Phillips issues stern warning to Comrades

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter
hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips has warned members of the People's National Party (PNP) that should the party form the Government under his watch, he will be uncompromising on corruption.

Speaking against the background of scandals dogging the State-run oil refinery Petrojam and the Ministry of Education, Phillips lashed out at Holness, whom he accused of reneging on his election campaign promise to run a clean Government.

“I am not like Andrew Holness who give a commitment to the country that he was going to run clean Government but is now totally silent. I don't want anyone in the People's National Party to breach any of the standards of transparency and integrity, because it will not be tolerated under my watch in the People's National Party,” Dr Phillips said.

“And I tell you further, I have been a minister of government from 1989 [and] every single year I produce my Integrity Report on time, completely, fully, comprehensively. I hope everyone else can say the same,” he added. “I challenge them — I have been leader of this party for two years — to look at any ministry that I had responsibility for, search it with a magnifying glass and a fine-tooth comb, turn it up, turn it down, crosswalk, sideway and tell me anything that has breached any principle of integrity in anywhere I have been.”

He explained that last week's PNP rally in Half-Way-Tree, St Andrew was the beginning of what will be an islandwide tour by the Opposition, to protest against corruption in Government.

“That's why we come out at Half-Way-Tree and say, 'Enough is enough'. Time come for somebody must get lock up. Lock dem up!” charged Phillips, who is being challenged by Manchester Central Member of Parliament Peter Bunting for leadership of the PNP.

He was very critical of PNP antagonists who are arguing that the party, with an alleged history of corruption, does not have any moral authority to denounce corruption.

“I notice every time we raise the question of corruption the apologists for the Jamaica Labour Party start to say, 'But it used to happen under PNP'.

The Opposition leader argued that the PNP has a rich tradition of putting in place measures to counter corruption.

“I see them put out a list that go back 'bout 30 years. If them did go back further they would find out that the only ministers of Government that have been arrested in Jamaica and convicted in the courts came from the Jamaica Labour Party. But I don't understand their reason, because them tell you about things that went wrong but they don't tell you about the things that the PNP Administration did to correct the breaches,” Phillips argued.

“They don't tell you that PJ (Patterson) passed the corruption prevention law and set up the corruption prevention commission. They don't tell you that the PNP passed the Access to Information law to bring greater transparency to Government in Jamaica. They don't tell you that they had commissions of inquiry, that ministers resigned and people were held accountable. They don't tell you that we set up MOCA (Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency)... The simple fact is that they are shameless. The People's National Party has always had [a] more accountable Government,” Phillips charged.

The Opposition leader was addressing the annual general meeting of the PNP Women's Movement, which was held at the Montego Bay Community College in St James.


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