The Vision Inspired by the People, VIP, held a press conference this morning to update the public on its position on critical issues currently affecting the country. Patrick Rogers, first dealt with the Petro Caribe Loans Act and the amendments that Prime Minister Dean Barrow says will be introduced at the next sitting of the House of Representatives in June.
“And the amendments that Mr. Barrow is making will not allow these matters to proceed toward the court. He has still removed litigation by way of legislation; so we are saying our move to mobilize people in the street continues, Mr. Barrow, because you could have brought us to the table, not necessarily VIP but all the stakeholders that are saying, ‘you know what, we need to get back to the rule of law, we need to know that if in effect the loan agreement that was signed and not taken to the House to be legitimized and the borrowings that subsequently went against this thing. If it were illegal like we know it is, based on the Finance and Audit Act and the Constitution because Section 1.14 of the Constitution clearly states that, ‘all revenues or monies raised or received by Belize not being revenues or other monies payable under this constitution or any other law into some other public fund established for a specific purpose shall be paid into and form one Consolidated Revenue Fund.’ So in the absence of this being legal then the Constitution would have kicked in at 1.14 so that is why we are saying the Prime Minister violated our Constitution at Section 1.14. Had he not used that Consolidated Revenue Fund then the Finance and Audit Act would have given him the option to set up that development fund like we were proposing which was the route Jamaica had taken. So needless to say we need this matter be litigated. We need to have your honor say whether or not these borrowings were in violation of the Finance and Audit Act which we know it is because the Finance and Audit Act clearly stated that any amount over $10 million dollars should have been taken to the House. Now our consultation continues because this will remain in the PetroCaribe Loans Act the general provisions in section three none of that mentions any changes happening to 5 in the event of a conflict between the provisions and this conflict and any other law the provisions of this act shall prevail; none of this will prevail; this Act shall take effect retrospectively that won’t change. So our point is that he is playing games with us so that the public can think that the Prime Minister is trying to work with the people. He is not working with us Belize, he’s trying to con us to have some of us think that the man is trying to be appeasing and we are being stubborn and won’t accept the fact that he has the power to do as he likes. You do not have the power to do as you like Mr. Prime Minister you are not ruling us.”