Where was Heyliger last year?
PHILIPSBURG:---- Member of Parliament and Leader of the United St. Maarten (US) party Frans Richardson has called on Minister of Justice Edson Kirindongo to initiate a complete and thorough investigation at the Point Blanche Prison and assured the Minister that he has his fullest confidence to get the job done.
MP Richardson also dubbed the call by the UP leader Theo Heyliger for Kirindongo to resign “simply ridiculous” and suggested that perhaps Heyliger should resign for once again playing politics with an issue. “From listening to the UP leader who has been invisible for about two years, you would think the issues the current Minister now face JUST started,” Richardson said adding that Heyliger wants the people to believe that a resignation would magically solve all issues. “Infantile politics again,” he said.
“Furthermore, when one of our finest police officers lost his life in the line of duty last year, why didn’t Heyliger call for the resignation of the UP appointed Minister Dennis Richardson then? Why didn’t Heyliger support the vote of no confidence against the same Minister then? People aren’t naive. They can see this for what it is. Pure politicking,” he said.
Richardson said he also expects the Minister, along with the hard working men and women law enforcement, to carry on with the task of bringing criminals to justice. Richardson said the Minister since taking office has developed a close relationship with the arms of law enforcement and has done everything in his power to provide the resources so law enforcement can do their job.
As for the prison, Richardson lamented that the issue is now being used as a political football, but urged the Minister to remain focused on the job at hand. “We need to know what is the central issue at the prison in particular what is affecting the employees that results in high absenteeism. Is it management problem? We know how this can affect morale if management role is an issue. Is it a health issue, manpower issue, threats, whatever it is we need to address it. We know the Minister in the past 9 months have dealt with issues that were never addressed by his predecessor and have been successfully doing so. You have our support Minister,“ Richardson said.
Regarding the call for the Minister to resign by MP Theo Heyliger, MP Richardson said it is obvious that Heyliger cares about politics and “sounding good” rather than people. “He saw an opportunity to play politics and that’s what he is doing. He doesn’t care about the people involved and typical of his lack of leadership style, can’t offer any of substance. Where was his call for the resignation of his Minister Dennis Richardson when inmates at the prison were seriously injured and illegal goods such as loaded firearms, other weapons were found? In fact, where was the MP period. He didn’t even say anything then. Now he wants to call for resignations. Politics over people, that’s him and his party,” Richardson said.
Richardson also asked the community of St. Maarten to extend their complete cooperation to the authorities in their efforts to investigate the aforementioned acts of violence and apprehend those responsible.