On alert: Police inspect the site of a low-intensity explosion on Thursday in front of the home of Golkar Party politician Marthinus Werimon in Jayapura, Papua. Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw (center), Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tober Sirait (left) and Papua Police’s Brigade Corps chief Sr. Comr. Mathius Fachiri (right) attended the scene.(JP/Nethy Dharma Somba)
In the first case of violence in this election season, the house of a Golkar party politician in Jayapura, Papua, was attacked with a low explosive on Thursday, damaging the fence and breaking the windows of his car.
The attack on the house of Golkar’s acting secretary for the Papua chapter, Marthinus Werimon, was believed to have been connected with an internal conflict within the party, particularly in relation to the upcoming mayoral election.
Although no fatalities were reported in the incident, the explosion at 2 a.m. awakened people in the neighborhood.
“I was surprised. It was a big explosion,” said Nurhayati, a neighbor who lives some 100 meters from the Golkar politician’s house where the explosion took place.
The explosives were allegedly planted on the site by two people riding a motorcycle.
Marthen Tenu, a security guard working for a house located some 50 meters from the crime scene, said before the explosion he saw two people on a motorbike stop in front of Werimon’s house.
“A moment later the explosion was heard and the two sped up on their motorcycle, leaving the house,” Marthen said.
Separately, Werimon said before the explosion occurred, he had received a death threat ahead of the regional election.
“The threats were voiced out even more loudly when the Golkar Party clarified its support for a particular candidate in the upcoming mayoral election,” he said in Jayapura on Thursday.
It was reported earlier that Golkar had reported to the Elections Supervisory Committee (Panwas) the party’s two pairs of nominees, namely Abisai Rollo-Dipo Wibowo (Abdi) and Benhur Tommy Mano (BTM) Haji Rustan Saru (Harus), for the Feb. 15 elections.
Werimon was there at the forum as a witness.
During a verification session at the city’s General Elections Commission (KPUD), the Golkar Party however stated it officially nominated BTM-Harus and annulled its previous nomination of Abdi.
Abdi immediately protested Golkar’s new stance and reported the party to Panwas.
Werimon said the party’s nomination for Abdi was issued on June 2, while that for BTM-Harus was issued on Sept. 8.
“The central executive board has issued a letter stating that Golkar’s nomination goes for BTM-Harus,” Werimon said.
Meanwhile, Papua Police chief Insp. Gen. Paulus Waterpauw said he could not yet confirm that the attack had something to do with the upcoming regional election.
“We cannot yet conclude so because we have yet to find the perpetrators. We are focused on finding them,” he said.
Yet, he confirmed that Jayapura was among the regions considered as prone to election conflicts.
Jayapura Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Tober Sirait said he would tighten the security for the city election commissioners, mayoral candidate pairs and local political party leaders.
Jayapura is among the 11 cities/regencies in Papua to have a regional election slated for February 2017. Three candidate pairs will contend in the mayoral race. They are Abdi, BTM-Harus and Boy Markus Dawir-Nur Alam.
Meanwhile, the explosive, locally known as dopis or fish explosive, did not have any material inside. The flakes found on the explosion site were from an iron pipe.
“We cannot call this a bomb because it did not have any material in it,” said the Papua police’s mobile brigade commander Sr. Com. Mathius Fachiri.
He said it was the explosive that caused the pipe to break into pieces that in turn shattered glass from the car and destroyed the gate.
Such an explosive, he said, is usually used for blast fishing.
2) PNG-Indonesia Maritime Border Security in need of boats
Defence officers have caught an Indonesian boat carrying illegal firearms into Vanimo, West Sepik Province.
Pictures of the weapons supplied by a MiRpota in Vanimo showed what appeared to be a homemade weapon. They were found in the possession of two crew members on the vessel.
Instances of illegal arms smuggling along the PNG-Indonesia border are common with the PNGDF unable to adequately contain the problem.
Executive Chairman of the Papua New Guinea Border Development Authority, Fred Konga told EMTV MiRipot that one of their biggest challenge is stemming the flow of illegal crossings along the maritime border.
He said , that illegal crossings are usually at night by boat.
The Government under a K100 million funding from the Asian Development Bank will open a processing facility in December. The building will house the Papua New Guinea Customs Agency and the National Agriculture and Quarantine Inspection Authority officers.
He also said that Defence officers will have on-site accommodation at the Wutung Border. The camp site will cater for 20 soldiers.