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Jan 13, 2017

B.P.P. questions Integrity Commission’s decision to forgo penalties

After years without a functioning Integrity Commission, on Thursday, a group of seven Belizeans was formally appointed with a mandate to scrutinize declared statements of assets and liabilities of elected persons, in the fight against corruption. Belize Progressive Party Leader Patrick Rogers says that he expects the Commission will identify those politicians who “commit crimes with pens, transferring the wealth of the country from public coffers to private hands.” He believes that the Integrity Commission, contrary to what was said by Chair Marilyn Williams, must fine elected politicians who have not complied with the law.


Patrick Rogers

Patrick Rogers, Political Leader, B.P.P.

“Just looking at the line up there Belize, we question how much integrity is there to come out of that commission. I mean let’s be real brothers and sisters; dah some of the diehardest red supporters we are seeing there on that commission. But I’d like to put this question to the new chair. There is nowhere ina di law where it makes exceptions that if there wasn’t a commission in place…the law still said that every elected member needs to go and file in. so the fact that we have members in place…remember the law came into place  2007-2008. From 2008 to today, you have people elected in that House that haven’t filed their returns; that are in violation. The penalty is stiff; five thousand for the first offense, three thousand for every offense thereafter and there is a penalty of hundred dollars per day. So what you have is thirty-six thousand five hundred per year plus interest; because that is the penalty, plus interest. So when you add up what somebody would owe that would have been elected from 2008 and is still there, they would owe about one point five million, you see. So when you add up all the offices—because it would includes all the elected office of the councilors as well—we have a pretty penny out there for the violation by these honorable members and the whole Mayas and councilors and them who have gone into office without telling wi how much dehn mi own and what revenue streams they have and thing and have come out of office with a lot more than they mi gone in with weh wah salary noh justify.  But yet this integrity commission wah say that it is up to them to determine if they want put the penalties and charges on you, like they could waive the fine. I didn’t read that in the law.”

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