Progressive Democratic Patriots deputy leader Farley Augustine has again denied allegations by the leadership of the People’s National Movement that he was responsible for leaking viral audio and video clips of Parlatuvier/L’Anse Fourmi/Speyside candidate Franka Cordner.
At a political meeting in the Bethesda/Les Coteaux constituency on Saturday evening, Augustine made the comment as he said he was speaking about the issue for the last time. The next time, he said, his lawyers will do the speaking.
“Last week Thursday, an allegation was made that I was directly or indirectly responsible for the leaking of her videos. I listened to her and I said, my God, this is a beautifully-talented lady that is entrapped in the wrong house. I am more emboldened to win and become Chief Secretary because I have to win and rescue people like Miss Cordner.”
In the leaked video clip, Cordner is seen dancing suggestively with a man in a public event. In a leaked audio clip meanwhile, Cordner is heard criticising Tobago East MP Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy and current Chief Secretary Ancil Dennis.
But during a political meeting last Thursday in Belle Garden after the clips had surfaced during the week, Cordner apologised to Webster-Roy, who was also at the meeting and had endorsed Cordner when she (Webster-Roy) addressed the meeting before her.
Speaking to supporters during the PDP meeting, Augustine said he did speak to Cordner on the phone after the multimedia clips were leaked on social media. However, he said he assured her that neither he, nor someone from his party were responsible for it and offered to pray with her.
Augustine said he has no interest in demeaning his opponents because he is above that.
“I only care about what is relevant to politics. That is irrelevant to politics,” he said.
He also denied claims by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley that he planned to make PDP leader Watson Duke Secretary of Finance if the party win the December 6 Tobago House of Assembly elections.
Last Thursday during a political meeting, PNM’s Tobago Council leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine claimed Augustine was behind the leak.
She later told Guardian Media, “Character assassination and hate speech don’t belong in Tobago. And (the) PDP needs to apologise to every woman on this island. Do we want the leaders of that ilk to run Tobago? PDP needs to do better by our women, especially with the younger generation, who look to us as leaders, for a voice and guidance.”
Meanwhile, Augustine also said he was more than willing to participate in a THA Chief Secretary candidate debate.
“I am ready for that and making myself available for that,” he said.
“Find an honest, good host who will strike a middle ground and I’ll debate. I’m ready for a debate anytime. Come let’s have a debate and debate the issues.”