The Opposition is calling on the Police Service to investigate Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for his self-confessed breach of ongoing public health regulations prohibiting the public consumption of alcohol.
Naparima MP Rodney Charles and San Juan/Barataria MP Saddam Hosein made the call as they addressed its weekly media briefing at the Office of the Opposition Leader in Port-of-Spain, on Sunday.
“We are challenging the TTPS. You have an obligation under the law to treat all of us equally,” Charles said.
Rowley revealed the alleged breach as he was speaking at a media briefing at the Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s on Saturday.
“I was in Castara last week, in a vehicle and I went into a place that sold beers and I had a beer and on my way to the vehicle I had this beer in a container, the plastic bag which it was in, and it was such a hot and beautiful day that I sipped my beer and then somebody came up to me and said ‘you, consumption of alcohol in a public place is against the law’,” Rowley said.
“So you missed the opportunity of seeing me behind bars for breaching,” he said.
Rowley was using the story to remind those accessing the rivers and beaches that alcohol consumption was off-limits.
“It happened so easily but it was a breach of the regulations, it happened so easily that I understand, but we really have to say hold on for the time being, do not go to the rivers for river limes and cook duck by the thousands,” he added.
Charles and Hosein suggested that it would be unfair for Rowley not to be investigated based on his admission.
“The PM has an obligation to set the tone where he is not above the law and is equal to all of us. There can not be one law for him and another for the rest of us,” Charles said.
“I am asking the police to do their work. If the PM could be charged for breaching the COVID-19 regulations he must be charged,” Hosein said, as he referenced a case in which a homeless man was slapped with a $1,000 ticket for failing to wear a mask in public.
In a brief telephone interview with Guardian Media, acting Police Commissioner McDonald Jacob said he was not aware of the incident involving Rowley being reported to police.
“With any report which is made to the police, the police will analyse the report to see if there is any merit to launch an investigation,” Jacob said.
He said in the absence of a report from a member of the public, police officers can launch an investigation if they witness wrongdoing themselves.