Parkop eyes special unit to protect PNG government properties

PORT MORESBY, 22 NOVEMBER 2018 (THE NATIONAL) – National Capital District (NCD) Governor Powes Parkop is discussing with police the setting up of a special unit to protect government properties in Port Moresby.

He was responding to the early closure of shops after a group of APEC security task force officers stormed Parliament on Tuesday and damaged properties over the late payment of their allowances.

Shops closed early on Tuesday afternoon after looting by opportunists in some surburbs.

“As governor of our capital city, I want to assure residents that I will not allow such nonsense to happen again,” he said.

“I am in discussions with the police minister to give me high-level special unit security officers to protect State institutions in the city – even if the National Capital District Commission has to fund it.

“I once again assure everyone to feel safe and go about your work and business. I am doing all I can to ensure safety and peace in our city as my number one priority.”

He said while order had been restored “and I am happy that it’s business as usual, I want to condemn the criminal act of the officers in their attack on our House of Parliament. I am feeling a sense of grief that this has happened in Port Moresby and it’s a tragedy for our city.”

He said an attack on Parliament “is an attack on the sovereignty of our people which must be condemned”.

Meanwhile, Police quickly put a lid on unrest in Port Moresby when opportunists tried to loot shops in daylight on Tuesday.

Police said these happened as members of the Joint Security Task Force protested in Parliament over the non-payment of their APEC allowances.

“There were attempts to loot shops at Koki, Gerehu, Erima and 9-Mile after opportunists took advantage of the JSTF members protesting over their allowances,” said Metropolitan police commander Superintendent Perou N’dranou.

“Despite limited manpower, my officers were able to disperse these opportunists. However, a shop was looted at Tokarara, but police arrived quickly and prevented other shops from been looted.”

Perou said that PNG Defence Force soldiers had allegedly threatened staff of the Joint Security Task Force over their allowances on Monday.

“They went to the Oakley Haus on Monday to demand their allowances.

“The JSTF management were based at Oakley Haus in Hohola. And on Tuesday police and PNG Correctional Services officers went and caused damage to the national Parliament over their allowances.

“Many of these members came from other provinces and combined with Port Moresby-based officers. But these incidents will be investigated by the JSTF management. But for me, I am now conducting investigations after a soldier damaged a fence with a new bus donated by our international partners for use during APEC.

“The soldier engaged by JSTF had driven the bus and crashed into the Carr Memorial School’s fence at Ensisi on Sunday night.”

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