COLA Demands GOB Bust Open The Books On Faber's Road Contract

And as we told you last week, COLA is also highly sceptical of the million dollar contract and has e...

Franz Parke Is Appointed To The Courts Of Appeal Despite Growing Opposition

Despite growing opposition, this morning Governor General Sir Colville Young proceeded with the appo...

PUP Says 8 Million Dollars Farbers Road Contract Is Bloated

The controversy continues over a contract awarded by the Ministry of Works to Imer Hernandez Develop...

BNTU Scold PM Barrow And Demands Answers By October 20th

On October 3rd, the Belize National Teacher’s Union held a special ceremony in Belize City to commem...

Opposition Leader Weighs In Over The $8 Million Contract To Imer Hernandez

Yesterday the Opposition voiced their concerns over the awarding of an $8 million contract to Imer H...

  • COLA Demands GOB Bust Open The Books On Faber's Road Contract

    Tuesday, 17 October 2017 02:37
  • Franz Parke Is Appointed To The Courts Of Appeal Despite Growing Opposition

    Tuesday, 17 October 2017 02:42
  • PUP Says 8 Million Dollars Farbers Road Contract Is Bloated

    Tuesday, 17 October 2017 02:59
  • BNTU Scold PM Barrow And Demands Answers By October 20th

    Tuesday, 17 October 2017 03:05
  • Opposition Leader Weighs In Over The $8 Million Contract To Imer Hernandez

    Wednesday, 18 October 2017 03:05

The second witness was former Minister of Immigration Carlos Perdomo, who returned for another round of questioning.

Perdomo had testified last Wednesday that as long as documents had the signatures of the Immigration Director and the Officer in Charge, he would simply affix his signature without any vetting. He even told the Senators that he did not believe it was his responsibility to check further, and in one case brought to him by Senator Mark Lizarraga he could not explain why he signed a nationality certificate even though the Officer in Charge indicated concerns about the document.


In this round, he was asked whether he believed that Cabinet or Cabinet Ministers should bear responsibility for the actions of others as stipulated in the Belize Constitution. Not surprisingly, he flatly rejected the notion.


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Section 44(2) of the Constitution says; that the Cabinet shall be the principal executive instrument of policy with general direction and control of the government and shall be collectively responsible for all things done by or under the authority of any minister in the execution of his duty. Are you familiar with that…?”


Screen_Shot_2017-06-14_at_8.11.22_PMCarlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You just read it to me so I am familiar yes.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Were you familiar before minister?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“No”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“My question is do you now accept that anything you did would have an impact on Cabinet because they have collective responsibility, you agree with that statement?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“Not entirely but it’s a long constitutional debate so I don’t’ agree.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“What you don’t agree with that statement minister because, minister…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You asked me if I agree and I said I don’t agree.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Right, and am asking you what it is that you don’t agree with that part of the constitution?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“That I don’t’ agree with your question.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“That you don’t agree with my question, can you say what part of my question?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“The whole question”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“I would think Secretary Perdomo that you would be very well aware that any minister not properly carrying out their responsibilities that their colleagues are responsible as well?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“I don’t agree.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“You don’t agree in effect with the constitution of Belize?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“Well, I don’t agree with you with your question.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Do you have a fundamental issue with Section 44(2) of the Constitution?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“I don’t have an issue with that I have an issue with your question.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Would you care to say what the issue you have with my question is?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“The whole question”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“It seems to me that the Constitution and the Regulations are clearly telling us that people in authority or in senior positions in this country starting at Cabinet are responsible for those below them, would you agree?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“That was talking about the Public Service?”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Yes, but the concept is the same if you read the Constitution and the Regulations the concept is the same those that are above you are responsible for those below would you agree minister?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“I don’t agree because it’s a, it’s something that has to go into a discussion, how you would you be responsible for everything that everybody down below you are responsible for some things but you can’t take responsibility for everything a public officer does so it’s an issue that is very broad and has many different angles to answer it so you question I can’t answer that because that’s not a fair question.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Minister, am not casting blame or aspersions on anything as yet but what am trying to see…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“But that’s exactly what you doing.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“No am trying to see…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“But that’s exactly what you doing causing aspersions.”


According to the former Minister who retired from politics to become the Cabinet Secretary, he was not aware as the former top man in Immigration that so many wrong things were occurring. Perdomo was clearly in a very defensive mood today. So defensive that he chided Senator Lizarraga for expecting him to be, as he put it, a perfect man.


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Your government came to power on a promise to change and a trying to figure out what policies, I had ask you this question and am going to repeat it again, what policies did you put in place to stop this corruption, what did you as minister responsible for that department to bring about change in that department?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You asked that similarly last week and I said I had never seen that report before, I had no knowledge of what you pointed out to me last week so…”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“You had no knowledge of the report minister, but there was this knowledge that irregularities was happening in the passport…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“Last week I told you that I agree with issues of irregularities every now and then when they were discovered we tried to deal with it but you were last week onto something about culture of corruption and I said I didn’t know about that, I didn’t know about Mr. Zetinas’ report so I am repeating those because you are insisting that I knew and that I should have done something about it and am saying I didn’t know and that is the truth.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Mr. Perdomo, my question is do you believe that you deserve to be but anyhow…Cabinet Secretary again more direct as minister of nationality, immigration and passport did you drive the formation of any policy on Immigration, Passport and Nationality?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“It’s been a few years since I’ve been in that post, I don’t recall what policies we did but whenever we would have meetings it would be myself, the CEO maybe the Director and other people but I don’t recall exactly what we did it’s been a long time.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“You see minister this is my concern that you were responsible for this department and all of these things were happening and you appeared not to know anything about anything?”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality

“Well, it appears so”

Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee

“Except in joke, because you are saying in jest…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“I can only tell you the fruit from my point of view but sometimes when people share the truth here like you are doing right now you then proceed to lash people, am telling you the truth so now you will bring out a lot of things about this and that and so forth, am telling I don’t, did know, so why continue on it, I didn’t know, I didn’t know, I didn’t know.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Minister am not trying to lash you am trying to see how policy is formulated in this country and where responsibility begins and where does it ends.  The big question Mr. Perdomo is whether there was a deliberate knowledge of what was going on, you said you and your friends spoke and joked about it but whether…”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You keep coming back to this joke?”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Yes, because I don’t think it’s funny.”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“Which is not the way I said it to you but you keep repeating it like if I am some irresponsible type of person I am telling you that with friends and I think you do the same thing when you are with friends, it’s not a joke like you try to put it, but it shows you bias sometimes so that’s all I have to say it’s not a joke like you are suggesting Senator, you done it three times already today and two times last week.”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“Minister, while I have spoken about it with my friends we don’t joke about it we try to …”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You are a very perfect man”


Senator Mark Lizarraga – Member of Special Senate Select Committee


“No I didn’t say that.”


Carlos Perdomo – Former Minister of Immigration and Nationality


“You don’t have standards either.”


Perdomo, like disgraced politician Elvin Penner when he testified a few weeks ago, claimed that he could not discuss matters brought up in Cabinet during his time as a Minister because the information is privileged.

Share this post

This content has been locked. You can no longer post any comment.