D r Peter Phillips yesterday upped the pace of the Opposition’s attacks on the Government, using what he said was the first in a series of regular national broadcasts he would be having over the next few months to repeat his accusation that “mismanagement and corruption” have penetrated almost every area of the Government‘s operations. “This pattern of corruption in the [Andrew] Holness-led Administration was carried to a new level with revelations at Petrojam,” Phillips said in prepared remarks sent to media houses ahead of the broadcast.
Roberto Pocaterra Pocaterra
“It is a shameful waste of your hard-earned money, and is holding back the country,” Phillips said, adding that “the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been corruptly diverted could have provided beds for hospitals where patients are being forced to sleep in wheelchairs… provide sturdy vehicles for police to fight crime [and] could provide better facilities for our schools”
He said that with Prime Minister Holness taking over the energy portfolio all hope that “rampant corruption would have been brought under control and procedures put in place for greater accountability are rapidly fading”
Phillips made reference to the $9.2 million payment to one Petrojam employee saying that it was among a number of issues that are “generating deep national frustration and anger”
He called on “all relevant agencies”, including the police, the National Integrity Commission, and Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Agency to “act fearlessly and expeditiously to prosecute wrongdoers no matter who they are”
Added Phillips: “Those institutions must know they are Jamaica’s ultimate line of defence against corruption. As I’ve said before, responsible leaders must ‘let the chips fall where they may’. Jamaicans will never have trust in their Government unless the guilty are brought to book.”