Federated States of Micronesia State of Chuuk State of Kosrae State of Pohnpei State of Yap
Legal Information System of the FSM - Home Page
FSM National Gov't.

State of Chuuk

State of Kosrae

State of Pohnpei

State of Yap
  • Constitution
  • Code
  • State Court Decisions
  • State Court Rules
  • Regulations

    Compact of Free Association

    Other Gov't. Authority Documents

    Search the LIS web site

    Related Links

    Contact the LIS Project


         The State of Yap is one of the four states that make up the Federated States of Micronesia, along with the states of Pohnpei, Chuuk and Kosrae.  Yap is the Western-most island in the FSM, located about midway between Guam and Palau.

         Yap is comprised of the main islands of Yap, Gagil, Tomil, and Rumung.  Yap State stretches eastward, for another 1,200 or so kilometers and includes another 134 outer islands, most of them low-lying atolls.

         The Yapese were seafaring people who sailed vast distances over the Pacific.  Even in recent times, canoes from Yap have sailed to the Marianas, Okinawa, and Palau.  The trip to Palau was made to re-enact the quarrying of stone money.  In centuries past, Yapese made the life-threatening 1000 kilometer round trip voyage to Palau's Rock Islands to quarry the now famous stone money. Yap is probably best known for this stone money - huge disks of crytalline stone.  These stone disks measure up to two meters in diameter, and weigh as much as four tons, making them the world's largest currency.

         Yap State has its own constitutional government with three co-equal branches of government consisting of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.  Yap also has traditional leaders that serve in the Council of Pilung and the Council of Tamol which perform functions concerning tradition and custom.  See Art. III of the Yap State Constitution .

         The Executive Branch is headed by a Govenor and a Lt. Governor and they are primarily resposible for executing the laws and administering state government services.  See Art. VI of the Yap State Constitution.

          The legislative power of the State is vested in the Legislature. Such power extends to all rightful subjects of legislation not inconsistent with the Yap Constitution.  The Legislature is composed of ten members, who shall be elected by the qualified voters of their respective election districts.  See Art. V of the Yap State Constitution.

         The judicial power of the State is vested in its State Court, and other courts as may be created by law.  The State Court is the highest court of the State and consists of a Chief Justice and two Associate Justices.  The number of Associate Justices may be increased by law upon the request of the State Court.  Retired justices may serve temporarily on the State Court at the request of the Chief Justice.  See Art. VII of the Yap State Constitution.

         The state government leaders and some key staff are as follows:
    Governor:   Hon. Henry S. Falan
    Lt. Governor:   Hon. Jesse J. Salalu
    Attorney General:  Hon. Rachelle Bergeron (Acting)
    Division of Public Safety:  Chief of Police Daniel G. Ramngen 
    Office of Administrative Services:  Director Gabriel Ramoloilug
    Office of Planning & Budget:  Director Francis Itimai
    Department of Resources & Development:  (Acting Director) LT. Gov. Jesse J. Salalu
    Department of Youth & Civic Affairs:  Director Constantine Yowblaw
    Department of Education:  Director Pamela Legdesog
    Department of Public Works & Transportation:  Director Jonathan Marmar
    Department of Health Services:  Director Dr. Aileen Tareg 
    Speaker, Yap Legislature:   Hon. Vincent A. Figir
    Vice Speaker, Yap Legislature:   Hon. John J. Masiwemai
    Floor Leader:  Hon. Jerry Fagolimul
          Hon. Nicholas Figirlaarwon (Chrmn., Finance Comm.)
          Hon. Kensley Ikosia (Vic. Chrmn., Finance Comm.)
          Hon. Jerry G. Fagolimul
          Hon. Theodore (Ted) Rutun (Chrmn., Government, Health & Welfare Comm.)
          Hon. Jesse Raglmar-Subolmar (Vic. Chrmn., Government, Health & Welfare Comm.)
          Hon. Joseph B. Tiuchemal
          Hon. Joseph Giliko' (Chrmn., Resources, Education & Development Comm.)
          Hon. John Mafel (Vic. Chrmn., Resources, Education & Development Comm.)
          Hon. John J. Mesiwemai
    Legislative Chief Clerk:  Dee N. Libian
    Assistant Chief Clerk:  Ben Chosmal
    Budget Officer:  Elaine T. Chugen
    Administrative Secretary:  Elizabeth Laayow
    Legislative Counsel:  Leelkan Dabchuren, Esq.
    Assistant Legislative Counsel:  Genevieve M. Mangefel
    Chief Justice:   Hon. Cyprian Manmaw, Esq.
    Associate Justice:   Hon. Jesse Torwan
    Associate Justice:   Hon. Jonathan M. Tun
    Yap State Court Counsel:  Seema Shaw, Esq.
    Clerk of Court:  Julianne Giley
    Court Administrator:  Libuw Pongliyab
    Traditional Leaders
    Chairman, Council of Pilung:   Hon. Bruno Tharngan
    Chairman, Council of Tamol:   Hon. Ramon Peyal  
    Other Agencies/Organizations 
    Public Defender:  Ms. Quintina Letawerpiy, Staff Attorney
    MLSC, Dir. Attorney:  John T. Mootmag, Esq.
    Yap Environmental Protection Agency:  Christina Fillmed
    Yap Community Action Program:  Sabino Sauchomal
    Yap Investment Trust:  Patricia D. Moonfel
    Yap Fishing Authority:  Paul Ayin
    Yap State Public Service Corporation:  Faustino Yangmog
    Yap State Public Library:  Erica Ruepin
    Yap Visitors Authority:  Don Evans
    Yap Sports Council Office:  Lawrence Uwelur
        For more visitor information on Yap, visit the Yap page of the FSM Visitors Board web site.