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Apr 15, 2021

Details from Outside, Following the Interruption of the Commission of Inquiry

The media was waiting outside the House of Culture compound as the public announcement was being made by Commissioner Luke Martinez, on behalf of the unions, causing the postponement of today’s proceedings of the Commission of Inquiry.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports from Regent Street in Belize City.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

In attendance at today’s proceeding was former U.D.P. Minister Anthony “Boots” Martinez, who was to appear before the Commission of Inquiry in reference to a Ford F-150 pickup truck that he purchased and which is being investigated as part of the fire sale of government assets under the Barrow Administration. He was first to exit from the House of Culture and was stunned by what happened.

 

Anthony “Boots” Martinez

Anthony “Boots” Martinez, Former U.D.P. Minister

“When the chairman started to sum up in terms of telling me the reason why that I am asked to relieve myself and they cannot continue on without the union representative and then they were cut; they were abruptly cut live. Obviously the government never conscious the speech that Mister Martinez would have done and looks like the chairman never had the text of the speech so it was ran and after he was finish. So the damage was already done.”

 

The commissioners would then leave the compound.  But Commissioner Luke Martinez and P.S.U. first vice president, Dean Flowers, did not mince words. Cut during or after his speech, Martinez says enough is enough.

 

Luis Luke Martinez, Member, Commission of Inquiry

“Enough is enough. Enough is enough. We, the unions, Public Service union requested for this commission of inquiry into the sale of government assets because the poor people of Belize have been asking why do we continue to sit back and allow government, parliamentarians, people in high office to be handling our assets in such manner. After listening to the first couple of investigations and hearing a lot of Belizeans have been rubbed terribly wrong. And ina the height of this inquiry we see that once again this government wah start sell out the assets of the people without following the proper procedure, absolutely unacceptable.”

 

Dean Flowers

Dean Flowers, 1st Vice President, P.S.U.

“We are not getting leadership; we are getting dictators who believe that they are entitled. I don’t know if it is the manner in which they were grown, but who believe that they are entitled and they can speak down to people. The minute the prime minister and his government took office, they knew they had to do the right thing. They knew they had to come in on a good governance platform; that is what they campaign on. They gave us a hundred-day promise that they would implement and do the right thing. And what have we seen? Play by play out of the Barrow Administration corrupt playbook.”

 

Martinez says the step is in support of the unions, who are currently at an impasse with the government over a salary cut and increment freeze for all public officers and teachers. Martinez says that the current situation goes back to previous administrations.

 

Luis Luke Martinez

Luis Luke Martinez

“We noh reach yah because of the last administration either, because dah noh today dehn bredda di sell out the people of Belize; dah noh today. Some people wah argue and say dah from the time we get independence – in fact even before that. When dehn wutless colonial people come dah Belize, weh dehn come do? Plunder, rape, kill.”

 

So what’s the next step going forward? Is this an end to the inquiry? Will the commissioners from the private sector, unions and the government return to the table?

 

Luke Martinez

“The Public Service Union refused to be a part of this sitting today in protest of what has been going on when it comes to the continuous sale of our government assets. We cannot continue in that manner. A catch phrase from this administration is good faith. And we love the good faith conversation; in fact we also walk upon that platform of good faith and so that is where we are at right now. We are not saying that we are abandoning the ship. We are not jumping out of the ship; the ship continues to sale. Remember, no captain jumps out of a ship weh di wreck. And so we are going to be here, we are going to hold onto to rudders and ensure that this ship sales to the end. We want that dehn bring dehn people to justice.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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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