Around 300 CS officers on site during rampage

It is alleged that around 300 Correctional Services officers were within the premises of the Parliament during the rampage on Tuesday.

In a press briefing today, Acting CS Commissioner, Stephen Pokanis, revealed that each institution (PNGDF, police and CS) has been tasked to conduct an internal investigation and inform the Government on actions taken.

Pokanis said a meeting was conducted with CS officers on Wednesday, where remorse was shown and weapons returned back to the armoury.

“What actually happened at the Parliament House is something that an independent investigation will have to determine,” stated the Acting CS Commissioner.

“And for a Correctional officer, or any member of a disciplined force, to enter the Parliament House without approval, is an offence.

“It is a very serious matter and we have to look at it diligently, due process has to take place so that we know that what we are doing fits the alleged offence that the Correctional officers have committed.

“So Deputy Commissioner Operations, Dennis Piandi, is taking lead on that. He will talk to our officers and those who are alleged to have committed those offences, we will deal with them administratively.

“It does not stop here, police will have to continue to do an independent investigation on this.”

Pokanis said though the officers concerned have shown remorse and stepped down as of November 20th, an example needs to be set.

It was further revealed that not all the Correctional officers at Parliament took part in the November 20th rampage.

Some had stepped in to prevent further damages and calm down their colleagues as well as protect the Speaker of Parliament, Job Pomat, from getting assaulted.

Meantime, Pokanis said offenders will be prosecuted under the APEC Security Act, which is still in effect until December 1st.

Though foreign security forces were granted immunity from criminal or civil prosecution, their local counterparts were not given that privilege.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Safety and Security Act 2017, Section 46 (1):

“A member of the foreign safety and security personnel shall not be held civilly liable or criminally responsible for acts or omissions carried out in accordance with Section 43 and for the purposes of this Act.”

(Members of the Joint Security Task Force who had convoyed to the Parliament regarding grievances over the non-payment of APEC allowance)

Carmella Gware