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PNP leads march against corruption under Holness administration

Dr. Peter Phillips, SSP Steve McGregor and Government Senator Robert Morgan
 
Officials of the People's National Party (PNP) on Thursday morning led protesters in a march from Mandela Park in Half-Way-Tree to the Police Officers Club on Hope Road to vent their frustration with the corruption scandals rocking the Andrew Holness-led Government. 
 
PNP supporters carrying placards demanded strong action from the Prime Minister to tackle the issue.
 
Addressing the gathering at Mandela Park, PNP President Dr. Peter Phillips said the party will not rest until the Government moves decisively to tackle corruption. 
 
"The objective essentially is to get the government of the Jamaica Labour Party to understand that this rampant plundering of the taxpayers' resources must stop. We will know whether the message have (sic) got through if they meet the demands that we have placed, and if it hasn't got through, we are going to continue to shout it from the streets, shout it from the rooftops, shout it from the communities until the corrupt behaviour which involves the misuse and plundering of the people's resources stops," Dr. Phillips declared.
 
Incident free 
 
The police have said Thursday morning's vigil was incident free.
 
Senior Superintendent Steve McGregor, Operations Officer for Area Four, said the police monitored the protestors from Mandela Park to the Police Officers Club. 
 
Commissions of Inquiry 
 
Dr. Peter Phillips, in the meantime, has called for Commissions of Inquiry to look into corruption allegations relating to the Ministries of Education and Energy as well as related agencies.
 
He said the probe should also involve the Urban Development Corporation and the Rooms on the Beach transaction.         
The call was made in a letter by Dr. Phillips to the Prime Minister Thursday morning.
 
In his four-page letter, a copy of which was obtained by RJR News, Dr. Phillips said it would appear that the entire anti-corruption architecture in Jamaica has broken down. 
 
He said Jamaicans are concerned that no punitive action has been taken in any of these matters by the agencies tasked with investigating or pursuing sanctions against corruption. 
 
The Opposition Leader said no impediment should be placed on agencies and commissions investigating corruption, including the Major Organised Crime and Anti-corruption Agency (MOCA), the Financial Investigation Division (FID), the police, the Auditor General's Department and the Integrity Commission.
 
He also wants the Government to cooperate with the Opposition in convening a Parliamentary Oversight Committee next week to review and recommend changes, where necessary, to make the operations and functioning of the Integrity Commission more effective
 
Dr. Phillips said the Prime Minister's ineffective responses and, in some cases, silence have created serious concerns, despair and frustration among citizens.  
 
Help us fight corruption 
 
But Government Senator Robert Morgan has urged the PNP to work with the Andrew Holness-administration to help stamp out corruption. 
 
He contended that the argument about which government is more corrupt "is not going to take us anywhere" and suggested instead that the goverment continue to "build out the institutions that deal with the issue of corruption - MOCA, FID, the Integrity Commission." 
 
Referencing the PNP march, Mr. Morgan argued: "Everybody can pay people money and put them on a bus and buy a crowd, but the real work in dealing with the issues that are affecting our society and have been affecting our society for many decades is creating a situation of accountability and integrity within the public service." 
 
 


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