UNC to decide on Phillip’s Commissioner of Police nomination Monday

(Trinidad & Tobago Guardian): The Opposition UNC has been discussing the notification of nomination of DCP Harold Phillip for the post of Police Commis-sioner and its position will be revealed in Parliament next Monday when the matter is debated, UNC whip David Lee says.

Notification of nomination of Phillip for the post was sent on Tuesday by the Police Service Commission to the Parliament.

This, after the notification of nomination of DCP Deodat Dulalchan for the post was rejected by Government last month on the basis that PSC’s process was flawed. PSC chairman Bliss Seepersad, in a July 1 letter on Phillip’s notification, stated Senior Counsel advised that the second ranked candidate on the merit list (for CoP) should be submitted to Parliament according to Legal Notice 218 of 2015 on the matter.

Phillip is the second ranked on that list done by the previous PSC, she noted.

Government in Parliament on Tuesday refused to debate the notification sent to the Parliament, maintaining PSC’s process was flawed.

UNC MP Ganga Singh said refusal to debate the notification was constitutionally wrong and on Wednesday Government House leader Camille Robinson-Regis said Government would debate it next Monday. She said she’d only seen a letter from the Police Service Commission concerning the notification after Tuesday’s sitting and Government would debate it especially after issues in Seepersad’s letter. She declined to say if Government would support or reject notification on Philip.

In recent debate on Dulalchan, the UNC called for Government to appoint him as CoP. UNC’s Lee said yesterday the position on Phillip will be known Monday.

After Government’s turnabout on the situation Wednesday, Singh and other MPs bashed Government and Robinson-Regis.

Singh said: “The Leader of Government Business clearly erred in seeking to instruct the Clerk of the House not to proceed with the notification from the President, that’s why I spoke out against the subversion of the Constitution and usurping of Parliament’s power to debate the process. The Speaker also erred in allowing an impermissible intrusion on Parliament’s role in this matter.”

“Their action created gridlock between the constitutionally entrenched PSC, the President and Parliament. It demonstrates Government’s incompetence and insidious attempts to stymie democracy and ‘strong-arm’ the Parliament’s processes. The Speaker attempted to give me a ‘red card’ when the ‘foul’ was really committed by Government. It’s clear: democracy requires eternal vigilance.”

UNC’s Roodal Moonilal added: “Disturbing conclusions were raised by the PSC’s letter which stated they don’t have the ‘time, money and resources to do over the process.’ Therefore a crate of eggs has fallen on Government’s collective face. ‘WPC’ Camille should be demoted to SRP. She boldly and wrongfully declared government won’t consider the President’s notification for the CoP’s. But within 24 hours they understood the notification is for the consideration of Parliament, not government.”

“She’s brought the President into disrepute and conspired to misdirect the House Speaker to join the government in violating the Constitution—she must resign as Leader of Government Business.”

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar added: “Once again, we see the gross incompetence and deceit of this Rowley Government. Government has now backed down on that position following the Opposition’s strong objections. They cannot unilaterally decide they won’t proceed with Parliamentary debate on the President’s Notification—the law must be followed

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