Police promotions ‘in order’

The recent promotions announced by Police Commissioner Gari Baki are proper and in order, says Deputy Police Commissioner and Chief of Administration, Raphael Huafolo.

His statement follows the promotion of eight police officers to various ranks and positions within the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary on June 17th.

Deputy Commissioner Huafolo said the principles to apply to transfers and promotions is clearly governed by Section 48(2)(c) of the Police Act which “allow at all times the Commissioner the discretion to transfer any member to any location where the exigencies of the service so require”.

“Further, the Commissioner of Police, in exercising wider powers under Section 198 of the Constitution, has the judicial discretion under the Police Act 1998 to promote and appoint persons to positions in the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary where there is a demand for the services required.

“The powers of the Police Commissioner under the Constitution and the Police Act 1998 do not undermine the functions of the Police Promotions Board, but allow the Commissioner the discretion to make promotions and transfers should there be a need,” Deputy Commissioner Huafolo stated.

Huafolo said all the recent promotions have met requirements. Further, these were merit based appointments and filled a vacuum in the various police command structures.

Huafolo said of the following:

  • Samson Kua was appointed Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police and Commander Border, a position he held for four years until his promotion;
  • Joe Poma was acting Assistant Commissioner Traffic for close to two years. Further, he has been a chief superintendent of police for close to 15 years;
  • Hodges Ette was acting Assistant Commissioner Crimes for over a year and was promoted and appointed to the position. Hodges has been a chief superintendent for close to 15 years as well;
  • Peter Philip held the rank of Superintendent and was Commandant of the Police College, which is a Chief Superintendent position. He has performed well and to expectations and was simply promoted to the rank required for the position;
  • Paul Nii is a contract officer. He has a masters of law degree specialising in Criminal Law and was acting director Legal for over a  year prior to his promotions to Chief Superintendent and confirmed as the Principal Legal Officer for Police;
  • Philip Mitna is the only police officer with a PhD and is currently Director of Research and Planning. His elevation to chief superintendent reflects his academic achievements;
  • Francis Aigilo was contracted as legal officer and performed exceptionally well as the principal legal office for the Joint Security Task Force for APEC 2018. When a vacancy existed for the Senior Legal Officer position, he was appointed and again performed exceptionally well for over a year. His confirmation to the positon and promotion to Superintendent was only natural;
  • Apollos Terry was promoted to Inspector to enable him with powers and authority to carry on a very important tasking given by the Police Commissioner. Due to widespread complaints of police misconduct, police abuse, police brutality and police corruption within the NCD, the Police Commissioner established the Policing the Police Task Force Team with Apollos Terry as its leader. Within a year the PPTFT made a total of 260 arrests. Of that number 60 of them are policemen, 38 of whom have been committed to stand trial for various crimes committed, eight sentenced to prison for various terms and about 14 currently being processed.

“The Commissioner was within his powers to make the recent promotions which, as I have stated, are more than justified. Furthermore, the promotion was proper and in order. The Police Top Management, which I am a member of, are in total support of the Police Commissioner’s decision which is final,” Deputy Commissioner Huafolo said.

He added that due to the hosting of APEC 2018, the RPNGC was not able to call for promotions and convene a Police Promotions Board Meeting last year.

The Constabulary is now in the process of convening a Police Promotions Board Meeting to consider applications for promotions for 2018 and 2019.

(Chief Inspector Francis Aigilo being conferred the rank of Superintendent by Police Minister Bryan Kramer)

Press release