Statement by Police Commissioner, David Manning at the Funeral Service of the Late Andrew Tovere

Monday 25 May 2020

  • The Widow and children of the late Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere;
  • Families and friends;
  • Senior officers from Police Headquarters;
  • Members of the NCD/Central Command;
  • Ol mama, papa, brata, susa na ol pikinini;
  • Ladies and gentlemen.

In the Sermon of the Mount, in the book of Mathew, Chapter 5, verse 9, Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God“.

What is a peacemaker? Who are the peacemakers?

You can look no further than to all of us who are gathered here today in this funeral service for our late colleague and brother, the late Senior Inspector Andrew Tovere.

We are peacemakers for it is in the nature of our duties and responsibilities. We the members of the Constabulary make or work toward peace.

We have also sworn an oath to protect the people and their property and to enforce the law without fear, favour, malice or ill-will.

Members of the Constabulary and police forces the world throughout are peacemakers by our profession and because of that God has promised a blessing upon each of our lives.

Blessed are the members of the Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary, for you shall be called sons of God“. And if God is with and for us, who can stand against us?

On this day as we gather together to appreciate the life of a young police officer I want all of us to pause for a moment and reflect upon each of our lives. Funeral services enable us, the living to stop to remember our brother but at the same time to reflect upon our lives as well, and make adjustments if necessary of our own lives, because death is an inevitable and one day it will visit each of us in its own way.

Unfortunately for our late brother Senior Inspector Tovere, it chose to take him too soon.

I paid a visit to the widow at the haus krai last week and offered my condolences on behalf my family and the Constabulary to the widow of late Andrew and members of his family.

I made a number of assurances to the widow of the late Andrew, and:

  • The first is that we will ensure that all those responsible for his death are prosecuted; and
  • The second is that all his entitlements shall be made available to his next of kin.

I believe the Police Legacy has stepped in and is assisting the family of the late Tovere, initially with a K2,000 contribution towards the haus krai. All of Andrew’s children’s education from primary to tertiary will also be taken care of by the Police Legacy. This gives me great comfort.

So on behalf of the family and the Constabulary I thank the Police Legacy for the wonderful immediate relief you are providing to the family and the assurance each of us have knowing that our children’s education will be taken care of even when we are dead and gone.

I will as a matter or priority look into how we can empower the Police Legacy to do more for our members.

The primary duty of a police officer is to protect people and property and to enforce the law. We are at the frontline, defending the people against the enemy. And as is the nature of our job we can and may be required to give the ultimate sacrifice with our lives.

So never ever take anything for granted. None of us are immune so we must all be prepared.

Senior Inspector Tovere was a promising young officer. He had more to offer to the Constabulary. In fact I had quite recently mentioned to him that I was considering him for some higher responsibilities. He was a future leader of the RPNGC but unfortunately death robbed us of a colleague and a brother.

We will remember him and his legacy and hopefully in the not too distant future another Tovere can follow in his footsteps.

The Royal Papua New Guinea Constabulary is a family. We are not only colleagues but became brothers as well when we made a decision to serve God and the people of PNG. So I remember him as a brother and bid him farewell.

Rest easy brother Andrew Tovere, for you are only sleeping until our Lord Jesus comes again.

Thank you and may God bless and comfort you all.

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