Thursday, October 10, 2019
On Wednesday, history was made in the Senate on October 9 as the UDP lost a vote division on the very controversial, very corrupt Joshua Perdomo debt write-off. Despite widespread public outcry, the write-off motion designed to benefit the son of Cabinet Secretary and former UDP Minister Carlos Perdomo was pushed through the House last Friday by the UDP majority.
But on Wednesday, nobody could have been more shocked than the UDP Senators present when the motion was rejected. Every PUP Senator voted NO. The NGO Senator voted NO. The Business Senator voted NO. The Union Senator voted NO. And in a very rare, practically unheard of move from the Senator representing the churches, Ashley Rocke voted NO. With that, the Perdomo write-off of an unpaid student loan debt was sent back to the House.
The Belize Times has been reliably informed that after the Senate session, UDP bulldog Senator and Attorney-General Michael Peyrefitte was so enraged that he had to be sedated. During the debate on the controversial write-off, Peyrefitte in typical style tried to convince all present, and the nation listening, that the opposition to the write-off was politically motivated only, and Joshua Perdomo should not be attacked or treated differently from any other person. Despite the fact that the entire Government of Belize, with all its power, was unable to find Perdomo to collect on the debt, Peyrefitte also tried, nonsensically, to argue that Perdomo can still be made to pay, even though the debt will be written off.
By now, even Prime Minister Dean Barrow has realized that the UDP bit off more than they could chew when they tried to slyly push this write-off through the House at a previous Sitting. With all the millions and millions being bandied about, Barrow no doubt thought that $40,000 was too small and petty to be of any note. But he could not have been more wrong.
The People’s United Party led the way, as organizations and entities furious condemned the act of nepotism. The Public Service Union was moved to call it a shameless act. And before he was chastised, even Deputy Prime Minister Patrick Faber condemned it on national television, saying that is it something he would never have done and something that he would not support. Of course, he was forced to lap his tail and support after he was taken to task for daring to speak out against a Cabinet decision.
There are many Belizean students with great potential who are forced to drop out of school because they have no financial means to continue, and no access to the opportunities granted to ‘not-normal’ UDP Belizeans. Every single day the nation hears the most heart-wrenching stories of poverty, or children on the street begging, of children going to school without breakfast or lunch or shoes or books. Mr. Barrow and his UDP could not have believed that the Joshua Perdomo debt write-off would anger the people so much because none of the Millionaires’ Club understands poverty.
The Belize Times is proud of all those Belizeans who spoke out against the write-off. We are proud of the Opposition members in the House who vigorously rejected the motion, and we are proud of all the Senators who did the right thing. If Barrow hasn’t gotten the message yet, he will whenever elections are called.