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Ramadhar: Anti-Gang Bill will put T&T on same road like Philippines

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Opposition (COP) MP Prakash Ramadhar says if the Anti-Gang Bill is passed in its present form, T&T will be on the road to violence like what is happening in the Philippines where under President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs thousands of people have been killed.

He was speaking at a press conference at his St Augustine Constituency office, Tunapuna, yesterday.

The bill failed to achieve a two-thirds majority in Parliament on Wednesday—21 Government MPs voted for the bill, 12 UNC MPs voted against and Ramadhar abstained.

Ramadhar said “It's really not the proper way to go forward rushing legislation especially if it involves the removal, suspension or interference with fundamental human rights.

“As bad as T&T is in terms of criminality today, what would be far worse is when we would have bridged all our rights and the State is given the power.

“In some countries we can see the abuses where it goes beyond the evil they tried to fix, that is the danger.”

He said that was why the country had to be very careful the citizens do not arrive at a position where things got so bad that they will accept anything. Ramadhar said Philippine President Duterte was speaking in a way that gave people the sense he would protect them by killing off, literally murdering people he believed might be guilty of offences.

He said he felt as an individual and MP for St Augustine that he could not participate in a vote on a law that he had great ambivalence on.

Ramadhar said he did not believe that it was necessary at this time having regard to the powers that the police already had and if they were used properly, there will be no need for Anti-Gang legislation.

He asked if the Government had the capacity to monitor gang members with the resources from the previous government why don't they go after the crimes they commit and prosecute those.



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