Progressive Democratic Patriots (PDP) deputy leader Farley Augustine says the T&T Police Service must be allowed to do their job if they are probing PDP leader Watson Duke.
However, he says the People’s National Movement is trying to switch the narrative by focusing on the Duke investigation instead of the 6-6 deadlock in the Tobago House of Assembly.
Augustine made the comment as he responded to a PNM Tobago Council press release which accused him (Augustine) of being a hypocrite due to his silence on the police investigation into alleged fraud by Duke, yet using misinformation in efforts to destroy the character of Tracy Davidson-Celestine in his quest for political power.
On Friday, police visited the PSA headquarters hoping to question Duke. However, he was not in office and the officers eventually left. It is believed the officers went to the office as part of their continuing probe into allegations of alleged fraud related to PSA affairs.
Speaking while visiting the damaged Parlatuvier jetty, Augustine said he has no problems with the police conducting any investigation because he has nothing to hide and everything he has done is “above board and he is still living within his means.”
As it relates to Duke, Augustine erred on the side of caution, saying, “Mr Duke can speak on his own behalf as he has been doing in his own way on several occasions.”
Augustine said he holds no brief for Duke and Duke holds no brief for him, adding he is in fact “comfortable with the way I manage my affairs.”
However, he said there are several outstanding issues related to the Duke investigation that have not been addressed in the public reports.
“Is Mr Duke entitled to a gratuity? If he’s entitled to a gratuity, is the gratuity calculated for the period that ended before the last PSA elections? Then it means that therefore the next gratuity he’s supposed to get should be with a difference of what he received for the previous term.”
He called on the PNM to allow the police “to do their jobs and allow the chips to fall where they may.” However, he said he will continue to focus on representing the people of his constituency. He called on the police to also come in and investigate several matters in the THA.
“Let the police investigate, instead of throwing away we money, to investigate D Angelo $430,000 US dollars. Instead of investigating that, they reward the people who lead the entire debacle, we reward them by putting them back in charge of the same department.”
He also called on the PNM to give an update on the brother-in-law of the Tobago PNM leader, Julien Celestine, who was suspended from the National Self Help Board. According to Augustine, while the PNM continues to focus on Duke, Tobagonians are seeing them as “greedy and power-hungry” as they have refused to meet and discuss the way forward on the proposal to share leadership of the THA.