And while the Belize Medical and Dental Association is satisfied with Dr. Diaz’s performance, past PSU President Attorney Jacqueline Willoughby-Wright says that the decision to put Dr. Marvin Manzanero on leave is downright disappointing. Willoughby-Wright told Love News that Doctor Manzanero is the legally commissioned Director of Health Services. As for Dr. Diaz’s appointment as acting DHS, Willoughby-Wright says that it is illegal.
Jacqueline Willoughby- Wright, Past President, Public Service Union: “I’ve got say how disappointed I am. It is amazing how far political interference will go to interrupt a fabric that they are not fully satisfied with. Dr.Manza is the legally commissioned DHS. What does that mean ? That means that he entered the public service just like any other normal public servant and he was promoted by the commission. A view of the constitution will show that that is the function of the commission. It simply means that when it is that – firstly when they appointed the other person that’s there that was unlawful. She could not get an acting appointment unless that appointment came from the commission. The commission could not have appointed her because after election the first meeting that was held at the commission was this past Friday the 19th of February which means that the commission had not met and therefore there could be no business. It is not the purview of the Minister of the Public Service, the CEO of the Public Service, the Minister of Health or the CEO of health to place anybody in an acting appointment. So that procedure is all wrong and unlawful and in fact the person acting now should not have been paid because acting appointments are only sanctioned by the Public Service Commission. On the part of Dr.Manzanero ever since he came off sick leave he should have been installed, reinstated right back in his office. There’s no evidence of him doing anything wrong and so they should have placed him back in his office because he’s the legally commissioned DHS. To have gone to him and to ask him to step aside for somebody else is absolutely tomfoolery. There is no precedent in law for it.”
Willoughby-Wright says that the decision to make allegations against Doctor Manzanero is politically motivated and a travesty against a man who has served in the public service for years.
Jacqueline Willoughby- Wright, Past President, Public Service Union: “It is clear from what I’ve been observing that it is a witch hunt. Because he’s not agreeing with what they want to do they have now decided that they would witch hunt because evidence would show from the reports that are constantly coming out of health that between the period 27th August to about when election hype began the deaths for COVID was going down and as a matter of course in the month of December alone after the election there were over one hundred deaths, should we then be seeing that the acting person be given an administrative leave as well ? In my humble opinion it is lawful for them to give him administrative leave if they so believe that something is wrong with what he has done and if they’re investigating that is lawful but one has to question the motive behind all this. You see things are coming too close together. Following the news in the first instances they asked him to say whether or not there was something else in the ministry he could do, there’s nothing else in the ministry he could do. He is the head of department so putting him to do anything less than the head is a demotion and an insult to his career to which he has worked very hard for. So then you move quickly to try to push him aside by trying to offer him holidays after holidays after holidays that he didn’t need and then you went a little bit further you decided that you would pre-prepare a demotion letter for him to sign and agree with – I think I missed one step – you made an announcement on the news that he has accepted a demotion when that was the furthest thing from the truth why lie to the nation of Belize ? And then you went a little bit further and you determined now that you will prepare a demotion letter for him to sign and because he refuses to sign you send him on administrative leave. What does that say about your motive ?”