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 THE GUANAPO CHURCH

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PostSubject: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Tue Jun 07, 2011 5:35 pm

LETTERS LINK PM, HART TO CHURCH

By Andre Bagoo Sunday, May 16 2010

CORRESPONDENCE released by Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday, which disclose apparent links between the construction of a church at the Heights of Guanapo and Udecott, make references to the Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre in St Ann’s and raise questions over a possible direct connection between Prime Minister Patrick Manning and the project

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,120828.html



Quote :

Mr. Calder Hart

The Chairman

UdeCott

c/o The Home Mortgage Bank

Eric Williams Finance Building

Independence Square

PORT OF SPAIN



Dear Sir:



RE: CHURCH - LIGHTHOUSE OF JESUS CHRIST



I now enclose some the architectural/engineering drawings that have been prepared to date. I should point out:



1.The structural drawings developed to date are not in accordance with the recent changes made to the architectural drawings as a result of recent PM’s requests. Additionally, they need to be developed in far greater detail.

2.Additionally the consultants need to develop and finalize their general arrangement drawings due to the recent changes called for by the PM, including those relating to the residential component appended to the Church.

3.You must also secure the services of a M&E engineer. I would like you in this regard to make a personal request to ENCO, (Cavallo Sebastien), as you have done with Tony Farrell in the past.



I cannot see the construction of the job starting within the next 2-3 months, as all the engineering (both structural and M&E) drawings must be completed prior to start of construction. An early start would assume that building approvals will be waived.



Land, topo and soil surveys must also be carried out.



Finally, my recommendation is that once the general arrangement architectural and engineering drawings have been completed, a contract should be let to a general contractor on a turnkey or design build basis. This should help to speed up the completion of construction.



I can talk to you further on this matter.



DESIGN COLLABORATIVE ASSOCIATES LTD



Stephen Mendes






Quote :

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING DIVISION

MINISTRY OF PLANNING HOUSING AND THE ENVIRONMENT

Level 2 Tunapuna Administrative Complex, Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna



Phone: 663-2726



Date: 10th February 2010



REF: T3G: 1959/2009



Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ

c/o Stephen Mendez

1A-6A Ellerslie Plaza,

Maraval



Dear Sir,



In connection with your application for Planning Permission to develop land at Cemetery Road, Guanapo, Arima, namely the erection of a building for institutional purposes, on a site stated to be 1.5580ha in area, dated 23.12.2009 and submitted 29.12.2009, and since amended on 27.01.2010 certain defects have been identified in the documents submitted, as a result of which the processing of your application cannot be completed.



Your application is therefore returned to you undetermined, so that these defects can be rectified.



DEFECTS/OMISSIONS



1. Your application is unclear.



The information submitted on your application form and survey drawings, vary from that stated in the Cabinet Minute No. 2542 of September 30, 2005, relevant to the proposed site.



2. Your application is incomplete.



(I) The site of the proposed development is State Lands. You are required to provide a copy of the letter of agreement from the Commissioner of State Lands in respect of the lease of a parcel of State land comprising 0.3 hectare know as Lot 104, Heights of Guanapo, Arima.



(ii) You are required to provide a complete, scaled site plan showing the position of the proposed building(s) on the land and the distances from the face of the external walls of the building(s) or other means of structural support at ground level to all site boundaries.



(iii) You are required to provide a schedule of accommodation showing the names and areas (sizes) of the rooms within the building(s).



T3G: 1959/2009

2



If you wish to discuss any of these matters you may call at the above address on any Wednesday between 8.30 a.m. and 3.30 p.m. or at some pre-arranged time. You may ask to see Mr. A. Kirk.



Please bring this document with you.



Yours faithfully



for Director

Town and Country Planning Division

AK/sr/fr




Quote :

TOWN AND COUNTRY PLANNING DIVISION

Level 2 Tunapuna Administrative Complex, Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna



Phone: 663-2726



Date: 19th February 2010



REF: T3G: 1959/2009



Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ

c/o Stephen Mendez

1A-6A Ellerslie Plaza,

Maraval



Dear Sir,



RE: Collection of Returned Plans - T3G 1959/09.



Further to our telephone conversation on 11/02/2010 regarding the subject application and for which you were to make arrangements for the collection of copies of plans submitted; I am to advise that the Division’s response is herewith enclosed.



It is customary when an application is returned undetermined that the copies of the plans are returned to the applicant in the mail. However, given the size of the plans the Division is unable to do so in this instance. You are again kindly requested to collect the plans at the above- mentioned address.



Yours Faithfully,



Ancil Kirk




Quote :

Stephen Mendes

No. 7 Marine Villas

Westmoorings



26th February 2010



PRIVATE AND CONFIDENTIAL



Mr. Calder Hart

C/o UdeCott

38-40 Sackville Street

PORT OF SPAIN



Dear Calder,



Re: Church at Guanapo



I am writing this letter to you for the purposes of clarifying my role and position on this project.



Sometime in November 2005, after completing a meeting with you at your Home Mortgage Bank offices, you asked me to meet with a lady who required my assistance. You then introduced me to a Reverend Juliana Pena, following which you departed the meeting leaving me to face an impassioned plea from this lady, to assist her in respect of preparing a design for a Church to situated on a site close to Arima. She was extremely persuasive and after some consideration I agreed to help her prepare a design on a pro-bona basis, as a charitable donation to her church, as she had requested I do.



As I do not provide structural nor mechanical and electrical services, I recommended that these services would need to be provided by other firms. In this context, you arranged with CEP to provide their services and you suggested I contact ENCO, which I did. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown to me, the Structural Engineer was later not prepared to fully complete his drawings and indeed I too did not have sufficient time to prepare all the Construction documents due to my other work commitments.



I had previously recommended to you by email dated 2nd May, 2006 to which was attached a letter of the same date (see copy enclosed) that in the circumstances, where General Arrangement or Preliminary Drawings were available, a Contractor would need to be engaged on a “turn key” or “Design/Build” basis. In a further meeting I reiterated this, prior to your arranging for a Contractor to be given the drawings, pointing out that the Contractor would be required to complete the Structural drawings in particular, as I had little or no influence over the Structural Engineer who was only prepared to forward “Preliminary” drawings. It was on this basis that I recommended that a construction contract be awarded. Our preliminary drawings were only therefore submitted for the guidance of a “Design/Build” Contractor who would then assume the responsibility of both the Design and the Construction .



On handing over the drawings my involvement therefore came to an end, particularly as I had been unable to get in touch with the Reverend Pena. At that stage I had provided all the help that I could on a pro-bono basis.



Later, in early February 2010, I received a telephone call from an Officer at the Town and Country Planning Division (TCPD) requesting some information in respect of an application which I myself had not submitted to them and after contacting your office, who forwarded this information to me, I passed this and some additional information they required on them.



Subsequent to this, on the 22nd February 2010, I received a letter from the TCDP indicating that the application submitted to them was being returned ‘undetermined’ and that copies of the plans would need to be collected by the Applicant.



Bearing in mind that I am not the Applicant, and the information TCDP require relates substantially to matters which I am unable to answer, I am forwarding this to you to either answer their queries or alternatively forward same to the Reverend Pena.



Please contact me if you have any queries.



Yours sincerely

Stephen Mendes




Quote :

March 18, 2010



Town & Country Planning Division

Level 2,

Tunapuna Government Complex

Eastern Main

TUNAPUNA



Attention: Mr. Ancil Kirk. Senior Planner



Dear Sir:



RE: YOUR REF. T3G: 1959/2009



I am in receipt of your letter dated 19th February 2010 addressed to the Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ, c/o Stephen Mendes enclosing an undetermined application of the same date and address.



Soon after receiving the above, I also received a telephone call from the Director of the Town & Country Planning Division, in which I explained to her that I am not the applicant or agent in respect of this application, nor any longer the consultant on this project.



Please in future direct all enquiries to the applicant or owner.



Yours faithfully

Stephen Mendes



cc: Cheryl Ann Haynes - Director, TCPD
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:47 pm

Some serious questions that must be answered about the $55,000 payment to the former occupants of the Guanapo Church Land

1. Shouldn’t the persons occupying the land get first preference to the land?

2. Why did the cabinet get involved in this matter?

3. Shouldn’t the Commissioner of State Land and the Court settle this matter?

4. Who were the persons delivering the money?

5. Was it special branch officers?

6. If it was, who give them orders to deliver the money?

7. Where did they get the money?

8. Who decided how much money was to be paid?

9. Can the payment to the former occupants of the land be considered bribery?
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:53 pm


Architect Stephen Mendes confirms Patrick Manning’s involvement in Guanapo church
By Sasha Mohammed
Sunday, June 6th 2010

Architect Stephen Mendes, the man who has held the key as to whether former prime minister Patrick Manning was personally involved in the commissioning of the controversial Guanapo church project, has finally broken his silence on the matter, confirming the ‘PM’ he wrote about in a letter dated May 2, 2006, in fact, referred to Prime Minister Patrick Manning.

The revelation comes exactly three weeks after the country’s new Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar held a news conference on May 15, 2010, nine days before the May 24 polls, in her capacity as leader of the People’s Partnership, to unveil documents purported to link Manning directly to the Guanapo Heights project where a church was being built on State lands for Manning’s personal spiritual adviser Rev Juliana Pena.

http://www.trinidadandtobagonews.com/blog/?p=3664
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:30 pm



BETWEEN 2006 and 2008, there were $38 million in “variations” on the price of the Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre, which would have been funded from the State’s Infrastructure Development Fund, a Newsday review of the project discloses.

The findings of the review, which has unearthed fresh contractual discrepancies in the Udecott project, will deepen concern over allegations that funds spent on the project could have been siphoned to pay for the construction of a controversial church at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/politics/0,120954.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:17 pm

The Prime Minister was involved in the initial design of the Church for The Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, being built by his spiritual adviser, Ms Juliana Pena

The then Chairman of UDeCOTT, Mr Calder Hart, was directly involved in the design of the Church

The date for general election was announced on the same day that the Town and Country approval for development of the property was awarded

The building was started and continued without the requisite approvals from statutory bodies as is necessary for all such buildings

The Church being constructed at Cemetery Street, Guanapo is exactly the same as the building designed by Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongii University (Group) Co., and captioned “Outdoor stage project of Prime Minister’s House”

The contractor for whom the design was done is listed as Shanghai Construction Group, the same contractor who is currently building the church, and to whom the government had awarded the construction of the Prime Minister's house which cost well over $100 million above the contract cost for construction.

It is alleged that Shanghai Construction Group is building the Church for free

Despite the public utterances of the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister himself, the UDeCOTT is listed as the client of the design of the building titled Outdoor stage project of the Prime Minister’s house but eventually used as the Church of the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ

http://jyoticommunication.blogspot.com/2010/05/kamla-connects-manning-hart-to-guanapo.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:19 pm


In 2006, during his second visit in May, Hinn met Pena.

“Years ago, I was in Trinidad… This man was sitting on the platform and I said…you will be the next prime minister and he is till now. I was in his (Manning) office a few months ago…he brought with him a very foolish woman who called herself a ‘prophetess’,” Hinn said.

“He came to the room with this woman and said, ‘I have a gift for you.’ So he looked at me, said, ‘This is the woman; she has a word for you…’ I was not happy and when I am not happy, people will know it. He (Manning) said, ‘I want her to pray for you and give her the word; I take her with me everywhere,’ he said (Manning).

“‘God speaks to me through her. She has been a great blessing to the Government. I’m thinking, ‘You foolish man’. This woman reaches out to touch me and I grab her hand in mid air. ‘Don’t touch me,’ I said.

“Shaken, I said, ‘Mr Prime Minister, I honour you but I don’t know who this woman is… nobody will lay hands on me,’ and I walked out of the room. Whether it is the prime minister or president, nobody lays hands on me. I don’t know what spirit is in her. Don’t let people touch you.”

http://ivarfjeld.wordpress.com/category/benny-hinn-2/
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:59 pm

Kamla Persad-Bissessar on Saturday made a direct connection to Prime Minister Patrick Manning and the controversial church under construction at the Heights of Guanapo in Arima.

And she produced documentary evidence to show a link between Manning and UDeCOTT for the construction.

She said the documents suggest that:

• The Prime Minister was involved in the initial design of the Church for The Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, being built by his spiritual adviser, Ms Juliana Pena

• The then Chairman of UDeCOTT, Mr Calder Hart, was directly involved in the design of the Church

• The date for general election was announced on the same day that the Town and Country approval for development of the property was awarded

• The building was started and continued without the requisite approvals from statutory bodies as is necessary for all such buildings

• The Church being constructed at Cemetery Street, Guanapo is exactly the same as the building designed by Architectural Design and Research Institute of Tongii University (Group) Co., and captioned “Outdoor stage project of Prime Minister’s House”

• The contractor for whom the design was done is listed as Shanghai Construction Group, the same contractor who is currently building the church, and to whom the government had awarded the construction of the Prime Minister's house which cost well over $100 million above the contract cost for construction.

• It is alleged that Shanghai Construction Group is building the Church for free

• Despite the public utterances of the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister himself, the UDeCOTT is listed as the client of the design of the building titled Outdoor stage project of the Prime Minister’s house but eventually used as the Church of the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ

http://jyoticommunication.blogspot.com/2010/05/kamla-connects-manning-hart-to-guanapo.html
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PostSubject: Juliana Pena booked into private UTT   Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:57 pm

Fresh from the People's National Movement (PNM) victory at the polls in 2007, Rev Juliana Pena, spiritual adviser to former prime minister Patrick Manning, was booked into a secluded University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) guest house tucked away up a narrow country lane in the Heights of Aripo for ten months.

Expense reports obtained by the Sunday Express reveal that the self-described prophetess was booked into the private UTT-leased guest house acquired for visiting professors and other university staff on December 13, 2007—weeks after the Manning-led PNM was returned to power.

Pena and her young companion, Anastacia Mendes, stayed at the quiet Aripo guest house, with panoramic views of the mountains, until October 31, 2008, according to UTT documents seen by this newspaper. The name of the university's former chairman of Board of Governors and President, Prof Kenneth S Julien, appears on a March 2008 catering invoice as the "client" for Rev Pena and Mendes.

Another invoice, dated November 4, 2008 describes the two non-university residents as guests of the "Office of the President".

Julien, a close friend of the former prime minister, was said to be out of the country and unavailable for comment.

There are conflicting reports about who paid for the reverend's stay at the sprawling Aripo getaway, which is not open to the public.

Pena's ten-month stay at what is reported to be a heavily-subsidised staff rate, according to UTT documents, was $119,627.36. The invoices were settled via three payments, the first via a banker's draft for $37,942.36 in July of 2008, the second via a US cash payment of US$13,000 and the third via a US cash payment of US$175.

The last two US cash payments were made in May and June of this year following media enquiries about the Rev Pena's stay at the private university-leased facility. The US$13,000 cash payment was made shortly before the May 24 election—on May 17, 2010—and the US$175 was paid in June of this year, after the PNM lost to the People's Partnership Government.

One university source insisted that Pena picked up her tab but other UTT insiders said it was paid by unknown third parties. No receipt was issued for the two US cash payments made this year and there is also no explanation as to why UTT executives used an exchange rate of TT$6.20 as opposed to the market rate of $6.30.

There is also no explanation for why Pena was given the sharply discounted staff rate given the fact that she was not an employee of the State-funded Julien-run university or a visiting professor.

The Sunday Express was told Prof Julien personally approved the hospitality arrangements for the former prime minister's spiritual adviser who is said to have been partial to wild meat.

The sweetheart discount rate arrangement is said to have cost UTT in excess of $100,000. The UTT-leased resort facility, according to university sources, remained empty for all of 2007 because of security issues related to its remote location and was only opened up and fully staffed in December of that year to accommodate Rev Pena and her companion, Mendes.

University insiders report that there were other questionable transactions relating to the Aripo guest house other than Pena's stay there at taxpayers' expense. Questions have been raised about the five-year lease arrangement signed with Consolidated Services Ltd, the private company of attorney Bruce Procope. The Queen's Counsel Happy Valley Lodge, set amid idyllic and scenic Aripo surroundings, was leased by UTT in February 2006 at a total cost of $8,420,000 at $50,000 per month.

The Sunday Express was told that the university failed to conduct a due diligence on the Aripo property prior to signing its lease agreement with the Temple Chambers' QC Procope.

Sources said the university discovered in November 2006 that Consolidated Services 25-year lease with the State had expired in May 1994. Consolidated had continued to occupy the property, paying the original 1969 rent and in 2006 sub-leased a small portion of the 115-acre property to UTT in breach of its lease agreement with the State, according to sources.

Procope was not immediately available for comment.
Recent reports suggest that Pena has spirited away amid controversy and an Integrity Commission probe as to whether there were improper links between the construction of her $30 million Heights of Guanapo church project and former prime minister Manning.

Questions remain unanswered about the circumstances surrounding the four-acre land grant to Pena by the Manning cabinet; the involvement of Shanghai Construction, a Chinese company that had previously worked exclusively for the government, and just who was footing the $30 million construction tab for the Guanapo Church of the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Aripo_hideout-111735784.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:28 pm


ZHANG'S $5M HOUSE


MICHAEL QING Zhang, the man at the helm of the Chinese firm which constructed the controversial church at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, and which was awarded almost $2 billion in Udecott contracts under the PNM, last year acquired property on State lands in Westmoorings for $5 million after approval was granted by the State, according to public documents.

The Commissioner of State Lands, Stephanie Elder-Alexander, approved the transfer of title to Zhang, also known as Qing Zhang, on the very day that the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) opened in Port-of-Spain, November 9, 2009.

The NAPA was a project that was awarded to the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) Trinidad and Tobago Limited without tender by Udecott under the terms of a government to government arrangement with China.

A notice from the Commissioner of State Lands, which has been obtained by Sunday Newsday, reveals that the State approved the transfer of the residual rights to a 99-year lease for the 743.6 square metres property at 22 Windsurf Road East, Westmoorings, on November 9, 2009, the day then Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Zhang attended the opening of the NAPA.

One week after the elaborate opening ceremony, which was also attended by Udecott chairman Calder Hart, a deed dated November 18, 2009, was signed by Zhang.

According to the deed, which has also been obtained by this newspaper, Zhang acquired the residual rights to a 99-year lease that was formerly held by Betty Joyce Lau. Lau, who used to live at the property at 22 Windsurf Road East, died on January 9, 2008, leaving behind the residual rights to the property to her estate.

The State approved transfer of the rights, on November 9, 2009, and on November 18, 2009, the executor of Lau’s estate transferred the rights to Zhang.

A total of $355,750 in stamp duty was paid on the transaction, according to the document. Zhang’s address is listed as 5 Keate Street, Port-of-Spain, which was the then address of the offices of Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) International (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited, the Chinese firm which he managed.

The NAPA was a project awarded to Zhang’s Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) International (Trinidad and Tobago) Limited without tender by the PNM Government under an undisclosed Government to Government arrangement with China. The company was awarded contracts for the north academy as well as for a south academy, the total value of which was around $900 million.

SCG was also hand-picked by Udecott to work on the $250 million Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre, St Ann’s. The company was also awarded the contract for the $460 million Ministry of Education Tower project on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain after a tender procedure.

SCG was also given a $150 million contract for the upgrade of the South Terminal of the Piarco International Airport.

Days before the General Election on May 24, Udecott also signed off on a $180 million contract with SCG for the construction of several police stations throughout the country.

SCG was further linked to the $44 million Chaguanas administrative complex and is on record as having constructed and played a role in the design of the church at Guanapo which was estimated at $30 million. That church – built in the name of the former “spiritual adviser” to Manning – is now subject to an ongoing police probe.

Zhang, who is said to be Chinese, also had a private construction firm which did work for the State outside of work given to SCG though Udecott and otherwise.

For instance, the SCG managing director was quietly awarded a sub-contract on the controversial Ministry of Legal Affairs building in downtown Port-of-Spain through his own company, Times Construction Company Limited.

According to documents cited in an exclusive report in this paper earlier this year, Times Construction was a subcontracted company of Sunway Construction (Caribbean) Limited. In a confidential Occupational Safety and Health Authority (OSHA) report, Times was held partially responsible for the worksite death of Chinese national Xia Deyun, who died at the site of the Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower on January 29, 2008.

The controversial $368 million Ministry of Legal Affairs Tower contract was awarded by Udecott to Sunway Construction (Caribbean) Limited, a company with alleged family ties to former Udecott chairman Calder Hart. Hart, too, played a direct role in the construction of the church at the Heights of Guanapo, alongside Zhang and SCG. The former Udecott chairman and the Udecott board to date remain under police probe in relation to the findings of a report of the Uff Commission of Inquiry.

This week, police foiled yet another attempt to defraud Udecott of millions after a suspect attempted to transfer $1.2 million to companies in Asia.

According to a Newsday report, officers of the Fraud Squad and the Anti-Corruption Investigations Bureau (ACIB) are probing reported wire transfers of millions of dollars from Udecott via First Citizens Bank Limited to ghost companies in China.

In September, police foiled what appeared to be a separate attempt at fraud in relation to the attempted transfer of $40 million to an entity referred to as “Putuo Ocean Fortune Limited”.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,132724.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:30 pm

AG: Source of funds for Pena remains a mystery

Attorney General Anand Ramlogan says there is bound to be “public disquiet” since prophetess Juliana Pena was not interviewed over the source of funding for the construction of a state of the art church Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, at Heights of Guanapo, off Arima. Before it was destroyed by vandals, it was estimated to have cost about $30 million.


Ramlogan made this comment in light of Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard’s, SC, decision to clear former prime minister Patrick Manning and his prophetess Pena of any “criminal misconduct.” Ramlogan was attending a symposium on Constitutional Reform, at UWI, St Augustine, when he expressed this view. On Friday night, Gaspard had issued a seven-page press release, and he noted according to the police, a forensic audit was being undertaken into the matter on behalf of the Integrity Commission.

Asked about Gaspard’s decision, Ramlogan said, “I respect the decision of the DPP. And I value his impartiality and judgement in these matters. I understand he can only act on the evidence brought before him by the police. He was very careful to explain his decision was based on the evidence that was unearthed by the police in their investigation.”

Ramlogan added, “There is bound to public disquiet about the fact Pena was not interviewed and the source of funds for such a large project remains a bit of a mystery. But that is a matter for the police and not the DPP.” While Ramlogan felt the matter should be allowed to rest out of respect for the independence of the DPP, he noted Gaspard had indicated he would “revisit his decision if additional or new evidence was brought before him.”

http://www.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-03-03/ag-source-funds-pena-remains-mystery
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Thu Sep 05, 2013 12:32 pm


MYSTERY OVER CHURCH DEEPENS


A surprising twist yesterday emerged in the controversy surrounding the “mystery church” at Heights of Guanapo, Arima, as a housewife alleged that her husband was paid $55,000 in cash several years ago to vacate the plot of land on which the structure is now being built by Chinese contractors Shanghai Construction Group.

Zena Lopez spoke out on the controversial issue yesterday, claiming that her family, who once squatted on State land in a small wooden house on a five-acre plot on Cemetery Street, was offered the money over three years ago by an unidentified man and two other men whom she believed were plainclothes police officers.

She claimed the men had carried guns during the visit.

“They just came in a black car and they never gave their names,” Lopez recalled of the bizarre episode. She said one of the men told her husband they had to move. “He was threatening us and told us that if we didn’t move out in a week, they would come and break down the house,” she said.

Initially, Lopez said she and her husband, Steve, who works with a San Juan-based garbage collection company, had thought nothing of the visit until the men returned several days later. “They came a second time and we got so scared, but my husband didn’t want to give anything,” she said.

Lopez told Newsday that the man gave her husband $55,000 in cash, in what appeared to be a shopping bag, to relocate. She said a portion of the money, $4,000, was quickly used to purchase a small parcel of land from a neighbour.

A sizeable amount of cash was also used to buy ply board and other materials to construct the house in which they currently live, Lopez added.

“My husband became sick and he end up in hospital because we lost everything on the land...We had breadfruit, cush-cush, lime trees and plantain,” Lopez recalled.

The small, wooden shack which the family now calls home is located along a bushy track, lined with dried up, overgrown peas trees, a stone’s throw away from the construction site.

Lopez’ claim came days after Opposition Chief Whip and Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner raised questions in the Parliament, calling on Prime Minister Patrick Manning to shed light on the construction of a church in the remote community. Construction of the church began in January and is scheduled to be completed in July.

The project is being undertaken by Shanghai Construction Group, a firm from China which built the Prime Minister’s multi-million dollar residence in St Ann’s and the National Academy of the Performing Arts in Port-of-Spain.

Lopez said although she had not seen him personally, she had heard from residents that the Prime Minister had visited the site of their former home on more than one occasion, after they vacated the premises.

Originally from Couva, Lopez said her husband, who hails from nearby Maturita, had lived on the land for some 35 years.

The couple, who have a 14-year-old son, Joshua, have since lodged complaints with the Lands and Surveys Division and are yet to get a formal explanation for their displacement.

During Newsday’s visit, several residents insisted the building under construction was a lodge and not a church, as is being reported.

One elderly resident, Stephen Charles, has a clear view of the construction from his small, wooden shack, which rests on an incline.

He claimed an official from the National Insurance Property Development Co (Nipdec) had shown him a plan of the facility about four years ago.

“He said it was a hostel so that when big priests come from away they could stay there,” Charles said. A young man said many young men in the area were denied jobs at the site. He also claimed the structure was being built for a female Spiritual Baptist leader.

“He (Manning) so-called spiritual adviser. That is the woman who help him win the (2007) election,” the man said.

The cornerstone for the church was laid on December 30, 2005, by an apostle reverend named Juliana Pena.

Newsday understands, however, that the woman, who is married to a businessman and goes by another name, is believed to Manning’s spiritual advisor.

She is said to be currently living at The Crossings, but has also resided in Canada and the United States. The woman has reportedly been seen with the Prime Minister and has met many other top personalities. Manning has avoided questions on the issue and is yet to offer an explanation.

The embattled Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (Udecott) has also distanced itself from the project.

“We have already stated that we have nothing to do with the project... That is as much as I would say,” Udecott communications manager Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms said yesterday.

However, it has been reported that Manning instructed Udecott in 2005 to oversee the design and engineering works for the church, which is estimated at $20 million. Udecott subsequently hired two firms, Consulting Engineering Partnership, and Design Collaborative Ltd, for these jobs but the final church project was assigned to Shanghai Construction Group.

Meanwhile, Warner yesterday added a new dimension to his argument, noting that the site for the structure was equipped with some amenities. “It is more than passing strange that the site has already been provided with electricity and water but, again, in whose names were the necessary applications made?” he asked, in a one-page statement.

“The refusal of the Honourable Prime Minister to shed any light on this matter has sparked much speculation. Is taxpayer money involved?” asked Warner.

“Is this a new precedent? Will Trinidad and Tobago soon become a religious state?” Warner said there was precedent in the past where religious organisations had been granted State lands on which they could build places of worship, “but no Government had undertaken to build a church, or temple, or mosque.”

Warner also said applications for State land by religious denominations in the past have been open and public.

“So, why should the Guanapo church land be shrouded in secrecy?”Warner asked. Neither managing director of the Shanghai Construction Co Ltd Michael Zhang, nor officials at the Chinese Embassy could be reached for comment yesterday.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,116251.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:00 pm

MANNING WENT TO GUANAPO CHURCH
By Andre Bagoo Monday, March 4 2013

click on pic to zoom in

« prev photo next photo »
THE WOMAN known as Juliana Pena, who has been described as former Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s spiritual adviser, was granted access to the construction site of the Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre, La Fantasie, St Ann’s in order to pray on it before it opened its doors in 2007.

What’s more, Manning would later repay the courtesy by visiting the proposed site of Pena’s church at the Heights of Guanapo, according to evidence given to police by Chinese contractor Michael Zhang, managing director of Shanghai Construction Group.

Zhang’s disclosures to the police were detailed by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard SC in a seven-page statement issued on Friday.

Although the DPP states there was “no indication of criminal misconduct” in relation to the construction of a church on State land at the Heights of Guanapo, Zhang’s evidence to police reveals links between Manning and Pena on the church project, as well as the $300 million Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre. Long before construction of a church at the Heights of Guanapo, called the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, even began in 2010, Pena was granted access to the construction site of the Prime Minister’s residence by Zhang, whose firm was hand-picked to build the facility on behalf of Udecott by the Manning administration.

“The evidence is that the Shanghai Construction Group completed the design and started to build the church,” Gaspard said. “Its director, Mr Zhang, had met Ms Pena when she came to pray at the Prime Minister’s project site at which Shanghai Construction Group was engaged. Mr Calder Hart (the former Udecott executive chairman and ally of Manning) asked him (Zhang) to help Ms Pena.”

The Prime Minister’s Residence and Diplomatic Centre was constructed between 2006 and 2007 at an estimated cost of $300 million. During the Uff Commission of Inquiry into the Public Construction Sector, the project was singled out as one of the few completed on time and within budget. The project was supposedly built pursuant to a so-called “government to government” agreement with China, the details of which little is known.

According to the DPP, Zhang stated that he agreed to build Pena’s Guanapo church, “at cost price by way of an act of goodwill to the people of Trinidad and Tobago. He (Zhang) firmly denied that this was in any way a corrupt contract and gave other examples of community projects that the Shanghai Construction Group had funded here.”The DPP does not list any of these projects but said Zhang told police that he stopped after Pena failed to pay him. “Mr Zhang said that he caused work to stop when Ms Pena failed to pay, as agreed,” Gaspard said. The Director of Public Prosecutions then notes: “Instructively, at the time of Mr Zhang’s police interviews, Udecott still owed money to the Shanghai Construction Group.”

Gaspard does not state when Zhang was interviewed. In 2010 it was reported that Zhang submitted a bill to the State seeking a payment of $54 million.

Though Gaspard said the police had found “no indication of criminal misconduct” – a finding which he appears to have agreed to upon review of Zhang’s evidence – there was much evidence making plain the ties Manning had with the church project.

Manning had, in a television interview in 2010, refused to confirm or deny his involvement or interest in the church project. He was asked to explain why the initial “PM” appeared on plans for the project. Manning, the then prime minister, said, “I am advised that in the construction industry, ‘PM’ also means project manager, eh. So that is one possibility.”

However, the DPP’s statement, based on the evidence gathered by the police, puts to rest any doubt about Manning’s ties.

“It is clear that the evidence establishes that the then Prime Minister had an interest in the construction of the church and that he had nourished his interest by visiting the proposed site and by making suggestions as to the proposed design of the church,” Gaspard said.

“Further, he had chaired the Cabinet meetings which had approved the granting of State lands for the building of the church.” The DPP noted that all such applications go to Cabinet but did not state whether investigations showed if Manning’s ties to the church were disclosed. It was also unclear whether Cabinet was apprised that the land – which was supposed to be used for agricultural purposes – would be used for a church.

However, in Gaspard’s view, there was not enough to connect Pena to Manning because of a lack of an employment contract.

“It is a commonly held view that the then Prime Minister and Ms Pena had a spiritual link from at least 2003,” he states. “However, there is no evidence that she was employed by him in any official capacity.” There have been reports that Pena was once appointed as a “special envoy” of the State to an African country. Special envoys are appointed by the Prime Minister.

Though on the one hand Gaspard found no indication of criminal misconduct, on the other hand he said there were clear breaches of the law in relation to the approvals process. In particular, he noted the contractor started construction in January 2010 without the planning approvals being granted (they were granted in April 2010). But, in Gaspard’s view, “the blame for this undoubted breach of the law, without more (evidence), cannot be attributed to any then minister or civil servant.”

The DPP’s statement reveals just how Pena went about obtaining approval for her church project, built on taxpayers’ State lands. In particular, he painted a picture of someone who artificially re- labelled the church project as being “for agricultural purposes” in order to get approval.

“Central Government approvals were not fully granted until April 2010,” Gaspard said. “This was after the Town and Country Planning Division had indicated to the Director of Land Administration Department that the land site was for agricultural purposes only and was unsuitable for a church.... The Town and Country Planning Division only relented after Ms Pena had revised her application and had indicated that the land would not only be for the church but for agricultural purposes.”

The DPP found “no illegal link between the Prime Minister and the granting of State lands for the construction of the church.”

In the television interview in 2010 Manning said in relation to the Cabinet’s granting of the land to Pena: “The Prime Minister assisted the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Church, as indeed he assists other churches.”

But if the DPP did not find evidence of an illegal link, he certainly found many other connections between Manning and the project. In particular, he mentions Calder Hart’s role in the project. (Manning has stated he referred the matter to Calder Hart – though this is not referred to in the DPP’s statement.)

According to Gaspard, “the evidence indicates that after Mr Calder Hart, then chairman of Udecott, had introduced Ms Pena to the architect who initially designed the church, that architect agreed to his designing of that church by way of a charitable act.”

While Zhang was interviewed by the police in relation to the three-year-old complaint, Pena and Hart were not.

The DPP did not state whether Manning was interviewed but simply stated that “the Judges Rules legally prohibit the police from treating them or the former Prime Minister as suspects, since the police appear not to have any evidence which would afford reasonable grounds for suspecting that they may have committed any offence arising out of this matter.”

The DPP did not state what other offences, particularly under the Integrity in Public Life Act, were included in his review of the case. However he noted that there is a suggestion by police that the Integrity Commission is conducting a “forensic audit”.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/print,0,174340.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:50 pm

Whose church is this?
By SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, February 20 2010

CHAGUANAS West MP Jack Warner asked Prime Minister Patrick Manning

whether taxpayers’ money is funding a church allegedly being built by the Chinese Shanghai Construction Company at the Heights of Guanapo, but Manning declined to say what, if anything, he knows of the matter.

Warner held up a picture of the church, he said he had got in his mailbox, yesterday in the Lower House during debate on the Trinidad and Tobago Revenue Authority (TTRA). “Is this where the money is designed to go?” he asked, in reference to extra revenues the Government had said the TTRA would collect.

“Can the Prime Minister tell this House whether he knows anything about this case?” Warner paused, inviting Manning, “Mr Prime Minister?”

Manning remained seated silently, declining to reply.

Warner tried again, asking Manning, “Can you tell us please?”

Again Manning stayed silent.

“Oh, he won’t answer, okay,” remarked Warner. “So, to come here and talk as if this Bill is the be all and end all and the cure all for corruption is not correct.”

Minutes later, Warner again sought details of the church, even as Government MPs heckled him loudly to the point of having to be three times chided by Speaker Barry Sinanan who threatened to eject them. Warner asked whether the church is being built using taxpayers’ money.

“Tell us Mr Prime Minister, if it’s not taxpayers’ money, then whose money? Eh? Tell us.” Again, Manning stayed seated and silent. After the tea-break, Manning addressed the House for about 45 minutes on the TTRA Bill but did not once mention the church, but merely tried to personally disparage Warner. Manning made two references to a monkey. Manning recalled the mudslinging in the recent UNC elections to mouth the phrase, “monkey on the back”.

He then told a children’s story of animals having a feast where the ugliest animal was chosen to wash the dishware but to which the monkey said not him.

In the tea break, Manning declined to meet reporters who were seeking answers on the church.

Warner told reporters that Manning - who had once declared his intention to become a preacher after retiring from politics - had not used the opportunity to clear the air about his knowledge, if any, of the church.

“I was told that this is being built by Shanghai workers in the Heights of Guanapo and I was told that it was a private church for the Prime Minister. So therefore I brought it (that is the photograph) here for the Prime Minister to answer me and to tell me if it is so, but he did not answer me. I know he said when he leaves Government it is to preach, so I don’t know if that is preparation.”

He said the person who took the photograph had been chased off the site by security guards. Of the church, he alleged, “They got a TTEC connection, which they should not have gotten, but they were instructed to give them connection.”

Warner hit Manning’s failure to respond and vowed to now send an official person to investigate the church site.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/politics/0,116083.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Mon Mar 31, 2014 1:55 pm

RELIGIOUS PERSECUTION
By SEAN DOUGLAS Saturday, February 27 2010

PRIME Minister Patrick Manning yesterday said a church being built at the Heights of Guanapo is above board, as he accused his detractors of “religious persecution” of him and the Full Gospel faith.

He gave a 53-minute speech on “Church-State relations” in the Lower House to try to soothe a public outcry over claims the Shanghai Construction Group (SCG) is building a private church, the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ, for unknown persons on State lands, although he did not name the church’s owner.

Saying he was free to get spiritual advice from anyone, Manning hit detractors who called one such adviser a “prophetess” or “seer woman” or “obeah woman”, saying, “It is tantamount to the religious persecution of the Prime Minister.”

Manning stole the glory of new Leader of the Opposition Kamla Persad-Bissessar on her first day of replacing former leader Basdeo Panday who sat on the backbench. Manning said neither State funds nor influence over Udecott had helped the church, whose head he denied was his travelling companion.

“I want to point out from the very onset that the church is not being built with State funds, that the building constructed does not belong to the Prime Minister, that the church is owned by the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ, that neither the Prime Minister nor any member of the Government gave any instruction to Udecott regarding the construction of the church.”

At each assertion, Government MPs loudly applauded.

He angrily denied the church head accompanies him on all his travels.

“Mr Speaker, the gross inaccuracy of that statement has already been dealt with years ago in the Benny Hinn matter and it need not detain us at this time. Suffice it to say, Mr Speaker, it is grossly inaccurate and I don’t propose to spend any more time on it.”

He said Cabinet has never approved funds for any such travel by the unnamed pastor. “There is no Cabinet decision authorising any payment for the head of the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ to travel to any part of the world...No State funds are involved in the foreign travel of the head of that church.” Manning then said the country’s Constitution guarantees each person freedom of worship and of association. “Everybody’s free to pursue the belief system to which he subscribes, and everybody’s free to be advised as he or she sees fit, by whoever he or she wishes.”

Manning said Catholics consult their priests.

Identifying Hindu MPs, he said, “When the member for Siparia or the member for Fyzabad or the member for Oropouche East, consults their pundit or their guru, Mr Speaker, for spiritual advice, nobody says anything is wrong about that.” He said no one complains of Panday visiting India to consult Sai Baba.

“But when the Prime Minister decides that he will seek spiritual counselling from whomever he wishes, the first thing they say is ‘Was it obeah?..Seer woman?...Prophetess?’” He called “prophetess” a disparaging term. “It is tantamount to religious persecution of the Prime Minister. Not only that. The Prime Minister is consulting somebody who is an ordained pastor, Mr Speaker, in the cause of her movement and who’s a born-again Christian.” Government MPs applauded. “It is time, Mr Speaker, that the Full Gospel movement in this country, that born-again Christians in this country, stop accepting the denigration of their faith, and in particular by people who know none of their beliefs or who have no clue of the premises on which your beliefs were (built)...”.

“You get up and say something about Hindus, you make that mistake...You get up and say something about Muslims...,” he said recalling a fatwa given to Salman Rushdie by Muslims. “I’m not advocating that for Trinidad and Tobago, but this persecution of the Full Gospel movement has to come to an end.”

At that Tabaquite MP Ramesh Maharaj lightened the tension by saying aloud, “Amen”.

An angry Manning then gave a one week “deadline” to two news reporters to reveal a supposed “spiritual experience” they had probing the church.

He stormed, “After the interview they had a spiritual experience the likes of which they have never had before. The media will be the first to tell you the public has a right to know. I am calling on those two journalists whom I will not name at this time, nor will I name the media house, to report totally, completely, accurately and faithfully exactly what happened in that experience.

“I know all about it. I am in a position to audit what they say. Mr Speaker, I am giving them one week in which to do it. I’ll tell you this much about it. It put the fear of God in their hearts and I am sure they are re-thinking their position.”

At those words many listeners muttered, “spirit lash”.

Accusing UNC MPs of duplicity, he claimed Panday had once written to ask for the regularisation of Mc Bean Road Extension Mandir which “squatted” on State lands.

Manning said he doesn’t drink or smoke, but had been raised by his mother, who sang in two church choirs, to have strong spiritual beliefs. “I’ll attend any church, that’s my right! I’ll consult whom I wish for spiritual advice.”

Earlier Manning said his Government has given millions of dollars to fund denominational schools, even as his and previous governments had also given away State lands to build religious buildings.

He said the Office of the Prime Minister, in its ecclesiastical grant, had given sums to different denominations including $1,157,000 to the Roman Catholics, $711,000 to the Hindus, $505,000 to the Anglicans and $403,000 to the Muslims.

Manning said the proliferation of religious groups meant it was getting harder to distribute the grant which he said must be re-thought.

Manning read a list of State lands given to religious groups over the years. “It has been the practice of this Government and others preceding it to make lands available for the construction of places of worship.”

He recalled past concerns about how Caroni (1975) Limited had once been distributing State lands in central Trinidad for religious buildings in what he called a “free for all”.

Manning said since 2005 the Government had paid $279 million out of the $363 million cost of eight government-assisted denominational schools.

He then attacked what he saw was bias in how other governments had allocated funds to schools. Manning said there was a “miscellany of interpretations” of the former NAR government’s placement of all nursery schools under the control of Servol headed by Fr Gerry Pantin, at a time when his brother Clive Pantin was Education Minister and his brother Anthony Pantin was the Roman Catholic Archbishop. He said Full Gospel churches had lobbied the State for schools but the movement was too fragmented until 1991 to 1995 when he was able to persuade pastors to form an Association of Independent Ministers. He lamented that the 1995 UNC government had then given $14 million only to Miracle Ministries to build a $20 million secondary school, rather than give to the association. He said the UNC government had also given 25 acres of land to just one Spiritual/Shouter Baptist group headed by a former UNC senator, instead of to the whole denomination overall.

Manning then addressed queries about his visit to the Heights of Guanapo by saying that on the contrary no one had ever questioned his visit to the Hanuman statue in central Trinidad which the State had helped finance to the tune of $2.35 million. Likewise, he said while people query Chinese workers at the Heights of Guanapo, no one argued about craftsmen from India at the Hanuman statue.

Manning said between 2003 and 2009, the Government had funded the social work of religious groups to the tune of $245 million. “I don’t see anybody making a fuss about that,” he said.

He said no one argued when the UNC government gave $10 million for the Hindu group, SWAHA, to build a temple in Diego Martin. He said the many calls at present for State funds for religious groups meant the construction of churches must be done by congregations, not the Government.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,116420.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:01 pm

Timeline

February 19, 2010
Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner first raised allegations in Parliament that the Guanapo church was associated with former prime minister Patrick Manning.

February 23, 2010
Officers of the Immigration Department visit Guanapo church

February 24, 2010
The Urban Development Corporation of T&T denies allegations of its involvement in the church.

February 25, 2010
In Parliament former prime minister Patrick Manning denied the church was being built with state funds and insisted it did not belong to him.
He, however, admitted that he visited the area “once” in 2005 with a security detail as Cabinet decided to make 0.3 hectares of land available for a project.

June 7, 2010
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan called for a probe into the church to be expedited.

June 8, 2010
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley urged former prime minister Patrick Manning to explain to the country the issues surrounding the church.

June 27, 2010
Looting begins at Guanapo church.

July 2, 2010
Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and former police commissioner James Philbert traded words, as Philbert was accused by the AG of declining to act on looting.

July 3, 2010
Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert goes on six days sick leave.

July 23, 2010
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar announced that Juliana Pena, spiritual adviser to former prime minister Patrick Manning, was at the centre of a police investigation.

September 7, 2010
Police probe power connections to Guanapo church.

https://guardian.co.tt/news/2011/11/20/mired-controversy
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:11 pm

‘They bullied us and took our land’



Zena Lopez is emotionally shattered.

Clasping her head with trembling hands, the 53-year-old woman cried: “They kill me. This thing shatter my life. I done dead.” Lopez and her husband Steve said they were once the owners of the three acres of land at the Heights of Guanapo on which Rev Juliana Pena’s Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church was to be built. An abandoned, incomplete concrete structure now stands on the spot.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/news/general/2010/12/06/they-bullied-us-and-took-our-land
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:01 am

"She sold out most of her stuff that she had in the house in Westmoorings, and she gave the rest to other relatives in Arima. We don't know where she gone, but she said Trinidad have not been nice to her and she is not coming back,"

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Rev_Pena_flies_out-106388778.html
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:02 am


According to Maloney, when the Shangai Construction Group Chinese workers first came to the site in droves to begin work, Pena told all who wanted to know, that they were missionaries who had come from China to assist on the project.

http://www.guardian.co.tt/archives/news/general/2010/02/28/stylish-seer-drives-blue-jaguar
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:22 am

Want to know how the cornerstone was laid in 2005 and cabinet approve it in 2006?
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:29 am



http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,116308.html
Mystery church

Thursday, February 25 2010

A statement issued yesterday by the Government about the mysterious construction of a church in the Heights of Guanapo has done nothing to allay public opinion. In fact it has raised more questions than it answered.

In none of the reports published to date on the issue not once was it suggested that the church belonged to the State. Neither was it said either in Parliament or media reports that the church was owned by Prime Minister Manning or state funds were being used to build it.

Reports have largely taken the form of questions to the Prime Minister, firstly by UNC Chief Whip Jack Warner in Parliament who asked Mr Manning whether he could tell us anything about the church. Warner repeated the question three times. It was the Prime Minister’s decision to remain silent.

Yesterday we learnt from a Government release that the church is being constructed on State lands and that permission to do so had been approved by Cabinet in 2006. How come then that the cornerstone was laid in December 2005 BEFORE Cabinet approval was given? Is this usual practice?

It is accepted that Government facilitates in several ways the diverse ecclesiastical bodies in Trinidad and Tobago and we certainly have no problem with the State’s assistance in this regard.

Why then the secrecy on the part of the Government? Why could not Mr Manning respond to Mr Warner if not immediately in the Parliament then through a statement the day after if he did not have all the details at the time?

It is only because the various arms of the media would not let the issue die that the Government was virtually forced to make a statement and to promise that the Prime Minister would address the matter of church and state relations.

In any event yesterday’s statement has clearly avoided informing us as to whom the church belongs. The Catholics? Anglican? Pentecostal? Born Again? We would like to know. And we would like to know whether a private body such as a church can hire Shanghai Construction Group, which is here on government-to-government arrangements with China, and its Chinese workers to build a private church.

To be frank we are not impressed with the statement and indeed have serious concerns with statements made by the Minister of Planning, Emily Dick-Forde on Tuesday with respect to this matter. How, for instance, could she state that “the onus is on Warner to prove the truth of his allegations.”

Warner made no allegations. He asked questions that were not answered.

In our view Dick-Forde compounded the situation by trying to throw the matter back into Warner’s lap. Worse she said she didn’t know what the problem was about, adding, “What’s the problem? Hasn’t the Prime Minister said he’s a christian?” This statement, it seems to us, suggests that Manning may well in some way know a great deal more than the statement implies.

One has indeed to be not only a Christian but a Hindu, a Muslim and a Humanist all lumped together not to lose one’s patience with this government and its spokespersons.
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:50 am

..A problem existed though. The Commissioner of State Lands noted in a memo to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture dated September 2006 that the application was not processed by the Office of the Commissioner of State Lands. ’However,’ the Commissioner of State Lands said, ’a Cabinet minute of #2542 dated September 30, 2005 was issued without the Division’s input. Cabinet agreed to the Standard Agricultural Lease granted to Annette WIlliams be terminated and thereafter that the Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ be granted an Institutional lease in respect of 0.3 hectare of the said parcel of State Land, to erect a church subject to the approval of the Town and Country Planning Division of the Ministry of Planning and Development’, the Commissioner of State Lands stated in the memo...
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PostSubject: Re: THE GUANAPO CHURCH    Sun Apr 06, 2014 12:21 pm

Section 3 of the Act states inter alia:

“ (1) Every person who, by himself or by or in conjunction with any other person, corruptly solicits or receives, or agrees to receive, for himself or for any other person, any gift, loan, fee, reward, or advantage whatsoever, as an inducement to, or reward for, or otherwise on account of, an agent doing or forbearing to do anything in respect of any matter or transaction whatsoever, actual or proposed, in which the State or a public body is concerned, is guilty of an offence.

(2) Every person who, by himself or by or in conjunction with any other person, corruptly gives, promises or offers any gift, loan, fee, reward, or advantage whatsoever, to any person, whether for the benefit of that person or of another person, as an inducement to, or reward for, or otherwise on account of, an agent doing or forbearing to do anything in respect of any matter or transaction whatsoever, actual or proposed, in which the State or a public body is concerned, is guilty of an offence.

4. Any person who—

(a) Being an agent, corruptly accepts or obtains, or agrees to accept or attempts to obtain, from any person, for himself or for any other person, any gift or consideration as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having after the commencement of this act done or forborne to do, any act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business;

(b) Corruptly gives or agrees to give or offers any gift or consideration to any agent as an inducement or reward for doing or forbearing to do, or for having after the commencement of this Act done or forborne to do, any act in relation to his principal’s affairs or business, or for showing or forbearing to show favour or disfavour to any person in relation to his principal’s affairs or business; or

(c) Knowingly gives to an agent, or being an agent knowingly uses, with intent to deceive his principal, any receipt, account, or other document, in respect of which the principal is interested, and which contains any statement which is false or erroneous or defective in any material particular, and which to his knowledge is intended to mislead the principal, is guilty of an offence.

5. (1) Any person who being an agent—

(a) Corruptly uses official information for the purpose of obtaining any gift, loan, fee, reward or advantage whatsoever for himself or any other person, or

(b) Corruptly communicates official information to any other person with a view of enabling any person to obtain any gift, loan, fee, reward or advantage whatsoever, is guilty of an offence.

(2) For the purposes of this section “official information” means any fact or document which comes to a person’s knowledge or into his possession by virtue of his position as a person serving under the State or being a member of a public body or holding any other public office.

http://www.unc.org.tt/press-media/ad...he-church.html
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