sections 1 and 2 of Article VIII of the FSM Constitution and Edward v. Pohnpei, 3 FSM Intrm 350, 357, Pohnpei: 1988). In comparing the unconstitutionality of establishment of CSPSC to the unquestionably constitutionally created state Board of Education is tantamount to comparing oranges to breadfruits. In other words, this comparison is bizarre.

In his most recent posting on Facebook, Mr. Asor sets out the proposed timeline for Chuuk separation from the plebiscite to withdrawal of Chuuk from the FSM to complete independence. On his proposed timeline of events, Sabino Asor allotted a segment of that timeline to negotiation with the United States and FSM regarding the division of the Compact Trust Fund. What is there for Chuuk State Political Status Commission to negotiate? In the first place, and unlike the other three states, Chuuk failed to pay its contribution to the initial capitalization of the FSM Trust Fund. Second, the US Ambassador Riley, the highest US government representative in the FSM and personal representative of the US president, has said that if Chuuk secedes then it would not be eligible to receive any fund from the FSM Trust Fund. Mr. Asor has contradicted Ambassador Riley’s statement. Who should we believe, Ambassador Riley, the highest ranking US diplomat in the FSM who represent the US president with full authority to speak for the US government or Sabino Asor a member of the Chuuk State Political Status Commission? I do not need to tell you who you should believe and trust, but I can warn to watch out of a false political prophet with tons of arrogance of power.

Mr. Asor also included a segment on his timeline of events for negotiation with the FSM for boundary. I presume Mr. Asor wants to negotiate Chuuk boundaries with Yap state in the west and Pohnpei state in the east. The current boundary among the states in the FSM is set by laws that apply the principle of equidistance (See FSM Constitution, section 2, Article I). I wonder what Mr. Asor had in mind. Does he want to expand Chuuk boundary westward into the outer islands of Yap and eastward into Pohnpei.

Thank you very much and I remain

Sincerely yours,

John R. Haglelgam