By JULIA DAIA BORE
THE Transparency International-PNG (TIPNG) yesterday called on the Prime Minister and his Cabinet to immediately review the protection provided for our key constitutional offices holders.
Chairman of TIPNG Peter Aitsi made this call while expressing grave concerns about the attempt on the life of the Chief Ombudsman last Friday.
“This incident clearly demonstrates the high stakes that are linked to corruption; agencies such as the Ombudsman Commission have now become targets for these criminals who make a living off stealing from the public purse,” Mr Aitsi said.
As described by the Chief Ombudsman, the attack appeared to be a well-planned attempt to assassinate him.
“Our fear is that we are now seeing brazenness from these corrupt criminals who will go to any lengths, including murder to protect their activities.
“Thankfully, our Chief Ombudsman was not fatally wounded,” he said.
He added that protection for PNG’s constitutional offices holders was vital because we need to provide increased security in order for them to carry out their constitutional duties without harassment or intimidation.
“In a broader sense, this incident also demonstrates the continued decline in our general law and order situation.
“These sophisticated gangs are clearly operating beyond the reach of interest of our Police force,” Mr Aitsi said.
His concerns were also echoed by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Trade and Immigration, Sam Abal, who also called on the police commissioner to act on this incident relating to the attempted murder on Mr Manek.
“It is not a custom of the people of PNG to attack people who are doing good (in a community). All leaders should condemn this action which I consider to be against PNG,” he said.
Mr Abal said leaders such as Mr Manek were in very trying positions and performing for the good of our country, including both the big and little people.
“We are a developing country and we cannot shatter the formation and the strengthening of the development of those vital institutions like the Ombudsman Commission. I am sure many Papua New Guineans are alarmed at this and I call on such people not to spoil this country with such animalistic actions,” Mr Abal said.