Full Text | Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert resigns as MP and House Speaker amid Integrity Commission report
Speaker of the House of Representatives and Jamaica Labour Party Member of Parliament for Trelawny Southern Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert has resigned with immediate effect amid a ruling by the Integrity Commission that she be charged for allegedly making false statements on her statutory declarations.
The charges concern her declarations from 2015 to 2021 and her failure to declare a $6 million vehicle.
The Integrity Commission, in a report that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday, said Dalrymple-Philibert omitted to include the vehicle in her statutory declarations, and, therefore, her declarations were inaccurate and incomplete.
In response, she indicated on Tuesday that the omission was an oversight as she genuinely forgot about the car and that's why it was not included in her filings.
Today, she reiterated her stance and indicated that she has decided to step aside in light of the situation and to protect her reputation.
“I wish to state categorically that my decision is entirely voluntary and not at the request of anyone,” said Dalrymple-Philibert in a statement.
“I look forward to the trial of the matter for which the Integrity Commission has ruled that I be charged to be concluded in a court of law rather than a court of public opinion,” she added.
I have over the past two days read the Integrity Commission's report detailing the circumstances of the omission of a motor vehicle from my Statutory declaration and have taken note of the public sentiments on this issue.
Nowhere in the entire report, has the Integrity Commission raised any question or concern about the source of funding of the vehicle which was purchased through a loan from Sagicor Bank. The vehicle was never sold or transferred to anyone in the past 7 years, although there was nothing preventing me from doing so after the 3-year mandatory restriction was lifted. I maintain to this day, that the omission of the vehicle was a genuine oversight on my part.
There would have been no allegations against my name had I included the vehicle in my declaration, therefore, I had no motive to have deliberately omitted it.
Since the Integrity Commission has decided to charge me criminally for an omission, I have considered the damage this has done to my reputation and have decided to tender my resignation both as the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, with immediate effect. What has happened to me, could have happened to any other Member of the Parliament, Public Servant, or Civil Servant.
As a woman maintaining a family and as a Member of Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and Managing Partner of a law firm, the toll that it has taken on me is immense.
I wish to state categorically that my decision is entirely voluntary, and not at the request of anyone. I also wish to state and emphasise that I remain a loyal and committed member and supporter of the Jamaica Labour Party, and more particularly to the Andrew Holness Administration.
I will continue to render assistance in whatever way I can and I will always support my party. I must, without reservation, thank the people of South Trelawny for their unwavering support of me during this period, and for returning me as their Member of Parliament on four consecutive occasions.
Their support and love have kept me strong through my political journey. However, the present circumstances are completely contrary to my own personal principles and beliefs which I have always lived by.
I look forward to the trial of the matter for which the Integrity Commission has ruled that I be charged, to be concluded in a court of law rather than a Court of Public Opinion.
As I stated in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, I have nothing to hide, and I did not knowingly mislead the Integrity Commission, it was a genuine oversight.
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