Opposition Senator Wade Mark says blood and tears are flowing freely in Trinidad and Tobago under the rule of the PNM. He was contributing to debate on the Bail Amendment Bill 2022 in the Senate on Monday.
Mark rejected any argument that the bill could help reduce crime.
"Rivers of blood continue to soak the soil of our republic."
Mark said blood was being spilt through the acts of seasoned criminals, hired assassins and law-enforcement officers acting in self-defence.
The suffering of victims' families and friends is clear to see, Mark said.
"They are shedding rivers of tears."
Referring to the Prime Minister's comment on Sunday that maybe the time had come to declare violence as a public health emergency, Mark scoffed, "This hapless and clueless government does not know what to do."
He said there was one thing the Opposition and Government agreed upon.
"There is no constitutional right to bail under our Constitution."
But Mark added there is a constitutional right for someone to apply for bail.
He reiterated the Opposition's concern that the bill would take the discretion of granting bail away from the Judiciary.
"Denying bail does not solve crime. It is a cover for executive imprisonment."
Mark said the Opposition respects police officers and the job they do, but "there are some very bad police officers in our service."
He wondered whether the bill could give them unnecessary power.
"Innocent lives can be impacted by this measure."
Mark suggested Government pursue other measures such as electronic monitoring and increasing the manpower of the police service to fight crime.
Later in the sitting, Minister in the Office of the AG and Legal Affairs Renuka Sagramsingh-Sooklal chided Mark for insinuating that the bill would breach people's fundamental rights under the Constitution.
She supported Armour's earlier statements on that issue.
"We are not taking away a right."
Sagramsingh-Sooklal reiterated that under the bill a person's right to apply for bail was being deferred for a 120-day period.