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Vaz calls Phillips 'chief hypocrite'

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

CABINET Minister Daryl Vaz yesterday labelled Dr Peter Phillips “chief hypocrite” in response to the Opposition leader's call for sanctions against him arising from his (Vaz's) failed attempt to lease land at Holywell in the Blue and John Crow Mountains national park.

“The people of Jamaica are not fools and they will recognise that Peter Phillips is the chief hypocrite in his posture on national issues,” Vaz said, describing Phillips's call at Sunday's People's National Party (PNP) meeting as “hollow, baseless, and barefaced”.

The Portland Western Member of Parliament (MP) said that “Phillips is a bad-minded and desperate man, who is unworthy to lead this country”.

In his address to the meeting of the PNP's regions two and three at The Mico University College in Kingston, Dr Phillips said he was not satisfied with the Government's response to the issue involving a bid made by Vaz for lease of Government-owned land at Holywell.

Phillips described as “contempt for the people and their concerns” Prime Minister Andrew Holness's response by only removing responsibility for lands and the environment from Vaz to newly appointed minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation Leslie Campbell.

But Vaz said yesterday that Phillips is unworthy of being given the opportunity to lead Jamaica, given his tolerance of PNP members who have been the subject of a raft of adverse findings from anti-corruption agencies.

Vaz accused Phillips of making “baseless innuendos” in suggesting that he be sanctioned for a past contractor general report on a de-bushing project which produced no adverse findings.

Vaz said that Phillips should tell the country who was the witness on the transaction by Opposition MP Fitz Jackson “who attempted to lease a piece of Bernard Lodge in St Catherine, despite advocating against plans being put in place by the Government to benefit all residents of the area”.

He also “categorically” rejected Phillips's suggestion of lack of transparency or law-breaking in relation to the Holywell issue as “baseless politicking and false”.

In relation to his alleged role in the Palace Resort/UDC deal, Vaz said it should be noted that unlike several people Phillips has promoted, no adverse recommendations to law enforcement agencies were made by the commission of Parliament which probed the matter.

He noted that, on the contrary, the bosses of the Integrity Commission separated themselves from any potential negative comment made about him by former Contractor General Dirk Harrison.

Vaz said that Phillips must account to the people for the thousands of jobs which the PNP's “rabid” political commentary cost the people, when the investor decided to pull out of the deal, citing the damaging nature of the comments from the PNP.

He also pointed to the fact that Phillips was among a team of PNP ministers who paid their respects at the 2001 funeral of William “Willie Haggart” Moore, who was reputed by local and international law enforcement agencies as a don.

“Phillips must bare his soul and tell the country why he was compelled to attend this funeral,” Vaz stated.