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Sep 25, 2020

Opposition Leader John Briceño Calls Out Boots Martinez for Alleged Corruption

Today’s House sitting is likely to be the last sitting of the current government before the general elections.  This morning’s session went smoothly with both sides supporting a number of bills that will now go to the Senate.  But on adjournment in the afternoon, the atmosphere of cordiality was shattered.  The Opposition, People’s United Party, pointed and aimed its political gun to Port Loyola U.D.P. Area Representative, Anthony “Boots” Martinez.  Martinez is the Minister of Human Development, Poverty Alleviation and Social Transformation.  Opposition Leader John Briceño was armed with fifty-four pages of financial transactions that show monies were allegedly paid by the government to Minister Martinez and members of his family.  Briceño began reading the transactions that purportedly add up to more than one million dollars paid to the minister and his family.


John Briceño

John Briceño, Leader of the Opposition

“I see one member of the minister’s family gotten ninety payments for rent of seventy thousand seven hundred and six dollars, five thousand three hundred and thirty give dollars, payment is just a little over a five year span. What I find more interesting though Madam Speaker is that the minister also got eighty-six payments for rent totaling five hundred and sixty eight thousand eight hundred and fifty nine dollars and eighty five cents. The other family members got five hundred and eighty six thousand, three hundred and twenty nine dollars and fifty five cents. Now what I find strange in the payment from the ministry is all for rental, what building? Or what it is it does not state. Now we also find out that his ministry is also renting from him too and both of them are getting the exact same amount of rent, both of them.”


Laura Tucker-Longsworth, Speaker of the House

“Opposition Leader do you want to tell the House what document you are using so that they can know?”


John Briceño

“Madam Speaker I can give you a copy if you wish. These are all documents from the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation. One point five million dollars paid to members and the minister of human development and social transformation. As I said, he went on record to say that he is not renting to the ministry that he controls, that he represents. He said to Jules Vasquez that it is nit him, it is family member of his. But now we find out that both the family member and himself are collecting rent for the exact same amount. One family member is  seven thousand seven hundred and sixty and the minister is collecting seven thousand seven hundred and sixty. The next member, five thousand three hundred and thirty five dollars the family and he is collecting five thousand three hundred and thirty five dollars. The exact same thing. It makes you wonder what is going on. He went on record to say that he is not renting his premise to the Ministry of Human Development and Social Transformation. It is so bad that his ministry is paying four thousand dollars for sporting events for Port Loyola, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, nine months and during COVID. There is no sporting activity during COVID because you cannot have any kind of contact sports. More importantly I check with our representative in Port Loyola.”


Anthony Martinez

Anthony Martinez, Area Rep., Port Loyola

“Madam Speaker, I am member of this House you know. And those men cannot distort. They don’t have no information of me collecting any four thousand dollars. I will have to tell you about your dad who went to jail.”


John Briceño

“See it here Madam Speaker. This is by vendors. It is in his name.”  


Laura Tucker-Longsworth

“I cannot look any anything that has not been tabled in the House so we have to be very careful, please. And furthermore we have to be very careful because of the standing orders that prevents us from impugning improper motives.”


Dean Barrow

John Briceño

“Community sports February four thousand dollars. Payment for community sports February 2020. Payment for sports January…what is the point of order?”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“If you give me a break I will make a point of order.  Madam Speaker the Leader of the Opposition is reading from some documents. I don’t know if you have any idea of the authenticity or otherwise. I don’t know if he had arrange before hand to show you some stamp or seal. But far more importantly he is leveling a charge against the Minister of Housing which charge amounts to a charge of corruption. He would need to have brought a substantive motion to do that.”  


John Briceño

“We have the documentation. We have the records and if they wish then we can go the Ministry and let the C.E.O. tell us if this is fabricated or not because this is the real deal. The records are showing that he has been collecting rent for the same ministry that works for or represents. And that is the point that I am trying to make.”


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“May I refer in making the point of order in contents of speeches? Order Rule number thirty eight where it said that no member should impute improper motives to any other member of either chamber, the conduct of her majesty and members of the royal family, governor general, the speaker, the president of the senate, members of the national assembly, judges and other persons engage in the administration of justice shall not be raise except upon a substantive motion move for the purpose. You are talking about conflict of interest on the part of the member. You are raising the question of his conduct. You are imputing improper motive but generally you are raising the question of his conduct and to do that you can but you should have brought a substantive motion. That is all I am saying. You are saying this and that, I want to know too you know but you should have done the thing the proper.”


John Briceño

“Madam Speaker I will not continue the back and forth. I think that I have made my point.”

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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