Former Papua New Guinea Defence Force commander Commodore Peter Ilau has appealed to the media to get both sides of the story.
He was referring to allegations in The National that he emptied Flagstaff House – official residence of the PNGDF Commander – of all its contents as well as was holding on to the official commander’s vehicle.
Commodore Ilau said he was bewildered that a former PNGDF commander, Maj Gen Jerry Singirok (ret), was leading the attack against him and feeding “rubbish” to the media when he was no longer a soldier.
He said any more unsubstantiated allegations against him would end up in court.
“I wish to appeal to the media, but more so to the press in particular, to please respect my 34 years of service and eight long years as commander PNGDF through an extremely difficult time,” Commodore Ilau said.
“My family and I persevered a long period of change in a complex organisation.
“It is not fair to my family to continue to suffer on my behalf.
“We have suffered enough of that rubbish during my term as commander PNGDF.
“I thought that reputable service organisations like the press would double check information, seek opinions from both sides of the story before printing.
“I am extremely disappointed.
“My reputation and credibility has been tarnished because of rubbish.”
Commodore Ilau said during his handover takeover speech in January this year, he promised officers that he would remain loyal to the PNGDF and would never comment against it; however, he now had to turn back on this.
“For this report (in The National), I have no choice but to ensure I clear my good name, because others in the appropriate position failed to correct the reporting as expected,” he said.
“I just want my privacy respected, and my family left alone.
“Even if I get paid by PNGDF, at least please leave us alone.
“This is the last time I will comment on this matter.
“Any future commentaries on me and my family, they will explain in court.”
Commodore Ilau said of Gen Singirok: “All I can say is that everything he’s saying is totally misleading.
“I don’t know where he got his information from.
“He’s claiming that he has inside sources within the PNGDF.
“Even then, this is a matter for the commander and his staff.
“He (Gen Singirok) wants to take military matters into his own hands when he’s no longer a soldier.
“He should hesitate is making statements like this which can be taken to court.”