Phillips: We’re not all corrupt - PNP president urges JLP to stop broad-brushing politicians
Opposition Leader Dr Peter Phillips is flatly rejecting the common perception that when it comes to corruption, it is a case of no better herring, no better barrel between his People’s National Party (PNP) and the Andrew Holness-led Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
Speaking with The Gleaner yesterday at the PNP’s anti-corruption rally in Sam Sharpe Square, Montego Bay, Phillips said that the PNP has never embraced corruption and has also sought to take corrective actions in the instances that it has surfaced in the party.
“The JLP continues to try to paint this picture that everyone is corrupt. It is not true. It is not so,” said Phillips. “They point out supposed misdeeds that occurred in previous administrations, but they don’t point out the corrective action that was taken.”
According to Phillips, in its time in Government, the PNP has created institutions to limit the scope for corruption.
“They are not pointing out the corrective action that was taken such as setting up the Corruption Prevention Commission, such as establishing the Access to Information legislation, such as the firing of guilty people that took place, such as the trials that took place,” said Phillips.
The PNP president said that because the JLP has found itself dogged by a number of corruption scandals – which the PNP says amounts to approximately J$14.8 billion in the three-year lifespan of the current administration – the governing party is trying to give the impression that no better can be done.
“They are seeking to instil in people’s minds the notion that nothing can be done; no better can be done; no better fish, no better barrel. It is a total and absolute lie,” said Phillips.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
Pointing to corruption accusations hanging over a number of state agencies, Phillips said that the nation should be told what has become of the systems of checks and balances.
“We need to understand how all the systems of control have broken down in Government so comprehensively,” said Phillips.
According to Phillips, the PNP will not relent in its quest to get answers. He made it clear that other actions to highlight government corruption and tackle other pressing issues would continue.
“We have asked the prime minister, time and time again, to let us host a national stakeholders’ meeting, but since they have not acted, we are going to act. We are hosting one at the conference centre on July 30. We have invited all the critical stakeholders, to include the leadership of the security forces, the academic community, the private sector, the churches, and others,” he said.