Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) president Ancel Roget has accused the ruling PNM Administration of placing the nation’s security at risk by giving priority to “balancing their books” and not giving the police adequate resources to fight crime.
“It’s all about choking the finances at the expense of safety and security, at the expense of the economy and those things are austerity measures. They do not allocate resources to protect our borders because they balancing their books, they do not resource the police because they balancing their books and as a result of that the guns are in the hands of the criminals and we are sitting ducks.”
Addressing a mobilisation exercise at Busy Corner, Chaguanas for the labour movement’s day of rest and reflection on September 7, Roget renewed his call for the removal of the Minister of National Security, Edmund Dillion saying some 290 persons had been murdered for 2018.
“Today we are over 290 persons, it means that some 30 persons from Labour Day (June 19) to now would have lost their lives brutally at the hands of the vicious murderers and it is happening precisely because government is not owing up to its responsibility and its commitment to make our country safe.”
Under overcast skies, JTUM members, most of whom wore white t-shirts with the words ‘Rest and Reflection, September 7, 2018” written on the front while on the back- ‘Too much murders, too much guns, protect our lives’- was written, distributed flyers to pedestrians and motorists.
Speaking to reporters, Roget cited the recent murders at the Chaguaramas boardwalk as evidence that the criminal element had become “embolden” while government was “clueless and inept.”
“The criminals are on the loose and we are sitting ducks. There is no fear or respect for the government and the police, they cannot even appoint a police commissioner. The police force is in disarray, they cannot respond to these situations where criminals gun down two and three and four, what are they waiting for.”
He said the business chambers should also join with the labour movement’s call for Dillon’s removal saying they were also under attack by the criminal element.
“We call for the removal of the minister of national security immediately and we call on citizens to join us in our demand for the prime minster to remove his failed minister of national security and begin to do their work in protecting all of our citizens throughout TT.”
Roget said the recent police action to recover the cell phone of a senior government minister’s son was further evidence that they were only willing to use state resources when a crime had been committed against one of their own.