Vacate area before mass eviction, settlers told


SIXTH Estate Ltd managing director Philip Paguk has warned people living in Port Moresby’s Morata 1 to vacate the area before the company executes a mass eviction.
He said the company would not issue any warning after police handed out a seven-day eviction notice to more than 5,000 people in New Block in Morata last week to vacate the 60-hectare land.
“We have the title and we are issuing eviction notices to the settlers to vacate the land following the Supreme Court order of Feb 26, 2020, and we have prepared to evict them any time, whether it be in the middle of the night, early hours of the morning or even during Sabbath and Sundays,” Paguk said.
He spoke to The National after police had frozen the Supreme Court order to Sixth Estate Ltd to evict people living in the piece of land known as Portion 2733 between the University of Papua New Guinea, Gerehu Stage 3 and Morata 1 last Thursday.
Paguk said the restriction for eviction from Deputy Police Commissioner chief of operations Anton Billie was based on “legal ramifications”, but people should prepare and plan to relocate as the land was for commercial purposes.
He said the company lost a substantial amount of money after police stayed an eviction that was supposed to have begun on Monday.
Paguk said earlier that the ownership of the land was given to him in 2011 but due to numerous court battles, he did not develop the land.
“I already warned them and did awareness not to invest and develop the area but they kept on building houses and continued to live there,” he said.
“I have been paying my lease to the Government in the last 15 years and I deserve the full benefit of the ownership.”
Paguk said a contempt proceeding would be filed against police today to freeze the evictions without any basis or court order.