Opposition Leader, Dr. Peter Phillips, is defending the embattled Jamaica Constabulary Force, JCF, which is under pressure over of its controversial administrative review report on the 2010 West Kingston operation.
He says people should be ‘careful’ in criticizing the JCF, because the security forces faced an ‘insurgency’ from ‘militias and illegal armies’.
Dr. Phillips is also questioning the soundness of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry report and the diligence of the Commissioners who criticized the conduct of the security forces in the May 2010 operation.
Dr. Phillips’s sympathy for the JCF comes as the organization is facing mounting criticism.
This, over its contentious administrative review report which civil society advocates say has entirely exonerated police officers of any wrongdoing, failures or misconduct in the 2010 operation which left more than 70 people dead.
Human rights and civil society advocates have attacked the report, calling it ‘unworthy’, ‘atrocious’ and ‘pathetic’.
They, along with Public Defender, Arlene Harrison Henry, have demanded that the JCF withdraw it. They are adamant it can’t stand.
But in a surprising twist in what’s now a raging national debate, the Opposition Leader today questioned the soundness of the report of the Commission of Enquiry which the police are pushing back against.
Dr. Phillips suggested that the Sir David Simmons-led Commission may not have ‘properly taken into account’ what he describes as the ‘real situation’ that faced the police and soldiers in the 2010 operation.
Dr. Phillips didn’t answer that question, ending the interview at that point.
The brief interview took place at his West Kings House Road office in St. Andrew this afternoon following an off-the record briefing with senior journalists.
We asked Dr. Phillips what’s his view on the call by the Public Defender that the JCF should withdraw its administrative review report.
He told us he hasn’t read it.
Accordingly, he says he’s unable to say whether the JCF should withdraw the report.
He also says people should consider that the JCF has done a lot to confront criminality.