Investiture Proceeding for Hon. Chief Justice Martin G. Yinug
Honorable Acting Chief Justice Martin G. Yinug took his Oath of Office as the Chief Justice of the FSM by H.E. President Manny Mori at the FSM Supreme Court in Palikir, Pohnpei on May 5, 2011. Chief Justice Yinug has been the Acting Chief Justice for the FSM Supreme Court soon after the passing of his immediate predecessor, late Honorable Chief Justice Andon L. Amaraich, on January 28, 2010.
A native son of Yap State, Chief Justice Yinug was born on October 18, 1949. He pursued and obtained his Bachelor’s in Political Science at the San Francisco State University in 1972 and eventually his J.D. in 1980 from the Catholic University of America Law School in Washington, DC.
Upon returning home in 1972, Yinug worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Yap Delegation to the Congress of Micronesia and had served as an interpreter to the state’s delegation to the Micronesian Constitutional Convention in 1975 before embarking on his second educational pursuit in the United States that would give him a decisive footing in the field of law and the court system in Micronesia not too many years afterwards. His two years leadership of the Micronesian Legal Services Corporation in Yap from 1980 to 1982 was succeeded by a six years tenure at the Yap State Legislature where he served as the legal counsel from 1982 to 1988. His last stint at state level spanned another 4 years in the capacity of Associate Justice that ended in January of 1992 when he was appointed to the same capacity but in a wider jurisdiction – FSM Supreme Court. Justice Yinug has been the longest serving justice on the bench in the FSM, the first native son to be seated as such, and now the third to ascend this highest leadership role in this branch after Edward C. King and the late Andon L. Amaraich.
After saying his Oath of Office, the new Chief Justice spoke to his audience in the nearly-pact gallery at the FSM Supreme Court, which included H.E. President Manny Mori, Honorable John Ehsa, Governor of Pohnpei State and the First Lady of Pohnpei, Ruth Anna Layan, Chief Justice Yinug’s wife, Senators Joseph J. Urusemal and Dohsis Halbert from FSM Congress, members of the Diplomatic Corp, members of the President’s Cabinet, Honorable Justice Torres and Honorable Judge Barcinas from Guam Judiciary, judges of state and municipal courts in Pohnpei, Rev. Bethwel Henry, Senior Pastor of Kapinle Church, Fr. Julio Angkel, Vicar of the Vicariate of Pohnpei and Kosrae, representatives of the business community, and other well-wishers and friends of the Chief Justice. In his remarks, Chief Justice Yinug assured the nation that the FSM Supreme Court would do its best in “administering justice by upholding and interpreting the laws in accordance with the FSM Constitution and sound principles of the rule of law” – a direct quote from the mission statement for this branch of government in FSM. Furthermore, the Chief Justice pointed out that the administration of justice “is a very expensive commodity”, in his own words, and appealed to the other two branches of the FSM National Government to properly equip the court system so that its mandated roles in rendering justice and resolving disputes can be upheld “in timely manner”.
Chief Justice Yinug has been on the FSM bench for almost 20 years and distinguished himself among other colleagues for his respected views and opinions over the years and his amassing contribution to the nation’s growing jurisprudence.