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Davis questions security of Government House

Opposition Leader Philip Brave Davis yesterday questioned whether there were sufficient guards on duty at Government House on Sunday morning when a defense force officer was killed in the guard room.

“There is no doubt that the security was breached, and the question we have to ask is whether or not, since this administration regime took office, whether there has been any tweaking or directives relating to the security of government premises and buildings, and in particular persons in high office, have been altered by any of their interventions…in the protection of these institutions and personnel,” he said.

“I note that it appears from the press conference and from all that has been said that Government House had detailed to it approximately four defense force officers.

“Was that sufficient?”

Petty Officer Philip Perpall, who served on the force for over 30 years, was shot and killed shortly before 3 a.m. while on duty at Government House, police said.

On Sunday, Commissioner of Police Anthony Ferguson said a man entered Government House around 2:30 a.m. and “made his way to the guard house” where Perpall and four other people were. Ferguson said the man shot at the group, killing Perpall.

Davis continued, “When my recollection is that there was a breach some years ago, and I think it was Sir Orville Turnquest when he occupied the office of governor general, I think they met a tourist sleeping in the yard or sleeping somewhere on the premises.

“And I think a directive or a protocol was put in place that a minimum of eight officers ought to be deployed at the Government House, a minimum of eight to properly provide the security services that was necessary for Government House and its environment.

“So with only four being there, it would seem to be a departure from that protocol that was in place.

“The question is whether or not there was a departure from that protocol and whether that departure contributed to what we had today, and I think someone ought to answer that.”

Davis was also critical of the refusal of police to disclose whether or not the killer was a fellow defense force officer, as has been has been widely alleged.

“It’s typical of this government to flaunt the word transparency and accountability and when called on to be transparent and accountable they hide behind what the Bahamian people already know,” he said.

“Why would they not? I mean, it’s been in the news [and in] voicemails over social media by actual Royal Bahamas Defence Force personnel saying that it was another [officer].

“It’s out there already, so why have the officials tried to cover that up?”

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish

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