Agiru: Constitution and laws paramount

Main Stories, National

The National, Monday 30th January 2012

THE Constitution and the laws of this country must remain paramount, Southern Highlands Governor Anderson Agiru said.
“The Constitution of PNG, in section 99, sets out the separation of powers of the three arms of government – the legislature, executive and the judiciary.”
Agiru said the legislature was vested with powers to enact laws “which are lawful and consistent with the Constitution, the executive is responsible for implementing and applying the law and
the judiciary is responsible for interpreting and enforcing law”.
“The powers to interpret, direct, order and enforce law are placed with the judiciary, under section 19 (2) and in section 155 (4) of the Constitution,” Agiru said.
“The judiciary last Dec 12 handed down its decision following events commencing on Aug 2 last year.
“The Royal PNG Constabulary, an organ of the executive, whose primary role is to implement court orders, failed to apply and respect the judiciary’s orders based on constitutional law.
“Such a situation occurs when one arm of government interferes with the other’s democratic processes,” Agiru said.
“The Supreme Court restored government lawfully exercised its executive powers by taking a number of decisions such as the suspension and the appointment of heads of several government departments.
“Those affected had undermined the Supreme Court orders.
“Chief among these decisions is the suspension of Brig-Gen Francis Agwi.”
Agiru said Agwi had knowingly and unprecedentedly disobeyed Supreme Court orders and paraded his top military officers in the media, taking sides in domestic politics and, therefore, compromising the impartiality of the Defence Force.
“The government of Sir Michael Somare recalled
and appointed Col Yaura Sasa (retired), a former soldier
with impeccable military credentials as the
new brigadier-general.
“He was nearing 60 years of age. He took office last week.
“If the constabulary fails to implement court orders, illegality will grow and
destroy this country,” Agiru said.
“Militaries of the world have intervened to restore the rule of law, restore the independence of the judiciary and protect their constitutions. Australians, Americans and the British, with NATO, have been doing just that to make democracy reign and destroy tyranny and dictatorship.
“God Almighty has given us a great country.
“The actions of a few today must not destroy it. I challenge those aggrieved to go to court, just as Sir Michael did, to assert their legitimacy,” Agiru said.