By BBN Staff: Today two sitting Ministers of government appeared before the Senate Select Committee.
The first was Minister of Human Development, Social Transformation and Poverty Alleviation, Anthony “Boots” Martinez. The second was Minister of NEMO and Transport, Edmond Castro.
Both Martinez and Castro were named by whistle-blower, Alvarine Burgess, for their alleged involvement in a visa hustle at the Immigration Department.
When asked about the allegations against them that they accepted bribes to sign recommendations, both men became furious and attacked Burgess’s character. Both claimed she was a liar.
They both refused to comment on the claim citing that she was not named in the Auditor General’s report.
According to Castro, he had only met Burgess twice to assist with her husband who had a medical condition. When the Senate Select Committee turned to the Auditor General’s report, which had named the Ministers, they became uncooperative.
When asked why he wrote recommendation, Mrtinez simply claimed it was a “good suggestion.” He also told the committee that he had only made few recommendations since 2008. Everything else he was asked he flatly denied or chose not to comment.
Castro on the other hand was more aggressive. Aside from denying the allegations made against him, he personally attacked two of the senators.
He accused one senator of raping a woman and accused another of stealing water from Belize Water Services. Castro and Martinez’s appearance before the Senate Select Committee ended abruptly.
Interestingly, the Chairman of the Senate Select Committee, Aldo Salazar, and the PUP Senator, Eamon Courtenay, were both absent today.
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