PNG force settles matter with victim they bashed

Police officer from RPNGC say sorry and present cash to the pastor
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VICTIM Maxwell Filei has reconciled with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) Defence Force personnel at Kingdom Harvest Church at Henderson yesterday.

The reconciliation saw the PNG Defence Force officers handed over food, cash and their shell money to Filei and his family.

Filei comes from Fanelei in Small Malaita and works at Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

In return, the church gave food to the army for the posting Filei made on on his Facebook page.

The post states: The PNG soldiers are getting out of control at Henderson sea side, moving without mask, drinking with women, threatening innocent families. Who is responsible?

Eyewitness said as a result of the post, the army allegedly turned up at Filei’s house at night with guns over the weekend and bashed him up with an object that resulted in a cut on his face.

Pastor Ellison Bako, who officiated the reconciliation ceremony, said they did it according to the wish of Filei because he is a church member and a harmless person.

Pr Bako said Felie just wanted to settle the issue and say “sorry” to the PNG army.

He said it was good and they appreciated it because the PNG army also lived on the same area.

“We want to bring back the community spirit.

“What we did is going to set the course on what to come behind?

“As we know PNG is very close to us and the church has a long-time relationship with families in PNG as well,” Pr Bako said.

Island Sun understand relatives of Filei have raised a formal complaint against the PNG force to the local police.

PNG forces are part of the Solomon Islands International Assistance Force led by Australia, which was requested by the government to restore law and order during the November riots in Honiara.

The alleged bashing has widely discussed and condemned on social media.

Local police say they are investigating the matter.

Meanwhile, Opposition spokesman and chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, Peter Kenilorea, has condemned the alleged action of the PNG soldiers.