Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Dr Peter Phillips responds to Andrew Holness

Published:Wednesday | February 17, 2016 | 12:01 AM
Dr Peter Phillips
An aerial photo of Dr Peter Phillips' house (in the foreground), in Spring Mountain, St Andrew, where he is known to live.

The leader of the opposition asked some questions of me. Attached are the answers.

Q1. Dr Phillips, as a parliamentarian earning practically the same salary as the leader of the opposition, how did you afford the house you currently live in, which is valued at multiple times your salary?

A: My house was purchased by me and my wife (a practising attorney-at-law) on the open market on June 21, 1991, for J$1,500,000 with mortgage funding from Victoria Mutual Building Society, repayable over 20 years and repaid via monthly payments over that period in accordance with the mortgage terms.

Q2. Were you part of the Cabinet of Jamaica which created FINSAC and which took away the property of many hard-working Jamaicans and decimated the entrepreneurial class?

A: FINSAC Limited was incorporated on January 29, 1997, by the PNP administration, of which I was a part, to rescue the savings of many thousands of ordinary Jamaican depositors and policy holders whose savings were loaned by those institutions to entrepreneurs (borrowers) who were unable, unwilling, or forgot to repay the money they had borrowed. That rescue was funded with taxpayers' money, which expenditure was recouped by realising the property voluntarily mortgaged by the borrowers to the institutions as security for the money they borrowed.

Q3. If the answer to question 2 is yes, did you acquire any of the properties taken over by FINSAC or benefit in any way whatsoever?

A: No.

Q4. Did any members of the Cabinet that created FINSAC acquire properties taken over by FINSAC?

A: I am unable to speak for individual members of the Cabinet of the day but expect that each individual is able to speak for himself or herself.

Q5. Do the answers to questions 2, 3, and 4 explain your unwillingness to complete and release the FINSAC report?

A: It is the FINSAC commissioners, not me, who are to complete the report (having already been paid millions for their services). They have not done so, or, if they have, they have not sent it to me. I am not withholding the FINSAC report from release. I cannot release something I have not received.

Q6. Do you own or have any beneficial interest in a house in Beverly Hills?

A: No.

Q7. Are there members of the Cabinet who have offshore companies?

A: I do not have one. I have no knowledge of whether any other Cabinet member has one. They can speak for themselves.

Q8. Will you declare any assets you have overseas.

A: I have no assets overseas, and all my assets (and the assets of my spouse) have been declared annually in accordance with the law since 1989.

Q9. Will the officers of the PNP, including you, testify and come clean about Trafigura?

A: I have not been asked to testify. I believe that those who do testify will do so truthfully.

- Peter D. Phillips