FSM President apologizes for machete incident

David Panuelo, FSM president

Following the machete attacks in Mangilao last week, island leaders are calling for a communal and regional approach to address the issue.

Taking a stand and condemning the behavior of the individuals involved in the incident, Pacific island leaders are banding together in search of a solution.

FSM President David Panuelo said: “As President of the FSM, I apologize for any harmful conduct by some of our citizens. I call upon the people of the FSM to work together to be one nation that promotes peace and love in our common humanity,”

He said the FSM Consulate office in Guam is collaborating with community leaders and organizations, local law enforcement, the Micronesian Resource Center, and as many stakeholders as possible to “develop and implement programs that will attempt to ensure that incidents of this sort don’t occur.”

During Saturday’s townhall meeting at the FSM Consulate Office, Speaker Tina Muna Barnes said: “As a daughter of Guam, one with many Micronesian brothers and sisters, we need to come together and work on a solution to the horrific stories we read about in the news.”

The day immediately after the machete incident along University Drive in Mangilao, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero assembled public officials including several lawmakers, mayors, law enforcement officials, and the Consulate Generals of both the FSM and Palau, in promoting a “it takes a village to raise a child” initiative.

The governor said: “There are lots of moving parts like I said drug abuse, substance abuse, prevention, treatment … there’s behavioral, social, economic, health reasons, dysfunctions of families, how to bring them together, education, it’s a very complicated situation to look at. But I’m very confident that the leaders are sensitive to that and we’ll work very closely together to start making leeway.”