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Filipino Multinational Serving up Condoms and Tuna to Papua New Guinean Consumers

March 10, 2017 6 comments

Do you enjoy condoms with your tuna? No? Best steer clear of RD Tuna Canners Ltd

For years we have known that the Filipino multinational RD Tuna, has no respect for Papua New Guinea workers.

The late anthropologist Nancy Sullivan, brought to light the company’s crimes against workers back in 2003:

‘Conditions in the Cannery are unhygienic and inhumane. Workers have no breaks, no clean or working toilets or showers, and labor under poor lighting and windless, hot conditions. Their sweat runs off onto the fish in the production area, and the spilled fish scraps are retrieved from a crumbling cement floor only to be lightly washed and processed. There are no provisions for gloves, hair nets, masks or gum boots, although these are available: in one of the meanest of Company policies, use of these basic sanitation and safety items are deducted from the workers pay. There have been documented cases of prostitution and gang rape of local women by Filipino nationals in both the Cannery and Wharf settings, as well as sales of illegally imported cigarettes and alcohol. No unions have been allowed until very recently… The wages are well below minimum national wage, and the hours unmonitored: most workers say they are forced to work over eight hours daily without overtime pay. There are also dubious practices of deducting NPF monies and Company transport fees from workers’ pay’.

We now have evidence that RD Tuna has been selling canned Tuna containing condoms. In 6 separate tort actions, outlined below, local consumers complain that they were made ill after discovering their RD Tuna product contained condom. In each case the court agreed.

Of course, not everyone feels ill at the sight of RD Tuna. Politicians in particular appear to have a healthy appetite for the company, so much so that they have declared the Madang region a Special Economic Zone – and even paid the company a cool K20 million for land to set up the zone on.

Meanwhile the company’s local workers and consumers have to chew on condoms, figuratively and literally speaking!

Mombi v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 28; N6645 (15 February 2017)

  1. On a day in the first half of 2006, probably 28 March or 28 May, John and Agnes Mombi purchased several unopened cans of Diana Tuna tinned fish from a retail outlet in Madang town, probably Rabtrad Trading.
  1. Those cans were manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that they be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as John and Agnes Mombi, at retail outlets, such as Rabtrad Trading.
  1. On the same day as purchasing the Diana Tuna, John and Agnes Mombi took the cans to their home at Wagol-Fikus, in Madang town.
  1. That evening, the task of preparing the evening meal was allocated to one of the Mombis’ six children, Rosina.
  1. At about 7.00 pm, as it was getting dark, Rosina boiled in separate pots, some rice and some kumu (aibika and spinach). She then emptied the contents of at least one of the Diana Tuna cans, which her parents had purchased earlier that day, into the kumu pot. She did not see or smell anything untoward.
  1. Agnes Mombi handed Rosina eight plates (one for each member of the family) and Rosina put servings of rice and kumu-and-tinned fish on each plate.
  1. All members of the family had commenced eating their food by the time that Rosina commenced eating hers.
  1. While eating, after several spoonfuls, Rosina felt something rubbery, like plastic, in her mouth. She pulled it out, checked it in the candlelight, which drew the attention of her father, John Mombi, who announced that it was a condom.
  1. It was in fact a condom, intact, that was in the tinned fish.
  1. All members of the family – the plaintiffs – saw the condom and were shocked. They all stopped eating. 
  1. The three youngest members of the family (Rosina, Barry and Max) were sent to bed, but they woke up, vomiting, around midnight. 
  1. All members of the family apart from John Mombi vomited as a result of consuming the food containing the condom. John Mombi felt sick but took betel nut to prevent himself vomiting. 
  1. All plaintiffs suffered shock upon discovery of the fact that they had consumed tinned fish that contained a condom.
  1. Soon afterwards, around 2.00 am, the whole family – all the plaintiffs – went to Modilon General Hospital, about two kilometres from their home, to get medical treatment. They walked there. Rosina, Barry and Max were carried by other family members. 
  1. On arrival at the hospital, Rosina, Barry and Max, the worst affected, were placed on IV drips and medicated. They were discharged at about 6.30 am. 
  1. Rosina, Barry and Max went to their school, Lutheran Day Primary, that morning but returned at lunchtime, feeling unwell. They did not return to school. 

 

Sengi v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 29; N6646 (15 February 2017)

  1. Around midday on Friday 20 January 2006 David Sengi of Giri village, Bogia District, purchased an unopened can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, probably a 380-gram size, and a loaf of bread, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. David Sengi was with a number of other people from Giri village who had come into town to do their shopping. The group included the plaintiffs John Ray, Rex Fasi, Samuel Undonomo, Mono Ray, Elijah Brian and Kume Ray.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such David Sengi, at retail outlets, including the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. Immediately after purchasing the Diana Tuna, David Sengi, took the can and the loaf of bread to the nearby Bogia bus stop where plaintiff John Ray assumed the task of opening the can and making sandwiches for the group.
  1. He made the sandwiches by pouring a portion of tuna meat from the can on to various slices of bread.
  1. After he did that, John Ray drank soup from the can and then poured the remaining tuna meat on to his own slice of bread. After the meat came out, came a complete condom. 
  1. John Ray was shocked and alerted the other members of the group to the foreign object that had just come out of the can.
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence were shocked and confused and they proceeded in haste to the Madang Police Station, where they reported the finding and handed over the empty can to a police officer. The police advised them to go to the hospital as they appeared to be feeling unwell.
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence felt ill and some were physically ill and vomited. John Ray was the worst affected.
  1. From the police station they made their way by PMV to Modilon General Hospital, about two kilometres from the police station, to get medical treatment. 
  1. David Sengi and other plaintiffs who have given evidence rested, were treated and given medication upon their discharge from the emergency department later that afternoon. John Ray, being the worst affected, was placed on an IV drip. 

 

Donatus v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 30; N6647 (15 February 2017)

  1. On Saturday 4 March 2006 Eddie and Jennifer Donatus of Erima village, Rai Coast District, purchased three unopened 185-gram cans of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Eddie and Jennifer Donatus, at retail outlets, including the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. The following evening Jennifer Donatus prepared dinner for her husband, Eddie Donatus, their daughter Delailah Donatus and their relatives, Wei Angu and Leslie Angu, who live in the same house. 
  1. Jennifer boiled rice in one pot and in a separate pot boiled green vegetables. When the vegetables were ready she opened on the cans of tinned fish that had been purchased the previous day, into the greens, stirred the pot and when the mixture of greens and fish was hot, served it with the rice on five plates, for those present. 
  1. Jennifer Donatus, Delailah Donatus, Wei Angu and Leslie Angu finished their meal and found it nice. 
  1. Eddie Donatus was the last to eat. He digested three spoonfuls of the greens-and-fish mixture but spat out his third spoonful upon feeling something rubbery in his mouth. It was a condom.
  1. The condom had been in the can of tinned fish. All those present were shocked. 
  1. Eddie Donatus chewed betel nut to stop himself vomiting. It worked but he felt unwell. The others who consumed the food, which had become contaminated by the condom, were sick as a result of consuming it. 
  1. The next day, 6 March 2006, Eddie Donatus took the can from which the condom had emerged and the condom to the Police in Madang. He then laid a complaint at the RD Tuna cannery. He vomited and went back to Erima and gathered together the people who had been sick, and took them to Modilon General Hospital.
  1. The plaintiffs were observed and treated and medicated at the hospital. They were discharged after several hours’ observation. 

Birus v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 31; N6648 (15 February 2017

  1. On Friday 26 January 2007 Michael Birus of Erima village, Rai Coast District, purchased an unopened 380-gram can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the M & S Tsang retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Michael Birus and Ruth Nuali, at retail outlets, including the Rabtrad supermarket.
  1. That evening, the wife of Michael Birus, Ruth Nuali, prepared dinner for her husband and other members of their household, including their children, Barbara Ami, Jacob Ami and Naimen Kodua, then aged 10, 12 and 4 years respectively. 
  1. Ruth boiled rice in one pot and in a separate pot boiled green vegetables. When the vegetables were ready she opened the 380-gram can of tinned fish that had been purchased earlier that day, into the greens, stirred the pot and when the mixture of greens and fish was hot, served it with the rice on various plates, for those present. 
  1. Ruth and the children finished their meal and found nothing wrong with it. 
  1. Michael Birus was the last to eat. He digested several spoonfuls of the greens-and-fish mixture but stopped eating upon feeling something rubbery in his mouth. It was a condom.
  1. The condom had been in the can of tinned fish. All those present were shocked. 
  1. Michael Birus chewed betel nut to stop himself vomiting. It worked but he felt unwell. The others who consumed the food, which had become contaminated by the condom, were sick as a result of consuming it. 
  1. The next day, 27 January 2007, Michael Birus took his wife and the children to Modilon General Hospital for treatment.
  1. The plaintiffs Michael Birus and Ruth Nuali were observed and treated and medicated at the hospital.

 

Bill v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 32; N6649 (15 February 2017)

I therefore make the following findings:

  1. On Friday 30 March 2007 Luke Peter of Gov Stoa, Madang town purchased an unopened can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Best Buy retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Luke Peter, at retail outlets, including the Best Buy store.
  1. That evening, Luke Peter’s son, Peter Marshall, assisted by Peter’s friends, the plaintiffs Hendrick James (aka Emrick James) and Justin Wake, prepared dinner for themselves and Luke Peter, at Gov Stoa. 
  1. Peter Marshall boiled rice in a pot and once it was cooked, he opened the can of Diana Tuna that Luke Peter had purchased earlier that day. He noticed that, together with the fish meat, the can had a condom in it. He was shock, felt unwell and vomited.
  1. Luke Peter, Hendrick James (aka Emrick James) and Justin Wake had a similar reaction. Though none of them ate any of the fish, the sight of the condom shocked them and the thought of eating tinned fish contaminated by a condom, made them feel ill. They all vomited. 
  1. The next day, 31 March 2007, Luke Peter reported the matter to the police, the health inspector and Modilon General Hospital.

Kaipa v RD Tuna Canners Ltd [2017] PGNC 33; N6650 (15 February 2017)

  1. On Thursday 9 February 2006 Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa purchased an unopened 185-gram can of Diana Tuna tinned fish, from a retail outlet in Madang town, the Best Buy retail store.
  1. The can was manufactured by the defendant at its cannery near Madang and sold by the defendant, probably to an intermediary, with the intention that it be eventually available for sale to consumers, such as Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa, at retail outlets, including the Best Buy store.
  1. That evening, Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa’s daughter, Susie Kaipa prepared dinner for the family at their home at Clifton Police Barracks. 
  1. Susie Kaipa boiled rice and greens and was about to pour the can of tinned fish, which she had opened, into a frying pan when she notice that, together with the fish meat, the can had a condom in it. She was shocked and screamed hysterically.
  1. Steven Kaipa and Betty Kaipa were sitting close to the kitchen and upon hearing their daughter scream, rushed to the kitchen and saw what their daughter was screaming about: a condom on top of the fish. 
  1. Though none of them ate any of the fish, the sight of the condom shocked them and the thought of eating tinned fish contaminated by a condom, made them feel ill and confused and worried. 
  1. The next day, 10 February 2006, Steven Kaipa reported the matter to the police, the health inspector and Modilon General Hospital.
  1. The family members, in particular Betty Kaipa, were subsequently the subject of ridicule in the local community as they came to be known as consumers of condoms in tinned fish and this affected Betty Kaipa’s income earning capacity. 
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MADANG LABOR OFFICER IS RD’S PUPPET

January 20, 2015 3 comments

Complaints after complaints about abuse and over exploitation by the RD Tuna Cannery workers of Madang Province, and not once did the Madang Provincial Labor officer look into them.

RD markets the Diana brand in PNG

RD markets the Diana brand in PNG

This is because Peter Neimani, the Provincial Labor Officer is said to be on RD’s payroll, so his hands are quite tied up and unable to address the workers complaints. You see, Peter has been and is still being paid by these foreigners every fortnight to keep all complaints against the company under the carpet.

This highlights two things, first is that the RD Cannery had planned to mistreat, abuse and exploit its workers long before doing so, and part of its plan was to find a puppet to brush away the complaints and even cover for them, and the puppet is Peter Neimani.

Secondly, being on RD’s payroll means Peter’s getting paid fortnightly while he’s playing ‘Labor officer’ for the government, so he gets two pay packets every fortnight. Paid by the government for being lousy and paid by the company to be the puppet that they can use however they want, anytime they wish, so long as they put some money on him.

Being on RD’s payroll is not all, Peter’s children’s school fees are all paid for by this much controversial fishing company year in year out, and the vehicle he’s driving around was also bought and handed to him by the company. Peter is among the ‘top shots’ puppets in the province (Nixon Duban is another one of them), who get cartons of ‘export brand’ tinned fish delivered to their doorsteps by the company.

Most of the workers doing the hard labor work are PNG nationals. Innocent men, women and youths showing up everyday and standing all day long to honestly earn a living, but are used by the company as tools. The Philippines workers are said to be ‘supervisors’, which jobs is really to walk around and make sure the nationals are working hard non-stop, and also to keep an eye on them and report to the management at the end of everyday.

The continuous abuses and exploitation of the workers are in all forms unimaginable to anyone who’s enjoying a RD product both locally and Internationally. RD is the company that pays K80 a fortnight to every faithful worker. It is the company that pays K200 and way less for workers who resigned after working for 17 years or more. It is the company that deducts from the workers ‘already low’ pay, allowances when it issues safety gears or provide transportation.

The list of these very ill, inhumane treatments continues, and the workers say they’ve lost count of how many times they’ve turned up at Peter Neimani’s office and told him. It seems Peter is way too busy enjoying the cartons of 48 cans of export brand tinned fish, a free ride on school fees for his kids and a tinted glass vehicle to even notice his fellow countrymen and women, practically crying their hearts out to him.

Sali Tagau’s Savalon Security thugs at it again…

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

Sali Tagau, boss of Savalon Security

People in  the Rempi and Kananam  communities Madang know all too well  Sali Tagau – the owner  of  Savolon Security.

On Thursday  (Oct 21st)  Sali and eight  of his  thugs accompanied by police burnt down more than 50 houses of people living within the PMIZ  project site [1].  More than 100 men women and children are now homeless as a result of his self serving  actions [2].

Tagau is a direct beneficiary of contracts dished  out by the former Commerce Minister Gabriel Kapris.  The thug is also understood to  be a pawn in a move to acquire offshore portions of land and beachfronts – land which belongs to the Kananam people.   He is backed by a group of Filipino nationals who are eyeing waterfront land portions in the Kananam and Rempi  communities.

Earlier this year, Sali Tagau and  another lot of his hired thugs tried to shout down Kananam man, Francis Gem at a forum organized by government  minister including Madang’s regional MP, Arnold Amet [3].   Francis  Gem  labeled Commerce minister Kapris and  environment  Minister Benny Allan, conmen following all the garbage  they spouted at a forum.

Sali Tagau will stop at nothing to get his “cheeze pops”  from the PMIZ project.   Who else is on  your list, Sali?  The Rempis  and the Kananams?

[2] http://australianetworknews.com/stories/201110/3345538.htm?desktop

RD fishermen accused of murder set free

December 6, 2010 9 comments

By Little Green Palai

Six Filipino RD Tuna fishermen accused of the murder of National Fisheries Observer, Charlie Lasisi, of New Ireland Province have been set free and the case against them dismissed ‘for lack of evidence’

The killing was alleged to have taken place on 29 March on board the RD Tuna vessel FV/Dolores 838 inside the Bismark Seas in Vanimo, along the Indonesian/PNG border.

Police say Mr. Lasisi had been strongly objecting to the fishing of dolphins by RD Vessels which have long been accused of catching of dolphins, sharks and other prohibited fish.

It was between 6pm-7pm when Charlie Lasisi went missing after he left the ship’s mess room.

Police say when he left the room, two Filippino crew members  – Ramil Lumactod and June Alon – left with him, but returned to report he had “gone missing.” The captain searched the area and the ship but could not locate Lasisi.

On 31 March a report was sent to the Managing Director of National Fisheries  Authority (NFA) Sylvester Pokajam and the National Maritime Safety Authority who sent officers to investigate on “suspicion of murder”.

Also charged with murder in addition to Ramil and June were Bonfacio Gelvoko, Franz Olivia Oyao, Jerwin Famini and Francisco Famini.

The six were originally remanded at Beon jail in Madang until K500 bail for each was posted by RD Tuna, but now they are free men with all charges against them dismissed.

Categories: Corruption, Papua New Guinea, Tuna Tags:

What has happened to the RD tuna murder case?

November 7, 2010 6 comments

Nothing has been heard for many months now about the case of the six Filipino RD Tuna fishermen accused of the murder of National Fisheries Observer, Charlie Lasisi, of New Ireland Province.

RD markets the Diana brand in PNG

The killing took place on 29 March on board the RD Tuna vessel FV/Dolores 838 inside the Bismark Seas in Vanimo, along the Indonesian/PNG border.

Police say Mr. Lasisi had been strongly objecting to the fishing of dolphins by RD Vessels which have long been accused of catching of dolphins, sharks and other prohibited fish.

It was between 6pm-7pm when Charlie Lasisi went missing after he left the ship’s mess room.

Police say when he left the room, two Filippino crew members  – Ramil Lumactod and June Alon – left with him, but returned to report he had “gone missing.” The captain searched the area and the ship but could not locate Lasisi.

On 31 March a report was sent to the Managing Director of National Fisheries  Authority (NFA) Sylvester Pokajam and the National Maritime Safety Authority who sent officers to investigate on “suspicion of murder”.

Also charged with murder in addition to Ramil and June are Bonfacio Gelvoko, Franz Olivia Oyao, Jerwin Famini and Francisco Famini.

The six were remanded at Beon jail in Madang for several days until K500 bail each with ten conditions was granted by Justice David Cannings. The men were released into the care of the senior Vice President of RD Tuna Canners Limited in Madang. Justice Cannings ordered that RD Canners pay surety of K10,000 because they were all foreigners. Cannings said the amount should ensure they six do not escape because not only would the money be forfeited but it would proven bad for the corporate reputation of RD Tuna if the six did not return.