While offering condolences to the family of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) marine murdered while on guard duty at Government House early Sunday morning, the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) demanded that the prime minister and other members of Cabinet further clarify what happened and explain its implications for such a public institution.
Petty Officer Philip Perpall, 52, a former United Nations peacekeeper who served with RBDF for more than 30 years, was shot to death shortly before 3 a.m. in the guard room at Mount Fitzwilliam, police confirmed yesterday.
Opposition leader Philip Brave Davis said in a press statement last night, “The prime minister must publicly state that this fatal shooting is not an attack on the state that exposes safety and security weaknesses at public institutions and public safety generally.
“Further, this attack raises serious questions about the protocols in place by the government regarding the emotional and psychological fitness of individuals who hold sensitive positions in the uniform branches of the government.
“The foreign minister should by now have given assurances overseas about the ability to secure Government House. No word from that ministry.”
Davis also said during the press conference held at the Central Detective Unit yesterday with Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel and Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson “more questions were raised than answered”.
“How was it possible to breach the security of the nation’s highest-valued property, with a weapon, kill an officer and for that individual to get clean away and depart the premises without being brought down?” Davis asked. “The Minister had no answer.”
Davis added: “We draw attention to the recent fatal stabbing incident of a student near the school campus, given the level of gang activities and retaliatory fights in the public school system.
“The PLP will continue to monitor the government’s response to this particular incident, school policing protocols and the unacceptably high levels of traffic accidents and fatalities.”