In 2009, an expat Samoan named Simon Kaiwai launched an outspoken campaign against power company Mighty River Power. He made a distinction between government’s “user pays” policy and the actions taken by profit-driven power companies.
Kaiwai found the case of Folole Muliaga to be particularly poignant: A state-owned power company had cut off her electricity despite her medical dependency and her family’s futile attempts to pay their bills in installments.
Early Life and Education
John Muliaga is a proud Samoan from Hagatna, Guam and a 2014 graduate of Leone High School.
Muliaga, a Samoan-speaking Marine Corps veteran, moved to Guam in 2019 to join his cousin Fiataugaluia Ahkee who has been stationed there since 2019. When police arrived on the scene they were informed that Muliaga was armed with a firearm.
Police were informed by a security guard that Muliaga was with two males named Selerino Henry and Elijah Tierra when they verbally exchanged before assaulting him. Muliaga then allegedly punched one of them who had his hands up in front of him; according to police report, this other male suffered injuries after Muliaga punched him in the face with a closed fist before falling to the ground.
Achievements and Honors
Muliaga is an accomplished individual who played a pivotal role in their most impressive run to date. A two-time all-conference selection, she helped her team win 32 matches during her two seasons at NMMI. Her accomplishments have been recognized both by her teammates and by the community at large; additionally, Muliaga took home an NMMI championship ring as part of the squad that achieved such greatness.
She was one of several players praised for her contributions to the program’s rebirth. She earned LSC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recognition, was named to the NMMI all-conference team and served as team captain. Additionally, she held the highest rating in her class and was amongst its most consistent performers; her best seasons came during sophomore and senior years when she led as both attacker and defensive standout.
John Muliaga was raised in American Samoa and is a proud member of the Army ROTC, having earned himself the Superior Cadet award. A graduate of Leone High School in Pago Pago, John is also an expert diver.
He wed Folole Muliaga, a native of Fono Island in Samoa in 2000 and they had six children together – four daughters and two sons.
Muliaga’s death ignited a furor among those resentful of the arrogance and high-handedness of power companies. Union organizers staged a protest outside Mercury’s Auckland headquarters, while other groups demanded that laws be changed to make it illegal to cut off electricity supply.
At an inquest into his wife’s death, Lopaavea Muliaga related how state-owned Mercury Energy had cut off electricity to their home over an unpaid bill, leaving the family in the dark. He wept and shook as he related that the contractor had taken away their electricity over a small amount – 34 dollars – without warning.