Area Representative for Dangriga, Ivan Ramos was duly elected in 2012 in Belize’s General Elections with just over two thousand votes … but despite his victory at the polls, his party, the PUP made some moves that saw Ramos removed as the Standard Bearer for the Dangriga division. That announcement of his removal came on May 13, 2015. It was during that very same press conference held that the media asked the PUP Party Leader, Francis Fonseca, if there was any truth to one of his Parliamentarians making a request for the PetroCaribe Mothers’ Day/Fathers’ Day Cheer. Of course that response was a straightforward ‘no’. So, it was indeed surprising last Friday when the Government issued a release stating that they had approved the request for the twenty five thousand dollars made by one of the PUP Parliamentarians. The release did not state who the Parliamentarian was but it certainly wasn’t classified information as we did get to find out that it was Ivan Ramos. The release led to more questions than answers with one of them being whether Ramos did this because of his party asking him to step aside as their standard bearer. But, Ramos is the only one who bears those answers and so, we contacted him today and while he asked that his interview not be aired, we found out that he had not sent that request letter without consulting a few of his political colleagues. As a matter of fact, he said he was encouraged to do so by a few of his colleagues in the PUP. Ramos did not reveal the names of those colleagues to us but he did say that by the end of the week, he will make a statement to the media on the matter. As for the response by the PUP on May 13 on whether or not one of their Parliamentarians had requested the PetroCaribe Funds, turns out, they were not misleading the media as we found out that the letter sent to the Prime Minister was dated two weeks after that press briefing. We got a copy of the letter yesterday, dated May 27, 2015. When we spoke to Ramos today, he told us that he is aware that the Party Leader had made the party’s position known when it comes to PetroCaribe Funds but the feedback he got from several persons were that the people would still have to repay the monies from PetroCaribe so he should proceed in taking it. Love News spoke to Julius Espat, who is one of the party’s Deputy Leader and who has been the most vocal when it comes to the proper declarations of the PetroCaribe funds and its use. Espat told us that despite consultations as Ramos says he had done, the final decision was up to him, Ramos and that he stands firm that Ramos should face disciplinary measures.
“We were not aware and that’s a fact. It’s an Area Representative on his own who wrote to the Prime Minister seeking approval for PetroCaribe funds, a decision he made on his own. It is not fair to say that the party was not aware when in reality any Area Rep could have done it and the party would not know. I became aware when I was informed by a media personality and then we found out after the fact that it was true but it was a principled decision made by Party Leader on behalf of the party not to accept PetroCaribe funds for typically Christmas Cheer, Mother’s Day program and those types of programs. I think he even mentioned it in the House of Representatives; it wasn’t something that was done quietly so when an Area Rep after the Party Leader spoke has decided to do such things it is disappointing to us and a decision will have to be made by the party what they will have to do with that. What decision they will have to make I don’t know but I believe it is wrong and it should not have been done and I stand by that. He should be disciplined.”
“How would you discipline?”
“He is still a member of the People’s United Party, he is still a member of the House. Discipline happens in various forms; the party leader is the person that will decide. There has to be at least a sit down, there has to be something done, it is not right what he did and it cannot just be brushed under the rug. This is just my opinion again. The devil always encourages you to do wrong but that is a personal decision if you want to do right or wrong. He can encourage you to do something that is wrong; I don’t see that as a justification.”
As we mentioned earlier, Ramos says he will be making a public statement on the matter by the week’s end