Agwi denies report of defence force involvement

National, Normal

The National, Tuesday 13th December 2011

PAPUA New Guinea Defence Force commander Brig-Gen Francis Agwi has rejected a newspaper report that two senior officers based in Wewak were brought to Port Moresby by opposition MPs to help in a police function.
“That is totally without foundation,” Agwi said.
“I can confirm that last Thursday, the unit CO and RSM travelled to Port Moresby.
“They came to attend the commander’s Christmas parade as did senior representatives from other outlying PNGDF units,” he said. 
“It is customary for unit representatives to attend important ceremonial events at HQ.  
“The conjecture that I was not aware of the movement of senior PNGDF personnel, and that accordingly the command and control of the force is breaking down, is entirely erroneous.
“It was reported that the two Wewak personnel travelled to Port Moresby on an aircraft chartered by the opposition, indicating that they are a political
“That is a mistruth. The CO and RSM of the unit travelled to Port Moresby on the routine PX125 schedule,” he said.
“I have sighted their boarding passes.
“Regrettably, there are some in the community who, from time to time, try to use the PNGDF to advance their own agendas, and I am constantly reminding my officers about how easily their routine actions can be exploited and misinterpreted, and that they must therefore demonstrate much care and restraint.
“However, the media must show care and restraint,” he said.
 “At a time when there are such key issues in front of the nation’s institutions, responsible and truthful media reporting is vital.”