Friday 4 December, 2020

Gonzales slams UNC for withholding support for Bail Bill

Member of Parliament for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Marvin Gonzales

Member of Parliament for Lopinot/Bon Air West, Marvin Gonzales

Member of Parliament for Lopinot/Bon Air West Marvin Gonzales has condemned Opposition Leader Kamla Persad Bissessar and the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) for withholding their support for the passage of the Anti-Gang (Amendment) Bill, 2020.

In a statement on Friday, Gonzales labelled the Opposition's actions as unpatriotic.

He said: "As a new Member of the 12th Republican Parliament, it was shocking to see the Opposition Leader, leading her caucus to abstain from supporting this critical legislation which provides an important platform to allow our national Police Service to continue to investigate and prosecute persons who engage in criminal gang activities that undermine the peace, order and security of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago."

Gonzales added that this would have devastating implications for national security and urged the Opposition to put country first.

He said: "The constituents of Lopinot/Bon Air West, who have also been victims of gang activities, strongly condemn the Opposition Leader and her team, for this act of treachery against the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and call upon her to demonstrate sober and sound leadership in the national interest. We call upon all Members of Parliament on the Opposition Bench to do some deep introspection over the weekend and stand up in defence of the law abiding citizens of Trinidad and Tobago and abandon partisan interests. Your constituents and the citizens expect decent and responsible representation from you! They deserve nothing less!"

Meanwhile, Gonzales also condemned the Member of Parliament for Naparima Rodney Charles, who he said used the opportunity in the debate "to pretend to speak on behalf of the African people in Trinidad and Tobago in refusing to support the Bill."

He said: "This was another hypocritical, shameless, vile and desperate attempt by the UNC to pander towards sectorial interests in the hope of misleading our citizens. One hoped that he would have taken the opportunity to apologise to the African community who mainly suffered at the hands of the UNC’s illegal state of emergency that carted away hundreds of young black men into a makeshift prison only to be released on the instructions of the Director of Public Prosecution due to the absence of credible evidence and which cost the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago millions of dollars in damages."

Gonzales said Charles must "apologise for this scar on the national conscience which was perpetuated by his own party before he can purport to speak on behalf of the African community in this country."

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