Immediately take action and remove abused children from the children’s homes, says Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
She was speaking at the United National Congress (UNC) “T&T Speaks” cottage meeting in Princes Town on Thursday night.
“You know, up to today those children are still there? Children are being abused now and you are not taking them out of the homes? Have a heart for the children, man. Take them away from those homes. Why are they still there?” she asked, noting that acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob had said the abused children were still in the homes.
“Take our children away from these monsters now. You can do it now, you have the authority, we passed the law, you have the authority, you can have them removed from these monsters in these homes. But no, PNM, Paedophile National Movement, what are you afraid of?” she said.
Persad-Bissessar urged the population to unite against the Dr Keith Rowley-led Government if there was no action.
“There are people in high places who are molesting and abusing our children, and I call on the Government. And if you will not act now, enough is enough. Let us band together, let us unite together and say Rowley, come down from there... enough is enough. Rowley and his Cabinet has to go!” she said.
Persad-Bissessar said Government Minister Camille Robinson-Regis has “amnesia”, as she has forgotten that when she was in the Manning government, she referred to the 1997 Robert Sabga report in the Parliament.
Persad-Bissessar noted that Rowley said that she and the UNC “hid” the report, which was untrue.
She said she wants the People’s National Movement (PNM) to talk about what they are doing with the Judith Jones report, and she noted this report recommended that the affected children be removed from the homes.
Persad-Bissessar also raised an objection to the Immigration (Caribbean Community Skilled Nationals) (Amendment) Bill, 2022, which was debated in the Parliament yesterday.
She said the Opposition does not support this legislation because at this time, focus should be on employing citizens of Trinidad and Tobago. Persad-Bissessar said she has no problem with Caricom nationals, but believes the timing is wrong.
“Nothing is wrong with that, but not at this time. Just a few days ago, you fired over 400 TSTT workers. Under Rowley’s watch, over 120,000 persons have lost their jobs, so why you want Caricom people to come here and work when Trini and Tobagonian people can’t get a job, when they are losing their jobs? So we will not support that bill,” she said.
“Home first, Rowley. I am not against any Caricom national, but I say home first. Jobs for people of Trinidad and Tobago first,” she added.
Persad-Bissessar said the legislation was paving the way for persons who are not skilled workers—such as security guards and fast food workers—to work in T&T.
She said these ordinary jobs can be filled by locals.
Persad-Bissessar boasted that her government created more than 50,000 new jobs without creating new taxes.
She said people are facing immense pressure with high food prices and runaway crime.
Her government, she said, was able to provide a better quality of living for people by bringing crime and food prices down.