Both leaders of the CNMI and neighboring Guam mourned yesterday the passing of former Palau president Thomas Remengasau Sr., who passed away over the weekend.
Remengasau passed away in Koror, Palau, at the age of 89. His family were reportedly with him at the time of his passing.
Both Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios expressed their sympathies in a statement.
“He was a true leader for Palau, spearheading the nation’s transition from the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands to an independent republic,” the statement said. Press secretary Kevin Bautista noted that the statement was a brief summary of the governor’s and lieutenant governor’s letter to the Remengasau family.
“In the midst of political turbulence and uncertainty, president Remengesau Sr. was a voice of reason and a steady public servant, advocating for a political status that would yield the greatest benefits for the Palauan people. He has served honorably as a role model for Palau and Micronesia as a whole, and we are deeply saddened that the Pacific has lost a great man and a true statesman in every sense of the word,” the statement added.
The former president was elected into office as a vice president, but rose to the executive position after the assassination of former president Haruo Remeliik in 1985 and the death of former president Lazarus Salii in the following term.
“The Marianas and Palau remain historically connected by culture, family, and tradition, and we continue to strengthen the ties that bind us together. Please know that we are with Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr., the Remengesau family, and our Palauan brothers and sisters during this time of mourning.”
The Guam Legislature also mourned the loss of the former Palauan president through Guam Sen. Tina Rose Muna Barnes.
“…There are no words that can express how saddened we are to hear of your loss,” she wrote to the Palau President.
“Your father [Remengasau Sr.] stepped up to serve his people; his selflessness, sacrifice, vision, and love for his people will never be forgotten. We hope that the love of family and friends will comfort and strengthen you in the days ahead,” she added.
“Your father set the standard for leadership and excellence, and I am confident you will continue to make him and the people of Palau proud.”