Friday 3 April, 2020

Young Jamaica takes aim at PNPYO, Phillips over Reid saga

Howard Chamberlain

Howard Chamberlain

Young Jamaica, the youth arm of the governing Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), has expressed concern about what it has described as “the uncomfortable timelines surrounding… an elaborate media-staged arrest of the former Education Minister, Ruel Reid, his wife and daughter, and the President of the CMU (Caribbean Maritime University), Fritz Pinnock.”

Additionally, Young Jamaica cited what it described as “the PNPYO’s (People’s National Party Youth Organisation (PNPYO) misguided call for the resignation of the Justice Minister, Delroy Chuck” amidst the flurry of developments surrounding the arrests of Reid and the other now accused persons.

Young Jamaica, in a release on Thursday, said “it is more than a little suspicious that days after (PNP President) Dr Peter Phillips took the unprecedented step of publicly exerting political pressure on the law enforcement agencies of Jamaica, that an elaborate and seemingly orchestrated media arrest was staged of the accused individuals.”

The group suggested that media entities were alerted to the pre-dawn raids while “the country’s chief prosecutor, the DPP (Director of Public Prosecution), was not advised of the pending arrests.”

The JLP youth arm said the overall situation represent troubling developments, with a suggestion that the Opposition is prepared to breach the longstanding principles of non-interference in law enforcement operations.

Krystal Tomlinson

Young Jamaica President, Howard Chamberlain, said in view of the recent developments, the PNPYO President, Krystal Tomlinson, was grandstanding and being a hypocrite in calling for the resignation of the justice minister.

“Ms Tomlinson would have been privy to the dangerous precedent her party leader set by threatening civil unrest unless law enforcement officials acted within parameters and timelines that he found desirable,” said Chamberlain, suggesting that Tomlinson’s time would have been better served advising Phillips on the importance of non-interference in the public investigative process.

Of Chuck’s comments about the raids on the now accused persons homes, which he has since withdrawn and apologised for, Young Jamaica said: “The justice minister was rightly concerned about the overly dramatic manner in which these arrests were conducted. It cannot be that the Opposition leader uses his high office to intimidate… law enforcement. That is intolerable and disqualifies him as a potential PM (prime minister.”

Shifting gear swiftly from Chuck back to Phillips, Young Jamaica said the Opposition leader needs to clarify that he will not seek to pressure investigating agencies to act in a manner that is pleasing to him.

“If the (PNP)YO is serious about maintaining credibility, they must lead the call to have public confidence restored in the principle of political non-interference in law enforcement operations,” declared Chamberlain.

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