Micronesian leaders honor the memory of former Speaker Lifoifoi

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(Office of the Governor) — Leaders from all over Micronesia have expressed their condolences to the family of the honorable Jose Rebuenog Lifoifoi, fifth Speaker of the CNMI House of Representatives, former chairman of the Commonwealth Ports Authority, former Chairman of the United Micronesia Development Association, and honorary consul of the Republic of Palau to the Commonwealth.

Over the last week, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Speaker Lifoifoi’s wife Cecilia and family received messages of condolences from President Tommy E. Remengesau Jr. of the Republic of Palau, President David W. Panuelo of the Federated States of Micronesia, President David Kabua of the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and Speaker Tina Rose Muna Barnes of Guam.

President Remegesau referred to Speaker Lifoifoi as a “lifetime friend of many Palauans.”

“[Speaker Lifoifoi] cultivated many friends during his many visits over the years. He was one of the few foreigners bestowed an Honorary Citizenship of Palau for his many contributions to the country, including his service as Palau’s honorary consul to the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Joe also extended tremendous assistance and was a respected friend of the Palauan community in Saipan,” President Remengesau wrote in his letter. “The people of Palau join you in mourning the loss of this exceptional statesman and extend our gratitude for his many years of friendship and close ties to Palau, his second home.”

 

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, right, poses with former Speaker Jose Lifoifoi in this file photo. Office of the Governor photo

President Panuelo said Speaker Lifoifoi was a “well-known leader throughout our Micronesia region and a great mentor to many.”

“On behalf of the People of the Federated States of Micronesia, allow me to express our heartfelt sympathies and condolences to the Lifoifoi family and the people of the CNMI,” President Panuelo wrote.

President Kabua called Speaker Lifoifoi “one of Micronesia’s great sons and leaders.”

“Our islands will remember one its dedicated public servants as a pioneering leader in our economic development and infrastructure improvement as the Chairman of the Board for the United Micronesia Development Association, Inc. The Marshallese people and their Government join the people and the Government of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in honoring the outstanding career and life of the late Speaker Honorable Jose Rebuenog Lifoifoi,” President Kabua wrote.

Speaker Muna Barnes said that Speaker Lifoifoi “lived a life that was committed to public service and the advancement of our Blue Continent.”

“Speaker Jose’s legacy will always live on throughout the history of the CNMI — and the entire Blue Continent. In the brief time I had spent with him, he passionately shared with me the history of the CNMI’s relationship with the United States and inspired me to be a better leader for our People. He truly understood the importance of grassroots democracy, and truly served as a role model of Government By the People and For the People,” Speaker Muna Barnes wrote.

Governor Torres thanked all the leaders and friends of Micronesia for their condolence messages to both Speaker Lifoifoi’s family and to the Commonwealth.

“Speaker Joe Lifoifoi — or as I loved to call him — my Chairman — made such a tremendous impact on the lives of people that call Micronesia home through his public service. I sincerely thank President Remengesau, President Panuelo, President Kabua, Speaker Muna Barnes, and everyone from all over Micronesia who sent their condolences to Auntie Cel, her children and families, and I. We are all so grateful to have had the privilege and honor to know Chairman Lifoifoi. He loved the Marianas and Micronesia, and we will all miss him dearly. Godspeed Chairman,” said Governor Torres.

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