Prosecution against the South Sorong Regent, Samsudin Anggiluli, filed by two palm oil companies was held at the Jayapura Administrative Court on Tuesday, 12 April 2022. On the trial, the team of South Sorong Regent brought Head of Teminabuan District, Frans Salmon Thesia, and Head of Wayer District, Yonias Kaisala, at court as witnesses. Both explained that they as long as they chair the district heads, they have never heard the name of PT Anugerah Sakti Internusa (ASI) dan PT Persada Utama Agromulia (PUA). Both companies have never had operations or activities at both districts.
During the trial, the lawyer and judges asked the activities of both companies. For instance, the notification sent by the companies, base camp or branch office construction, and employee recruitment. They also asked about the land released by the community to the companies. Frans and Yonias turned down all those questions.
Both witnesses admitted that they had just got information on both companies that held operation permits at their customary land following the licenses revocation by South Sorong Regency Government and rallies done by Teminabuan indigenous people refusing the existence of palm oil companies.
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Frans said that he is not only the government apparatus, but also the native person of South Sorong with customary rights of the land claimed by the ASI. Thus, he completely knows what happens to his territory. “We have never known if there is release of customary land to the company, without any notice. Whereas, I am the district head and owner of the region,” he said.
He also rebuffed the evidences given by the litigants lawyer on the support statements given by the indigenous people to the company. “The flow of letter from district office should have number, but the letter does not have any number,” said Frans.
Frans added that the community has rejected PT ASI during the company socialization in 2021. “The locals dismantled the tents and chairs so the socialization agenda was cancelled,” he said.
Yonias also expressed the same notions. As to him, before and after he is the head of district in the past six years he had never listened to any company intervening his regions. Similar to Frans, Yonias is also South Sorong born person and owner of customary area on the disputed land.
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Frans and Yonias testimonies endorsed the argument of South Sorong Regency Government to revoke the licenses of PT ASI and PT PUA in Teminabuan, Konda, and Wayer Districts. The licenses of both companies were revoked in 2021 as the follow-ups of palm oil license review in West Papua Province. The evaluation found that many companies had committed violation including both companies here.
PT ASI and PT PUA then prosecuted the decision made by South Sorong Regent to Jayapura Administrative Court. PT ASI called the court to suspend the execution of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 025/102/BSS/V/2021 on the Revocation of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 522/82/BSS/2014 on the Issuance of Plantation Business Permit to PT Anugerah Sakti Internusa. The company also called for the suspension of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 025/104/BSS/V/2021 on the Revocation of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 522/184/BSS/XII/2013 on the Issuance of Location Permit for Palm Oil Development on about 37,000 hectares of land in Teminabuan and Konda Districts.
Meanwhile, PT PUA requested Jayapura Administrative Court on the execution of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 025/101/BSS/V/2021 on the Revocation of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 522/83/BSS/2014 on the Issuance of Plantation Business Permit to PT Persaa Utama Agromulia. The company also called for a suspension of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 025/105/BSS/V/2021 on the Revocation of South Sorong Regent Decree Number 522/183/BSS/XII/2013 on the Issuance of Location Permit for Palm Oil Development on about 25,000 hectares of land in Wayer and Kais Districts.
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After hearing the witnesses’ testimonies, Chair of Judges, Firman, concluded the trial based on the Case Number 45/G/2021/PTUN.JPR and Case Number 46/G/2021/PTUN.JPR. The trial would be continued next week to listen to expert witness.
The litigant lawyer, Rahman Ramli, explained that the witness information provided by Frans Salmon Thesia and Yonias Kaisala had obviously showed that PT ASI and PT PUA failed to run their operations on the licensed areas. He said they only had names but fallen short of activities on the areas. “The most important thing is that the local community is not willing to have any existence of the company, because it is located at the indigenous people areas that should be returned to the local community,” said Rahman after trial.
Editor: Nur Alfiyah, Lutfy Putra, Leo Wahyudi