by PAUL AMATIO
PART TWO – This National Gazette G279 dated 04th May 2021 titled Abolishment of the Department of Police and the Office of the Secretary for Police was signed into effect by the Governor General. This is the second part of my views on why this is a disastrous move for this country.
The Court Cases
The decision and action by the NEC is highly suspicious and questionable and it raises a question on the role the judiciary have played in all this.
We have always looked to our judiciary as the last bastion of hope. But over the last several years, these hopes have been sorely tested.
The Kandep Election Recount was prolonged for so long, that it was finally determined on the eve of the next general election.
The Supreme Court Reference filed by Namah on the constitutionality of the Pandemic Act seems to have been forgotten!
Now the case of Manning’s appeal against the Judicial Review decision is following the same track. These are just a few of the many cases of National Interest that appear to be subject to continuous delays.
The Manning Appeal was filed several months ago and yet no date has been set for it to be heard. The saying that “Justice delayed is Justice denied” has never been truer than is happening in this country right now!
If we backtrack a bit and revisit the outcome of the National Court Judicial Review on the appointment of David Manning as Commissioner for police and secretary for the department of police, the court rules the appointment to be illegal and accordingly quashed that appointment.
Following this decision, Manning and company decided to file an appeal against the outcome. And they obtained a stay order against the decision allowing Manning to remain in office pending determination of the appeal.
The judiciary surely needs to come out now and tell us when this appeal will be heard as Mr Manning is holding on to the position because of a stay order obtained on the back of the appeal.
How are justice and the national interest being served here by this prolonged delay? There are too many cases of national importance and interest that seem to have been filed away in the catacombs of the Waigani Courts until they become either useless or passed by events.
And now that key elements of the grounds for appeal have been legislated away, I suspect this means that the appeal itself is invalid in law and must be thrown out meaning the decision of the national court should be enforced. Or will we see another appeal again?
What are the benefits of this change?
James Marape & Co needs to explain if this change will alleviate any of these issues. They must explain to PNG how these changes will benefit PNG and the men and women of the RPNGC and the civilian staff in the former Department of Police.
What will happen to these civilian staff now?
What plans are there for this sudden and drastic move as there are several pieces of legislation, procedures and processes that have to be amended now?
Has the government effectively legislated Manning out of a job? Remember the advertisement was for Commissioner of Police and Secretary for Department of Police.
The NEC decision of 4 May to abolish the department and position of Secretary now makes Manning’s current position as COP illegal. He has been operating illegally as COP since 4 May. He has no authority to be COP. He can’t give lawful orders to the rank and file. He was appointed to COP and Secretary in one appointment. He held 2 positions which weren’t separate. He cannot now only be COP. He has no instrument of lawful appointment.
NEC needs to revoke the NEC or sideline Manning and appoint an acting COP until the legalities are sorted out.
As one of the grounds of the Supreme Court Appeal filed by Manning et al., is the question of the two positions (secretary and commissioner), what will happen to the appeal now? Legal opinion seems to be that the appeal has been dismissed by having been overtaken by events and legislative change which effectively changes the grounds for the appeal.
Here I have paraphrased the words of Bryan Kramer which was openly posted on Facebook in Paitim Garamut by himself. I have always maintained he is a liar and conman. Now his words in this matter just further confirm this truth that many are too blind or refuse to see. If you still disbelieve after this, please go to Madang town and see the state of this once “Pearl of the Pacific”.
Kramer’s assertion that “…position of Secretary of Police, … does not exist in law both in the Constitution or the Police Act” is a lie. The position is specifically mentioned in the Police Force Act Chap 65 which although repealed is intact under the carry on provisions of the law.
“The advice to revoke the 1976 Gazette was based on the National Courts own judgement.” Is a very clever twist of words which effectively passes the blame for this act to the Courts.
How smart! The Court did not make the legislative changes. It was a recommendation or side comment only. The NEC through Kramer decided to take it as justification without thinking it through.
“Now that the Court has made a ruling this issue is no longer before the Court so nothing stops NEC acting on the Courts advice.” This is a clear lie. The ruling that the court made is still before the courts through the appeal that Kramer was a party to. Why is he lying here?
And again: “The decision by NEC to appoint COP is no longer being challenged in the Courts. Supreme Court is now hearing the appeal against the National Court ruling.”
The decision by the NEC is the very thing that is being appealed in the Supreme Court.
If not, then why did Manning get a stay order? And why the appeal at all? The appeal in and of itself means that you are challenging the finding of the courts that Manning was in office illegally.
Which means you are in fact challenging the question of illegality of appointment based on the facts and law as identified and determined in the National Court! If the decision of the NEC was no longer being challenged, why are you appealing?
The very and mere fact of the appeal itself automatically means the challenge is very much active and alive. If Kramer disagrees with this, he should tell us what the outcome would be if the appeal is upheld? Would the NEC decision then hold or not?
Please stop trying to brainwash us Kramer. We’ve had enough of your lies and fact twisting.