Area Representative for Cayo South, Julius Espat received a letter this morning from the Clerk of Court of the National Assembly informing him that he has been cut off of funds for his division as well as his stipend. We spoke with Espat on the matter.
“Well the letter I think is based on one that I had sent the clerk requesting clarification on whether I was suspended or not due to the fact that they did not follow the rules and procedures in the house and this is before I spoke to my attorneys to see what my legal action would be. I got a response from the clerk the same day that I sent it which was the 5th of September saying please readdress my letter to the Speaker and not to him. And then today I received a letter from the clerk which was copied to me, sent to the Ministry of Finance, a lady by the name of Alpuche, informing her that no stipend or nothing from Cayo South should be paid out to me until the house decides what the situation is and that’s where we are right now. The problem is that it is not about me, it is about the constituency of Cayo South. I am one of the only area reps that have a formal office. I serve my people, we do community projects every month throughout the whole year. This now goes beyond politics. It goes to the people of Cayo South that will not have an opportunity to be assisted in any way and so it is a major problem, especially when you have people that are put on leave for erroneous or illegal acts and they are still being paid.”
“Were you given a time frame how long this punishment is going to be in effect?”
“I don’t know if you call it a punishment. You can more call it vindictive action but no I don’t have an idea of the timeframe.”
“Are you seeking legal recourse at this time?
“Well our attorneys are presently in the process of taking a claim to the supreme court so that we can find out legally what our position is because we can’t depend on what the government is saying. We need the judiciary to step in and make a decision.”
Love News got a copy of the letter which is addressed to Miss Carla Alpuche can copied to the Ministry of Finance, Julius Espat, the Speaker of the House and the Cabinet Secretary. The letter notes Espat’s suspension with subsequent direction that Espat should receive no payment. It did not specify if payment referred to his stipend as an elected member of the House or if it also includes his monthly allowance for his area. Espat has acquired the legal service of Senior Counsel Andrew Marshalleck to seek legal recourse.