Sun | Aug 9, 2020

Phillips defends Hanna, Paulwell, Hayles

Published:Monday | July 6, 2020 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson - Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Opposition legislators Lisa Hanna and Phillip Paulwell have done nothing wrong, People's National Party (PNP) President Dr Peter Phillips said on Sunday, as he dismissed allegations in Office of the Contractor General and Integrity Commission reports tabled in Parliament.

"We don't claim to be perfect, and I will act when there is a need to act, but there is no need to act now. I don't cover up wrongdoings, wherever it is," Phillips said at a special meeting of councillors and caretakers from the People's National Party Regions One and Six.

"Phillip Paulwell made representation on behalf of Camperdown High School. Monies were transferred from Petrojam to Camperdown High School. Their board has confirmed it. He did nothing wrong in that regards," Phillips added.

Phillips insisted that the director of public prosecutions (DPP) has absolved Hanna, saying that there was no basis for any charge.

"There is nothing for her to answer to in that regards," Phillips, who is also the opposition leader, said.

Hanna, who is campaign spokesperson for the PNP, has escaped criminal charges but has been slammed for nepotism and cronyism in the award of millions of dollars in contracts in her St Ann South East in a ruling by the DPP.

But Phillips said there was need for the country to apprise itself of the facts surrounding the matter involving Hanna, who is also opposition spokesperson on foreign affairs.

"Frankly speaking, the country needs to have an understanding ... . It's about $3m over a period of time. Not only is there nothing to prosecute, but this talk of cronyism, presumably, is about naming a contractor."

Phillips said that all members of parliament from to time recommend persons for contracts under the Constituency Development Fund.

"In relation to Comrade Ian Hayles, the situation is quite simple. No report has been tabled in the Parliament, and so none of us have basis to examine, so what you have is an attempt to rumourmongering, innuendoes, and misrepresentation at trying to bring the PNP into the same frame as the Jamaica Labour Party, and we repudiate it totally," Phillips said.