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Sep 16, 2020

P.U.P. Accuses U.D.P. of Politicizing Food Assistance Programme

The government says that more than thirty-nine thousand households have been assisted countrywide with up to four food baskets.  Since April eleventh, 2020, the Ministry of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation has assessed over a hundred thousand applications. During the most recent lockdown period, a little over six thousand households in San Pedro and the affected villages in the Orange Walk District received food packages. According to the Ministry, the food packages are delivered through a network of over two hundred shops that extend to the rural areas countrywide. It says that over one hundred and fifty thousand food baskets have been delivered countrywide. But the P.U.P. area representatives are saying that persons who are not supporting the government in the upcoming elections are being left out. During today’s sitting of the House of Representatives, opposition members told the government that U.D.P. area representatives and caretakers have politicized the food assistance programme. 

 

Oscar Requeña

Oscar Requeña, Area Rep., Toledo West

“What people are telling us Madam Speaker is that the U.D.P. political candidate in Toledo West and his U.D.P. operatives going house to house and you know what they are telling the people Madam Speaker? ‘You want to get food assistance? Then you need to give us your social security number. We need to take down your name and your ID number and you need to pledge support to the U.D.P. candidate.’ That is what people are telling you on the ground. I know Madam Speaker you may think that this is not so but Madam Speaker I am telling you this is the reality that our people are living on the ground and this kind of behaviour Madam Speaker cannot in any way be condoned. We on this side of the House have been saying this over and over and they play like they are deaf on that side. They play as if though this is not the reality on the ground.”

 

Anthony Martinez, Minister of Human Development

“Madam Speaker under the food package program every single individual who picks up a package needs to sign for it Madam Speaker or give somebody authority to sing for it. You hear what I am saying? Just like the government house you bought and sold for a lot of money, you and your disingenuous self. Are you hearing what I am saying? Every single person sign just like your father, and your mother and you, Sir. Are you hearing what I am telling you? Oh.”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth, Speaker of the House of Representatives.

“Honourable members we cannot allow the discussion”

 

Anthony Martinez

“But do you see how he is flagging me?  What happen to those little white rag there?”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth

“Honourable members. You have the floor Minister. Honourable member from Cayo south let’s give the ministry a chance to make his presentation. Minister you have the floor.”

 

Anthony Martinez

Anthony Martinez

“Anyway Madam Speaker I just need to say for the record every single package is being signed for by every individual who picks up a package because that is how it goes. You are hollering, only U.D.P.s are getting. The U.D.P.s are saying that only P.U.P.s are getting and the process is so long and tedious. Madam Speaker, in real truth we come before this House with the program and under the OPEC program there has to be proper reporting and proper reporting because the way the program runs. Government needs to report your mother! That is what they need to report.”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth

“Honorable Minister and honourable member for Cayo South you need to relax.”

 

Anthony Martinez

“Not me at all, you know. I am speaking. I’ve been rudely interrupted.  So if that so you behave with our parents or whatsoever then.”

 

Laura Tucker-Longsworth

“Honourable members we got to restore the decorum that we need in the House today. This is a very serious conversation so do not interrupt the Minister. If you have something to say you can say go ahead please?”

 

Anthony Martinez

“Madam Speaker, they are questioning how the programme runs and how the program runs is simple. You get approve. You get the text. You go to the store and pick up the stuff. You take your ID and you sign an invoice.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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