At a press conference on Sunday 22nd May 2022, a reporter asked Keith Rowley to comment on his now-debunked claims that the Sabga report was hidden despite there being numerous references in Parliament to it.
Instead of accepting that he misled the country about the Sabga report in order to deflect from the Judith Jones Report, he attempted to again attack Mr Robert Sabga.
This was a desperate attempt to evade questions regarding the allegations of a longstanding paedophile ring operating within the PNM.
I wish to remind Rowley of the words of his current government colleague Mrs Robinson-Regis as recorded in the Hansard as it pertains to the availability and use of the Sabga report.
In the debate on the Children’s Authority (Amdt) Bill on Tuesday, November 19th2002, Camille Robinson-Regis is quoted on the Hansard as follows;
Hon. C. Robinson-Regis: All right, so you understand what Shawn, who was adopted by the political leader of your party, had to go through. [Interruption]
Mr. Vice-President, may I also say that every effort will be made under this administration, as we implement this very important piece of legislation to ensure that children are, in fact, well taken care of during our time in office and that they are by no means subject to exploitation. [Desk thumping]
Before I close, Mr. Vice-President, let me make the point that in relation to the issue that was raised by Sen. Prof. Deosaran regarding the report in relation to the foster homes and that issue of abuse, between the period 1991—1995, there were some attempts made to try to put administrative arrangements in place in order to train people in the proper care of children.
In fact, that particular Sabga Report was used by the then Ministry of Social Development to examine all the issues as they related to the care of children. The issues that were raised in that report were very revealing in circumstances where our society had depended on a number of foster homes to ensure care for our young children and for children who had suffered abandonment by their families.
That report did, in fact, inform quite a number of the policies that were developed during that period, especially as they related to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Mr. Vice-President, let me give the assurance to all Senators that we on this side will, in fact, do all in our power and, indeed I think, the substance of the budget that was presented and, in fact, our vision for Trinidad and Tobago, indicates that ours is an intention to ensure that the society in which we live is a society that looks at the interest, not only of children but of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Mr. Vice-President, may I say thank you to those Senators who did, in fact, contribute to this very important debate. With those words, I beg to move that a Bill to amend the Children’s Authority Act, 2000 be now read a second time.
As seen on the Hansard, Camille Robinson Regis confirmed that the Sabga report was in fact a publicly available document and that its recommendations were adopted by the UNC and led to the creation of the following legislation:
The Children’s Authority Bill, 1999;
The Children (Amendment) Bill, 1999;
The Adoption of Children Bill, 1999;
The Miscellaneous Provisions (Children) Bill, 1999;
The Children’s Community Residences, Foster Homes and Nurseries Bill, 1999.
Keith Rowley has been exposed as a liar through the words of his own PNM colleague Mrs Camille Robinson Regis. The Government must now answer:
· Who are the high-ranking PNM members who are accused of operating a longstanding paedophile ring within the PNM.
· What is being done about the current Justice Judith Jones report?
· Where is the former director of the Children’s Authority and former PNM candidate Nicola Harvey- Mitchell?
· Why has Nicola Harvey-Mitchell not been questioned by the police regarding the events leading up to the deaths of Simeon Daniel and Antonio Francois?
· Why has Ayana Webster Roy not explained sitting on this Justice Jones report for five months?
The country is not going to allow this Government to continue lying in order to protect paedophiles within the PNM.
Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP
Leader of the Opposition
23rd May 2022