PUP have money envy


We could not see the foam at the mouths of Julius Espat, Johnny Briceño and Eamon Courtenay on Tuesday of this week as they claimed to be making earth-shattering revelations to the nation. The foam was not visible because they wore masks. We nonetheless can imagine it as they each had their own spiel. Briceño ranted about a contract that was given to Brad’s Gaming Company and his concern was that he does not know who the owners of the company were.
Most of those who were looking on had a simple sentiment: it does not matter who owns Brad’s Gaming Company, as long as the Government gets its fair share and people who buy and win, get paid. Briceño’s concern was very much like a concern that many Belizeans have, that is, who owns SMART? But should we really be concerned about that? Well some can argue that we should be concerned that Ashcroft related companies have shareholding in SMART, but then again if SMART keeps on providing services then it should not be a concern!
Then we were treated to the architect extraordinaire, Julius Espat. He lamented that an architectural and design company, International Environments (IE), was given a number of Government contracts. He ranted on and on about the value of the contracts and event intimated that the contracts were unfairly given. Well, based on a reply by IE’s representative, Daniel Arguelles, the allegations by Julius were more than exaggerated. While Julius quoted the entire cost of some of the projects, the reality was that in some instances IE simply participated in the contract as a designer with other companies actually doing the construction. Arguelles went on to rebut Espat’s claim that government was playing favoritism with IE when in fact, there were instances, IE was the only company who tendered bids for the contracts. What’s more, Arguelles noted that the projects they executed were of world-class standard.
Again those looking on, could see the glaring envy in Julius’ eyes. The reality is that Espat actually owns an architecture company and simply did not bid for any of the contracts. For him to now be looking at the values without having even participated in the process simply underscores the reality that he was lamenting on sour grapes. Each of the contracts were put to public tender.
The final of the stooges to speak was Eamon Courtenay. He attempted to make a legal case that somehow the contract given to Brads as well as the contracts given to IE were illegal. He tried to get the audience entangled in legalese when all that could pass through the minds of those looking on was how this was the great legal defender of Michael Ashcroft. There were also moments when some remembered that it was his father, V.H. Courtenay who stole 3.34 million dollars from Social Security and never paid it back.