Phillips clears the air

OPPOSITION legislator Mikael Phillips has sought to clear the air in relation to his presence at People’s National Party (PNP) headquarters on Monday night when a party supporter threatened to rape a female journalist.

“Just to clear the air, at the time of the incident I was asked by the leadership of the party to deal with a matter, which I did, and what was said to the journalist, where I was, I didn’t hear anything that had taken place. If it was something that I had heard I surely would have stepped in at that point in time,” Phillips, a vice-president of the PNP, said in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, adding that he condemns “any violence against any journalist or any woman, man or child”.

The threat — as well as the actions of the party’s Deputy General Secretary Dexroy Martin who criticised Radio Jamaica and Nationwide reporters for wearing green clothing to the PNP headquarters, and objected to reporters questioning Phillips, then ordered them to leave the compound — earned the party widespread condemnation.

Phillips stressed that he is not party to, and had not been in any action against the journalist who was threatened, or anyone who visited the party headquarters.

“For those out there in the public who believe that I am condoning what was said to the journalist, the party has condemned the action and further investigation will take place and that person brought before the disciplinary committee of the party,” he said.