Wed | Dec 6, 2023

JCC: Dalrymple-Philibert's resignation a seminal moment

Published:Saturday | September 23, 2023 | 12:09 AM
Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.
Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert.

THE JAMAICA Chamber of Commerce (JCC) says the laying of charges against former Speaker of the Lower House, Marisa Dalrymple-Philibert, her related resignation and the ultimate outcome of her trial, have grave implications for Jamaica and will resonate well into the future.

In a statement yesterday, the JCC said that it was a seminal moment for Jamaica.

“ ... Our hope is that this episode will confirm for our public servants and all concerned that Jamaica has set high standards for those who benefit from and or manage public funds,” it said in a release.

The JCC made it clear, however, that Dalrymple-Philibert must be given the benefit of the presumption of innocence and that the country should await the outcome of the judicial process.

Reflecting on what transpired in Gordon House on Tuesday, the JCC said that the former Speaker, who had been aware of the charges, had an obligation to recuse herself immediately from all committees and activities involving Integrity Committee matters, especially her own.

“We also believe that in the interest of the country, her stepping down from the role of Speaker until her case could be resolved, would have been the appropriate action,” the JCC noted.

“If the Speaker’s resignations are accepted, as they should be, she would indeed meet our requirements for necessary action in light of the situation.”

Dalrymple-Philibert announced on Thursday that she will be stepping down as Speaker and member of parliament for Trelawny Southern, effective immediately.

She is facing eight criminal charges for making a false statement in her statutory declarations after omitting a Mercedes-Benz motor vehicle from her filings between 2015 and 2021. The controversial use of a 20 per cent duty concession to acquire it is also in contention.

However, the former Speaker said that the omission of the vehicle was a “genuine oversight on my part”.

In a statement, she said she was stepping aside after considering the damage criminal charges have done to her reputation.