Prime Minister Of Papua New Guinea Pledged To Fight To The Last Breath - And he Is Fighting The Courts

Blast from the recent past....

This was a commentary from June 2014 when Peter O'Neill's integrity as the prime minister of Papua New Guinea was tested . Anti corruption task force's decision to arrest him and his reactions would go down in history. I was glad to have recorded the political events of June 2014. 

Here is a brief of what happened four weeks into the saga: the issuing of warrant of arrest, PO's evading the arrest, appointment of new police commissioner, actions of the PC and reactions from other national leaders.


CHRISTIAN LEADERS: We heard leaders from main-line churches appealing for O’Neill to submit to police request. Thank God and pioneer missionaries, PNG are blessed with established churches (Anglican, Lutheran, Catholic, SDA) with strong leaders who have wisdom to correct and suggest to political leaders what to do. Listen to words of men of God. Make no mistake, these leaders speak with wisdom. They represent mass of PNG’s population.

POLICE: Court has made it clear that policemen who are at the forefront of this political turmoil (caused by PM) are not rogue officers. Their reputations, experiences and dedication to the force are exemplary. Their commitment to stand firm at this time is a testament to their courage and determination. These men are trained (at police institution/s) to be strong, commissioned (on oath) to serve and moulded (by experience) to be fearless. They are discipline officers, for goodness sake, trust them to do the right thing.

Police hierarchy had been thrown in disarray with by one man, Peter O’Neill. Is it too late for Vaki to fix this vital institution? He was defeated at District Court but not late for Vaki to make the right call. Both National and District Courts have given Geoffrey Vaki’s no option but to arrest O’Neill. He MUST effect the WoA in haste to save face.

Vaki is rendered to nothing but USELESS in Peter O’Neill’s eyes if not for the policemen protecting the PM. Section of police who took Vaki’s commands can be seen to be the last baton of hope to remain police commissioner. We also see Police Association giving strong signal to politicians (like PM and Housing Minister) who called police ‘rogue cops’ to shut up. 

There are strong views within the Constabulary for Vaki to perform his constitutional duties without siding with Peter O’Neill. This was evident from reports in mainstream media and social network.

Mr Geoffrey Vaki can restore pride and comradeship in police force by taking a step out of PO’s shadow and listen to what courts, church leaders, senior citizens, students and public are saying about PO’s actions.

There needs to be neutral and impartial stand taken by Vaki now. This will not only save his reputation, but also protect the office of the Police Commissioner.

WARNING: 3 things the Police Commissioner, Geoffrey Vaki, should take note:

1. Task Force Sweep was reinstated. The investigation, its finding (Sam Koim and Miviri’s affidavits) and Warrant of Arrest of Peter O’Neill are valid and current. He does not have an option. He must commission the right officers to arrest and question Peter O’Neill.

2. Police have what’s called the ‘Institution Muscle’. When commenting on political plots and strategies to protect one man the Police Association general secretary used the word ‘muscle’ – such word must not be taken lightly by the Police Commissioner, especially when it comes from the Police Association, made by senior police representative. 

Here, he is implying that the police commissioner has to do what is best to protect the integrity of the Police Force. Anything seems contrary can result in the police union taking a tough stand against it.

3. Politicians do flip sides on impulse. PO said he will ‘fight to the last breath’. He was on the back foot again the other day withdrawing all court proceedings. Vaki, has to put his thinking hat on. He is a learnt person. He will not want to be PO’s toilet tissue (to wipe his stinky poo and flush it down the toilet).

PO had his chance to fight the WoA. He has made his case. He waved his rights about. He chose Waigani to be his battle field and lost (and surrendered). All along he created factions within the police, he disbanded TSF, he dismissed Sam Koim, he (through Vaki) suspended Lawyer Miviri and senior officers Eluh and Kauba.

Vaki’s Right Call: Now it is time to move the battle field to Konedobu. Vaki must lift the suspension on Miviri, Kauba and Eluh. Let these men, including Koim and TFS, carry on from where they left: Arrest Peter O’Neill and bring him in for questioning. LET THE LAW TAKE ITS COURSE

END: I'd finish with 7 Quotations From Senior Citizens About Recent Political Events You Must Know


1. HEAD OF THE ANGLICAN CHURCH 

"If the Prime Minister, Peter O’Neill had submitted to the rule of law, his innocence would have been proven three weeks ago. But instead he had engaged his lawyers – to stay the warrant of arrest,’’[Archbishop Clyde Igara]

2. POLICE ASSOCIATION GENERAL SECRETARY

"It is politicians that have created this unnecessary misdemeanour. They are cherry pickers who are here today and gone tomorrow. The police force is here to stay and police officers will give a lifetime upholding the rule of law and the constitution." [Clemence Kanau]


3. POLICE ASSOCIATION GENERAL SECRETARY 

"He should shut his mouth and swallow his temporary pride," Mr Kanau said of Mr Isikiel when he referred to officers investigating O’Neill as ‘rogue cops’.


4. SACKED ATTORNEY GENERAL 

Police Commissioner Geoffrey Vaki now has no legal discretion but to arrest Prime Minister Peter O’Neill. [Kerenga Kua]


5. NATIONAL COURT JUDGE 

"I find this submission to be speculative and without proper evidentiary basis,” Judge Ere Kariko said when refusing submissions by the prime minister’s lawyer regarding a "rift" in the ranks of the police force.

6. CHIEF MAGISTRATE - DISTRICT COURT 

"Courts can only interfere when there is a clear case of abuse," [Nerrie Eliakim explanation on Vaki’s application to discontinue warrant of arrest on Peter O’Neill]


7. CHAIRMAN – TASK FORCE SWEEP "When our leaders raised wild allegations and branded us as politically compromised, I did not respond because that would be seen as self preservation. I waited for the competent authority to vindicate us which the court had done." [Sam Koim ]

Members of Parliament Implicated on Corruption Charges - Stats: 3 Convicted, 7 Referred by OC, 8 Arrested and 1 Evaded Arrest

Leadership Tribunals will test evidence submitted by OC
[Google Images]

UPDATED 13.04.2015



MP's AT COURT
- Nearly 30% of all Ministers (& Vice Ministers) running PNG are at court
- Nearly 20% of all MP's in PNG's 9th parliament are at court

List of MPs (20/108 or 19%) in 9th parliament at court:

So far the following Members of Parliament have been refereed by OC:

1. Hon. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill - Ialibu Pangia (NEC) [PNC]
2. Hon. Ben Micah - Kavieng (NEC) [PPP]
3. Hon. Deliha Gore - Soho (NEC) [PNC]
4. Hon. Boka Kondra - North Fly (NEC) [PNC]
5. Hon. Ronny Knight - Manus [N.G]
6. Hon. Sir Puka Temu - Abau (NEC) [O.D]
7. Hon. James Lagea - Kagua Erave (Vice Minister)
8. Hon. Patrick Pruaitch - Aitape-Lumi (NEC) [NA]
9. Hon. Francis Awesa - Imbonngu (NEC) [PNC]
10. Hon. Belden Namah - Vanimo Green [PNG]

Several MPs have been implicated in corruption/bribery cases (apart from Peter O'Neill-listed above, where no arrest was made) include the following:

11. Paul Tiensten - Pomio, jailed, new elections being held
12. Hon. Francis Potape-Komo-Margarima, jailed, pend appeal [PNC]
13. Hon. Havila Kavo - Gulf, bailed, pend appeal [PUA]
14. Hon. John Simon - Maprick, bailed, case pending [NA]
15. Hon. Gordon Wesley - Samarai, (bribery), sacked, pend appeal [PNC]
16. Hon. Ati Wobiro - Western, bailed, case pending [PNC]
17. Hon. John Hickey - Bogia, bailed, case pending [NA]
18. Hon. Don Poyle-Kandep, parakagate pending (NEC at time) [THE]
19. Hon. Jame Marape-Tari, parakagate pending (NEC) [PNC]
20. Hon. Anton Yagama-Usino (contempt), bailed, pend appeal [URP]

Election petition cases pending court determination:

# Hon. Don Poyle - Kandep, election petition pending
# Hon. Nixon Duban-Madang, election petition pending
# Hon. Paias Wingti - WHP, election petition pending
# Hon. Amkat Mai, WSP, ousted, new elections
# Hon. Powes Parkop, election petition pending
# Hon. David Arore, Ijivitari, election petition pending

Note:111 total seats less Goilala Open, West Sepik Open & Pomio makes 108

This was the earlier post...


17% (19/111) of all MPs in 9th parliament implicated in corruption charges

So far the following Members of Parliament have been refereed by OC:

 1. Hon. Prime Minister Peter O'Neill - Ialibu Pangia
 2. Hon. Ben Micah - Kavieng
 3. Hon. Deliha Gore - Soho
 4. Hon. Boka Kondra - North Fly
 5. Hon. Ronny Knight - Manus 
 6. Hon. Sir Puka Temu - Abau 
 7. Hon. James Lagea - Kagua Erave
 8. Hon. Patrick Pruaitch - Aitape-Lumi
 9. Hon. Francis Awesa - Imbonngu


3 MPs have been convicted of corruption:

 10. Paul Tiensten - Pomio, convicted & jailed, new elections being held
 11. Hon. Francis Potape - Komo-Margarima, convicted and jailed, appeal pending
 12. Hon. Havila Kavo - Gulf, convicted, jailed and bailed, appeal pending

7 MPs have been implicated in corruption/bribery cases (apart from Peter O'Neill, where no arrest was made) include the following:

 13. Hon. John Simon - Maprick, bailed, case pending
 14. Hon. Gordon Wesley - Samarai, (bribery), sacked, appeal pending
 15. Hon. Ati Wobiro - Western, bailed, case pending
 16. Hon. John Hickey - Bogia, bailed, case pending
 17. Hon. Don Poyle - Kandep, paraka gate, case stalled
 18. Hon. Jame Marape, Tari, paraka gate, case stalled
 19. Hon. Anton Yagama - Usino, (contempt), bailed, pending appeal

5 Election petition cases pending:

 1. Hon. Don Poyle - Kandep, election petition pending 
 2. Hon. Nixon Duban-Madang, election petition pending 
 3. Hon. Paias Wingti - WHP, election petition pending
 4. Hon. Amkat Mai, WSP, Ousted, election petition appeal pending
 5. Hon. Powes Parkop, election petition pending

PNG Govt Cash Strapped: Will Peter O'Neill Government Sell State Owned Assets?

O'Neill's government borrowed heavily thinking that LNG price would be steady at US$50,000,000 per shipment. 

Apparently LNG can not and will not rescue the country at this trying time when the Oil Price is at a low $45US (from a high of $100US 10 months ago). 

Signs of cash shortfall in government's coffers were obvious since last quarter of financial year 2014. Chief Secretary, Sir Manase Zurenouc, circular to department heads was indicative of a government running on flat tyres. 

He said

''As you [department heads] may be aware there has been a tightening of the Government's fiscal  situation in 2014. There are several factors involved including a decline in tax revenues due to falls in some key commodity prices [of which oil price is one].

Owing to these pressures on the national budget, some adjustments on the agency budgets will be necessary to bring down aggregate government expenditure to a level that maintains the 2014 Budget deficit at or below 5.9% of GDP and ensures that total debt to GDP ratio does not exceed 35%.''

He continued, reiterating the urgency:

''As we at the late stage of the year [2014] actions to curtail spending needs to be immediate if it is to be effective. Effectively, I have directed the Secretary for Treasury to cease all warrant releases (except for personal emoluments) effective immediately.''

The fact is that PNG government has made commitments to host international events like the South Pacific Games and APEC Summit. Preparations are worth millions of US dollars.

Internally, there are urgent spending needed to be made to ensure schools do not close. Government has pending cases worth millions of Kina at national and supreme courts. 

So, here we are - where else can the govt get its revenue to fund a K1.5 billion SP games or K506 million free education policy or fight every case that is pending in the national and supreme courts? 

Take a look at this post by Bryan Kramer on PNG's favorite social media discussion site, Sharp Talk 

IS PNG GOVERNMENT RUNNING OUT OF CASH??

I have been tracking this issue for sometime since September 2014 when a number of service providers made known their Government Cheques were bouncing. 

I started to make inquires with my contacts in the Treasury and Finance Departments to confirm whether there was any truth in it.

Sadly the feed back was the Government had no funds and the Department officials were given instructions to go out and look for money. While many have been praising our Government for achieving so much people failed to put thought to where all this money was coming from or whether we could afford to be spending it all. 

In December 2014 the Government failed to pay for the teachers leave pay. Opposition Leader Don Polye published it was because the Government had mismanaged the Country's funds. 

Polye challenged Prime Minister to admit to the nation that the Government has run out of cash.

“There’s no money in the system, the private sector is under stress, there’s liquidity in PNG’s small domestic economy,” he said in Port Moresby yesterday.

“The Government cannot easily raise funds for its securities like the Treasury inscribed stock and the Treasury Bills.

“No wonder I see the public service and other important and fundamental systems of service now running out of money.” (extract pngfacts)

One would expect the former Treasurer to know what he is talking about if anyone would know he would, having full knowledge of the departments workings and contacts within the system. 

My own sources also confirmed the Government is literally broke. International lenders are no longer prepared to give PNG any more loans. What money coming in is committed to South Pacific Games K30m a week and free education policy. Other than that there is no money, Provincial Government and Districts are yet to receive their grants for 2015 because there is nothing to give. Not until company tax receipts start coming after 31st March 2015. 

So one is left to ask what happens when an organisation runs out of money, closed off from securing borrowed funds? The answer is it starts selling off its assets at fire sale (cheap) prices.

It seems the PNG Power state of emergency was all about priming it for sale. Prime Minister recently announced it planned to sell off half of Air Niugini. How many more of PNG people's assets will be sold no one knows. Last time PNC held government the countries' economy spiralled out of control we were forced to sell off PNGBC to BSP and Oregon Minerals to Oil Search. The country lost 100's of millions in assets that are now probably worth billions. 

When Queensland Liberal Government took over from Labour it proposed to sell of its State assets (utilities, power, ports etc) to reduce its debt and deficit. This didn't go down well with the Queensland voting public who weren't prepared to sell off their future to foreign nationals. At the last State election the State Premier including his entire Government were voted out for even proposing it. 

Will PNG allow our state assets to be sold off to compensate for the Governments reckless spending on inflated contracts all while politicians get filthy rich and everybody else ends up poorer for it.

One must understand every time million kina state assets are sold the middle man makes a bag of money all while hard working Papua New Gineans lose their job, kicked out of their accommodation and 30 years of service amounting to nothing all at the expense of overweight politicians.

 The net effect of selling off the people's assets are prices go up people pay more. Makes one wander whether K1.5b spent on our games was such a smart idea maybe such funds should have been expended to fix our state enterprises and health system.

Papua New Guinea National Education Act 1983 Review, Education System Fit For The Country And Its People

Commentary

Papua New Guinea National Education Act 1983 review cannot come at the right time. The education department has to be complimented for reviewing the Act. 

Sections of the Act needed thorough scrutiny and update. Take a look at one example here - Section 4 on Objects of the National Education System:

'(1) (b) to develop and encourage the development of a system of education fitted to the requirements of the country and its people'  


In fact the country's requirements are different after 40 years. Population was not over 7 million in the years leading up to 1983. Government policies on national and local education provisions were not the same compared to yester-years. Many policies have changed like tuition free fee policy and education reforms. Economy is expanding. Literacy rate is low. Skills shortage is a concern. 

Inevitably, how can NDoE and National Education Board strike a balance in this Review? How can NDoE and NEB make sure this Act of parliament meets country's requirements and the needs of its people?


The Act is a legal framework that gives substance to the whole education system - it holds every sections within the education system like a skeleton is to the body. There is urgent need to update the National Education Act 1983. It must be done promptly and thoroughly.

Perhaps it is important this review takes into account changes that are taking (have taken) place since education reforms of the early 1990s. This includes considering the high number of dropouts, curriculum changes, structural changes, increasing population, changing government policies and everything that would make education fit for all.

Another point worth mentioning is correlation between Ganim Report and Review of Education Act. The report's 12 recommendations have direct bearing on Functions of National Department of Education and Teachers Service Commission (Section 29 of the Act).

It is only proper that the National Education Board considers this review urgent. NEB must analyse draft by May. NDoE, NEB and Education Minister must aim to see the act passed by Parliament before the year ends. This review has to take precedence among other changes. 




BY SHIRLYN BELDEN [Post Courier 26/02/2015]

THE Education Department expects to have the first draft of the Education Act review handed over to the national education board by May this year, Secretary Michael Tapo has confirmed.

"The review will be given to the board after we’ve checked all pros and cons.

"The full process to obtain complete legal status for the reviewed Education Act before it’s a law, or before it can be debated in Parliament, is not yet clear," Mr Tapo said.

The legislation was created in 1983 and had been used by the department since.

Works on the review started last year with four regional consultations already carried out with assistance from the Law Reform Commission and various government departments.

Mr Tapo said the Education Department was working with partners and stakeholders to complete consultations and draft documentations.

The reviewed act will then go to the national education board, which is the agency in charge of education system.

He said the department has planned to complete all works on the review draft by the end of this year so it can be presented to Parliament.

Mr Tapo said review of the 1983 Act has been a long standing issue, which the department has been contemplating on carrying out to provide a well challenged, quality and improved education system and structure for Papua New Guinea.

"We have to review the Act as the country is maturing, we need to develop education laws to the current demand and context of our society and circumstances. We need more qualified teachers.

"The school system has changed, a lot of people and organisations now want to build new schools, therefore, in order to administer and manage education efficiently, we need to understand that," he said.

Mr Tapo said the review was timely because the demand, expectations and context on how to administer education in the country have changed, giving the need to cater for these changes.

5 Educational Strategies Needed Urgent Attention In Papua New Guinea - Where Are The Details?

The academic year 2015 started. Talks about change in Education structure and curriculum have taken a back seat. So, what is the latest development? Well nothing much is happening: there is no news on National Education Plan 2015 – 2024 yet; not much has been said about 2-6-6 structural change; Education Department has not released weekly update on Standard Based Curriculum it promised. Everything seemed to have come to a standstill.

Ideally, NEP 2015 – 2024 would have come out by now. But this plan remains to be seen. Is there anything done about it? No one knows yet.

Education Minister responded to questions in the first parliament sitting 2015 that structural change (2-6-6) will take effect next year. There is very little information about how the change will take place. No doubt this change will require adjustment to ‘transitional stages’. By this I mean, transition from 2 to 6 (Grade 2 – 3) and 6 to 6 (Grade 8 – 9).

Adjustment to the current structure must take place for 2-6-6 structural change to work. It sounds too good: 2 years of elementary, 6 years of primary and 6 years of secondary. But, wait a minute?

What would become of the current elementary schools? What would happen to primary schools with their Grades 7 and 8? How would secondary schools cope with Grades 7,8,9,10,11 and 12?

Where does Standard Based Education factor in all these changes? At what stage do students sit examinations? What are the examination subjects? What key learning objectives are tested? What is needed now is DETAIL. Where is the detail?

There are more questions to ask then answers. Papua New Guinean schools are halfway into term 1 and yet rest of the year is shrouded in anticipation – anticipation for a clear plan for a better education system.

Someone, somewhere has to take the lead. Unfortunately, the onus is on leaders in Education Department. They should try harder to get the changes right the first time. NDoE secretary and Education Minister have to take a proactive role. They must address these issues urgently, today.

1: Publish national education plan for the next 10 years
2: Give details of the structural changes
3: Give details of the Standard Based Curriculum
4: Identify examination years and give details of examined subjects

5: Clearly explain what would happen to National High Schools (Schools of Excellence) and at Primary and Secondary schools.