Koror (Island Times) -- As promised, President Surangel Whipps Jr moved the Palau government accounts out of Bank of Guam (BOG) in response to the bank’s decision to withhold and return EIP recipients’ monies back to United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
“I spoke with them earlier and told them to return people’s monies. They said it’s their responsibility to investigate and I told them that that is between the U.S government and the individuals. They (BOG) chose to target account holders in Palau. I want people to also know we have a choice,” Whipps Jr said of his decision.
Before 03 March, he had instructed the Ministry of Finance to move the government accounts out of Bank of Guam. The Ministry of Finance has moved out most of the government’s accounts, leaving active only those used to administer CROSS Act and the Reserve Fund to fund the next budget appropriation.
He revealed that he had also moved out Surangel & Sons business accounts, “just to be consistent.”
During a phone call meeting with Guam Gov. Lourdes Leon Guerrero regarding the Pacific Island Forum issue, President Whipps said he told Governor Guerrero, former Chairman of the Bank of Guam, to release EIP payments to the people in Palau. “I told her, one reason we left PIF is the disrespect shown us, and Bank of Guam is doing that to Palau by withholding peoples’ money and she said she will talk to the bank.”