DEFENCE Minister Bob Dadae has reiterated the Defence Council’s decision to put on hold all promotions and changes in the PNG Defence Force until a new commander is appointed by the National Executive Council.
“The Defence Council has made a decision that all promotions be kept on hold until a new commander is appointed,” Mr Dadae said yesterday.
He said report in The National yesterday reflected what had transpired in the Defence Council meeting.
Mr Dadae said the issue was a sensitive one and he would wait for Commodore Peter Ilau, who is currently overseas, to return to get a better perspective of what had happened.
“I am a political person there at the Defence Force but will seek advice before making comments,” Mr Dadae said.
“In such situations, it is only proper that the three-member Defence Council sits to discuss the issue,” he added.
Mr Dadae is the chairman of the Defence Council, which also comprises Defence secretary Fred Punangi and Commodore Ilau.
“At this stage, I cannot say whether what the commander did was right or wrong,” Mr Dadae said.
The minister, however, said the council had made it clear in its last meeting that there were to be no changes until NEC had made a decision on the commander’s post.
The matter came up after changes were made over the weekend where a parade was held to farewell Lt-Col Siale Diro as commanding officer of Taurama Barracks, who now moves to Defence headquarters to be director of land operations.
Replacing him at Taurama Barracks is Major Emmanuel Todick.
It is understood that Major Todick was promoted from Major to Lt-Colonel to take up the post.
Mr Dadae said all promotions from Major to Lt-Colonel must come from the Defence Council.
He said the NEC only appointed colonels.
The Defence Minister said he could not confirm whether this was a movement of staff within the force or a promotion was made from Major to Lt-Colonel.
“I am not sure whether he (Major Todick) is a Lt-Colonel or a Major. The Defence Council decision is all posts are put on hold until a new commander is confirmed,” Mr Dadae said.
He declined to comment on what was now a matter before the NEC.