The Committee found Manning guilty of contempt in his allegations in the House on November 19, that Prime Minister and Siparia MP Kamla Persad-Bissessar’s newly built private residence at Phillipine had cost $150 million and alluded to a link to the drug trade, charges she has vehemently denied.
She said if the committee didn’t act the way it did, it would have meant anyone could say anything in Parliament without being penalised.
“Anyone could come in there and say anything about anyone and (if) there is no penalty where you mislead the House, then a person can keep postponing until the sessions ends. “All one has to do is go to court, stop the process, don’t attend and there is no sanction, where is the regulation of the House? It is a timehonoured tradition, we inherited. At no time in 40 years as a parliamentarian did that member try to change any of that,” Persad- Bissessar said.
She said it was “very sad” that Manning avoided the committee on more than 20 occasions.
“He showed disregard for the proceedings of the Parliament and the workings and the committee system of the Parliament...it seems to be a way of avoiding accounting to the Parliament and providing proof of the serious allegations that were made last year,” she said.
She added that according to the Standing Order of the House when a member is suspended from the service of the house that suspension lasts until the session is closed, which in this case will be “on or before June 17.”