By Alfred Sasako
WONG Hook Ping – the man at the centre of alleged illegal logging of the Komarigi Reserve in East Guadalcanal – has defended the operations, saying One Pacific Company Ltd has done nothing wrong.
And yesterday, he vowed One Pacific Company Ltd would continue to log the Reserve until the felling licence expires in April 2020. One Pacific Company Ltd is a subsidiary of Gallego.
Mr Wong is a man of many hearts. His position in Gallego is sub-contractor as well as land coordinator as well as operations manager.
Yesterday he defended the logging operations.
“Our operations fully comply with the law from day one,” Wong told Island Sun in an exclusive interview yesterday afternoon.
“We followed every rule and regulation. The grant in profit for example was granted to us by the Commissioner of Lands. Based on this, the Commissioner of Forest granted us the felling licence to log the Komarigi Reserve,” Wong said yesterday.
“So I believe what I am doing today is fully legal. We went through all the processes. Where I did not know I left that to my legal advisor to advise us on what we needed to do,” he said.
Wong arrived in Solomon Islands in May, 2013.
He said it was at the time that the trustees of Mbetilonga Landholdings Community Company approached him about logging the 5,560 hectare Reserve since the Government had abandoned the hydro scheme project.
Mbetilonga Landholdings Community Company Ltd and One Pacific Company Ltd subsequently signed a Mutual Technology and Management Agreement on April 14, 2015 to log the Reserve, which is on a 75-year lease to the Government.
Meanwhile Trustee Peter Isaac told Island Sun yesterday the interest in the Reserve was even taken up with the Director of Mines at the time.
“He simply wrote back to us to say the government has no immediate plans for the Reserve and that if we satisfy other stakeholders such as the Commissioner of Lands and the Commissioner of Forest, we could proceed with our plans,” Mr Isaac said.
“So we have followed every requirement,” he said.