SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) - A group of law enforcement personnel issued a statement on Sunday with respect to monies that are budgeted to be paid to them at year-end. The statement reads as follows:
“A few days ago, we saw an article from MP Brison stating that he wants police officers to be paid out by December. As a police officers, we would love if this would actually happen, but we feel like it is just another political stunt before elections.
“Last week Wednesday, the Minister of Finance said in the press briefing that proceeds from the UTS sale would go towards the backpay in the justice chain but they only received half of the amount that they were supposed to receive from the UTS sale so far and they would receive the rest within 2 to 3 months.
“Minister Geerlings also explained that the legal counsel of the buyers had some issues with some of the wording in the contract. So now the contract has to be adjusted and sent to the Governor, then to the Council of Advice, then back to the Minister of Finance to be finalized. But wait, after that, it still has to go to the floor after Parliament for handling! After the handling in Parliament, then it would go back to the buyer's legal counsel for approval and then the other half of the money from the UTS sale would be sent.
“Most of us have children to feed and ends that can’t be met. We have been fighting this battle for years and it is honestly draining. We risk our lives on a daily basis to protect others and we are not being paid nearly as much as we should. Many times, we received empty promises.
“Our point is, we have had enough of the politics that is being played with this issue. We would like nothing more than to receive the backpay by December, but based on the timeline that Minister Geerlings gave last week, this does not seem possible. We expect that MP Brison is aware of this, so putting out that article just seems like an attempt to gain political mileage and that has to stop because this is not a game.”