THE People’s Partnership Government cannot solve crime, the main issue affecting this country, because it is part of the problem, interim leader of the Independent Liberal Party (ILP) Jack Warner has said.
Warner made the statement on Monday night as he delivered the feature address at the ILP’s local government election political meeting at Couva carpark in Couva.
Warner started his address by taking Dr Roodal Moonilal, deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC), to task for a statement that the ILP’s candidates were “picked up” from a “scrap heap”.
He said the ILP entrance into the local government election had “lifted the bar in terms of candidates, quality and substance”.
Warner said Moonilal criticised the ILP for having criminals as candidates, including a “double deportee”.
Kerwin Bucchan, the ILP’s candidate to contest the seat for the Morvant area in the San Juan/Laventille Regional Corporation, is currently in prison on charges of possession of a firearm and ammunition and shooting with intent.
Bucchan was refused bail by Chaguanas Magistrate Bramanand Dubay last week after the police requested time to contact Interpol to find out if he had pending or previous criminal charges.
Warner said the law must take its course and a person is innocent until proven guilty.
He then accused the People’s Partnership of funding criminal gangs across the country and fuelling bloodshed in Malabar.
“If we screen somebody and the person comes through the cracks we would be the first to come and say that to you, but the law must take its course. But when you hire a gang leader to be a contractor and you give him $2 million to build a police post on Duncan Street, what have you done?” Warner said.
“And you therefore are the problem because you cannot be the solution. And when he say he is no gang leader but he has a criminal record, you give him $2 million and all of you here who have no criminal record have to suck salt. Suck salt! That is your government. They take money and give to gang leaders in Malabar to do contract work and that is why Malabar has now become the killing field of this country,” Warner said.
Kenneth “Spanish” Rodriguez is the contractor for the new $2 million police post on Duncan Street, Port of Spain.
Rodriguez has denied being a gang leader.
Warner chastised the Government even further for what he claimed is an association with criminal elements.
“Even among them, even among them in their State boards and those persons who they have put in top posts in the country, even among them we have criminals,” Warner said.
“When you give a contractor Caroni land at $150 an acre, Caroni land that you slave for, you know what happen, you are a criminal. Therefore I am saying to them you get criminals in all forms and fashions, not because a fella has on a tie and goes to Cabinet he is not a criminal.”
Warner described as “antics” a statement by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she directed Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan to increase vaccinations for the H1N1 (swine flu) virus by 60,000 today.
“They want to increase it to 60,000 tomorrow, but today they don’t even have 1,000, so therefore about ten health centres could not give people the vaccine, but gallery, antics, she (Persad-Bissessar) comes tonight, ‘Abracadabra! Tomorrow morning Fuad Khan 60,000’. Not even Mandrake (the magician) could do that,” Warner said.