PM means Prime Minister

Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church under construction at the Heights of Guanapo - Inset: Ex-PM Patrick Manning
Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church under construction
at the Heights of Guanapo - Inset: Ex-PM Patrick Manning
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.

From those documents, Persad-Bissessar produced Mendes’ May 2 letter, which was addressed to former Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT) executive chairman Calder Hart, and in it, he stated:
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Related on the blog:

Chinese workers quit Guanapo church

Cutting Corners Mister Project Manager?

Kamla: PM Linked to Church

18 thoughts on “PM means Prime Minister”

  1. Mr. Mendes’ revelation is conveniently timed; however, the voters of T&T are always right. They correctly figured out that the Project manager is in fact the Prime Minister.This criminal violation is subject to a severe jail term and a fine of $500000? Maybe they can set up a cell block for Manning, Panday, Duprey of Clico fame and Monteil. Make it a big cell block because there are going to be many more PNM scoundrels in line.
    What did the snake(Rowley) say? PNM and Udecott corruption is ten times worse than the airport scandal? I wonder what’s going through the fixer’s (AG Jeremie ) mind? Caribbean Airlines should keep tabs on all the PNM politicans booking emergency flights out of the country.This will be onerous, since CA is going to be busy booking flights for fired returning diplomats.Unfortunately, Prevatt and Ohallaran are no longer with us; they could have provided advice on transition after crime.

  2. Not so quick cousin T-Man , we can read your cyber-chicanery from as far away as Couva ,all up to the St. Lawrence River. I like the fact that you now decide to throw the national divisive head guru Mr. Panday ,under the symbolic bus,as he no longer can depend on playing the race card as a defense,as Justice Shama , himself, and similar others, did over the past few years.
    Make no bones about it my friends , ‘dem PNM crooks and bandits,’ ‘ain’t’ running no where anytime soon. They are staying right here , in Sweet T&T aka Rainbow Country,and test their chances with the law, as they and ardent fans ,are also entitled to cry out racial persecutions to gullible ,global Human Rights bodies, while depending on our extremely fair , and objective ,Massa England , Privy Council , to set them free,after costing our State billions in expensive trials ,and appeals.
    Well, what do you know , we just might be able to sneek in a passage of our much maligned Caribbean Court of appeal as well, hmmmm?
    Guess what, I am getting more excited by the moment about my wonderful country led by the change agents, to hear this sly fox T-Man use his influence as ‘paper shredder in chief’ in the Madam Kamla’s future Ministry of Multiculturalism , to suggest perhaps in time,that a Commission of Enquiry be initiated on the 1990 Bakr debacle. After all, he wants to persecute crooks all the way back to Ohallaran , and who Prevatt?
    Good Job, my friend. Love country , over tribe. “This is change we can all believe in,” ehhh?

  3. The native Americans use to say that the white man speak with a forked tongue. The same can be said of many in T&T. Now that they can basked in the comfort of ethnic leadership being restored, the facade is rapidly being peeld away from their perspective exposing what we always recognized. Welcome to Guyana my fellow Afro Trinidadians and Tobagans.

    1. There are lots of honest people in T&T. It is only when power and money gets to their head they start misbehaving and thinking that they are above the law..

  4. AG wants early probe into Guanapo project
    Newly-appointed Attorney General Anand Ramlogan is calling for an expeditious probe into former prime minister Patrick Manning’s involvement in the Heights of Guanapo church project. Ramlogan’s call came after a recent disclosure by architect Stephen Mendes confirming Manning’s involvement in the project.

    Ex-PM Manning: Please, no interviews
    Former prime minister Patrick Manning says he is not giving interviews to the media, in wake of reports by architect Stephen Mendes that Manning was personally involved in the commissioning of the controversial Guanapo Church project.

    Rowley mum on new church claims
    OPPOSITION Leader Dr Keith Rowley has decided to remain mum about new evidence allegedly showing former prime minister Patrick Manning’s involvement in the construction of a church in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

  5. The newes media in its quest to be ‘objective’ is giving us a front seat to the demise of what we were hoping to be democracy. There is obviously a cheerleading attitude to the persecution of those who belonged to the last government. Newly elected and nominated officials want every thing to be done expeditiously. Why dont we just round up Manning et al, bring the prosecutors andf send them to jail. After all this is where we are going with all the blogs and comments. Lets administer ‘the peoples justice’, the new AG just cangt wait for the Integrity Commission to do its jobs. He is now the AG, just go and lock up everybody man – you are the boss. Very soon just being associated or even voting for the PNM will become a crime. Continue my friends with the onslaught of accusations and interpretations, we do not need the the laws to do that for us, PP IS IN POWER now, go for it! This is change and dont we love it. Sat has already taken the ministry of multiculturism and foreign affairs, lets have more of ‘the people’ come forward and do likewise, Trinidad has too tolerant for too long lets prosecute those whom we dont like.

  6. If Stephen Mendes’ statement is correct then ex-PM Manning has, at best, deceived the nation with regards to his and Udecott’s involvement in the building of that Church.

    The question is, why did Manning mislead the nation about this? I suspect that it is because everything was not above board in his dealings there and I await the investigations to see if state funds were corruptly used on that project.

    There are several other projects in Trinidad and Tobago that should also be investigated.

  7. Heru stated ,”If Stephen Mendes’ statement is correct then ex-PM Manning has, at best, deceived the nation with regards to his and Udecott’s involvement in the Church.”

    Of course he is correct, for what reason can he develop to lie about something of this magnitude? For the same reason an esteemed Chief Magistrate had none,when he too made his allegations, hmmm?
    Probably in this case,a sudden distaste of Manning ,and or he too was offers millions in a foreign account ,to perjure himself down the road, or in local parlance ,’pretend as if cat cut his tongue?’
    This, explanation if eventually revealed four years hence means absolutely nothing. What is relevant in this ,and all matters relating to concrete Justice, anti-corruption efforts,and sustainable security- a precondition for economic jump off -in our fragile democracy, is tied up in an old dictum that our neglected , and much maligned law enforcement boys and gals in blue understood fully well, but several over paid , self obsessed ,legal luminaries , conveniently choose to forget.
    It states as follows : “He who alleges, must prove.”
    So let the witch hunt games begin.
    That too “is change we can believe in!”
    I wish my people well, as some will ‘soon-rather than later’- realize that ‘they bit off more than they can chew’-as a wise lady used to say.
    Hey my friends,continue to love country , over tribe, and most importantly,keep them honest, yes?

  8. You know what boggles me with you people, I’m sure all of you were elated when Basdeo Panday and company were arrested for the bank account issue and airport scandal. Justice was being served then. Now the tables have turned and what went around with the UNC, eventually came around with the PNM in the most disgraceful manner. Now all of a sudden neal trying to correct TMan, when he himself should be watching his own pot burning. It’s like Satan trying to correct sin. You’re seeing racism in another when you cannot see that you’re being a racist yourself and that goes for the other who foresees T&T as the next Guyana. In my opinion, if Mr. Manning remained another 5 years we would have been the next Zimbabwe.

    You see my friends, when you let race, religion and ignorance overwhelm your minds before seeing logic, our country can never ever move forward. Forget what the colour of your skin, texture of your hair, religious beliefs or political affiliation you belong to for one minute and read the article again and forget the race or religion of the man in question of corruption as well and then tell me if you dont see a huge problem with what he did. There is no room for forgiveness in these matters. It just cannot be swept under the carpet. Mr. Manning is an experienced politician and he should not have been making the very same mistakes that the previous administration did, when he himself pledged to move away from corruption.

    I’ve been reading comments on this forum for some time and I always notice almost every argument ends up with a racial or religious tone and it swerves the true essence of the article in the wrong direction. It’s almost always off the point. If you people are true thinkers, there should be no qualms in sending this ‘project manager’ and his cohorts to jail. Wrong is wrong! Quit making excuses! A change in government is not going to have any impact on our country if the attitudes of the people remain the same. You have to change too! I completely support the new government’s initiative to inquire into this church issue just as I also supported Mr. Manning when he inquired into the airport scandal. There should be no PNM or UNC when it comes to corruption. If you do the crime, you have to pay the time whether black, white, brown, red, blue or whatever.

  9. No need to panic,James. I am confident that Neal, Kian and Ruel Daniels will shelve their PNM misguided and blind loyalty, at least temporarily, to discern the truth and pledge their support for the prosecution and conviction of all crooks, of whatever persuation, in T&T. These are men who have repeatedly , over an extended period,submitted comments on this website upholding the virtues of truth, honesty and transparency in government.

    Let me reassure Neal that it is not going to take as long as four years to placate the taxpayers of T&T, as he mentioned in his comments above. Justice will be swift in this case against the former PM, project manager or prime minister.This is not a case of gloating as charged by some disgruntled PNM agents , but ensuring that swift and fair justice is applied in a quest for truth and stability. No political destabilizers will derail this process.

  10. What we ought to be supporting here is principle. In life we all live by principles, be it religious, parental, societal or ethical. Most of the information gathered here are of media reports and there are of course no other avenues for information other than what we have gotten. We are yet to have presented to us a case that can stand in a court of law. When a case is made an presented I will be too happy to support it. As of this writing there are many of you on this blog that want blood and probably with some justification because there was nothing in Mannings’ action that gave any one of us UNC/COP/PNM/NAR or otherwise cause to support his behaviour. If there is a legal acase brought against him, let’s go for it. In the meantime dont expect me to be calling people names and saying things just because there is a change in administration. I have always stated that I wish this government well and hope it does well but that does not mean that I forgot what democracy means. Democracy is NOT a spectator sport and when the players ‘fowl’ you must call them out. Since I have no brother, sister, anut or uncle in government, we should not hesitate to notice them when the rules no longer apply for their liking. So guys you can call me what kind of names you choose but I am first, foremost and last a Trinidadian not a hiphenated one but a ‘Trini to d bone’, those of you whose identities are prefixed before the word ‘Trinidadian’ cannot and will not take my eyes off the game.

  11. Manning’s Statement

    Statement by former prime minister Patrick Manning in response to an Express newspaper report of 6.610 on the construction of a church at Guanapo Heights:

    “I wish to repeat my earlier statement that I assisted with the development of the church, The Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ, being constructed at Guanapo Heights.

    “I made this disclosure as soon as the matter was brought into the public domain. I stated then and reiterate now that I visited the site once, in broad daylight, when I held the post of Prime Minister, accompanied by the usual security detail.

    “I wish to repeat that no special preference was given to the church, the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The land on which the construction is taking place was leased to the church by the government of Trinidad and Tobago in the same way that other denominational bodies have acquired land from the State. Also and very significantly, whilst considerable financial assistance was given to other religious bodies, no money was ever given to the church, the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Indeed over the five years up to 2009, approximately $58 million was granted in assistance to various religious organisations to improve their effectiveness.

    “I wish to again state that no State funds have been used in the construction of the church. The Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A fact which can easily be verified by those carrying out investigations.

    “The arrangement between the church and the contractor are matters between the two parties, I again repeat that no instructions were given at any time by me to UDECOTT in this matter, as any investigation being undertaken would reveal.”

    Manning Avoids Mendes
    Former PM again defends Guanapo church but fails to respond to architect’s revelation ‘PM Means Prime Minister’
    Former prime minister Patrick Manning reiterated in a signed statement yesterday that no State funds were used in the construction of the controversial church in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

    Rowley welcomes probe
    Let the investigations proceed and let every top sit on its own bottom. This was the position taken yesterday by Opposition Leader, Dr Keith Rowley, on the new revelations made by architect Stephen Mendes confirming that former prime minister Patrick Manning was personally involved in the designs and development of the church at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima.

    Police to question Manning
    Criminal probe into Heights of Guanapo church

    High priority for investigation, says St Cyr
    Chairman of the Integrity Commission, Eric St Cyr, stated yesterday that the investigations into the construction of the controversial church at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, was being given ‘very high priority’.

    Express Editorial
    No longer prime minister, Patrick Manning continues his campaign of obfuscation and prevarication on the matter of his true involvement in the construction of the Church of the Lighthouse of our Lord Jesus Christ. As long suspected, Mr Manning, in his May 16 televised interview, has proven to be less than truthful about the reference in architect Stephen Mendes’ May 2, 2006 letter to Calder Hart about matters pertaining to the design of the building.

  12. Manning mum on church
    FORMER prime minister Patrick Manning yesterday kept mum when contacted at his San Fernando home by Newsday regarding investigations into the controversial Lighthouse of the Lord Jesus Christ Church at the Heights of Guanapo.

    ‘He’s still the best man to lead T&T’
    Members of the Jesus the Light of This World Ministries at the Heights of Guanapo, Arima, are inviting former prime minister Patrick Manning to visit their church. Manning’s spiritual adviser Rev Juliana Pena, referred to as the prophetess, is linked to the contentious construction… They also maintain Manning was ordained by God to lead T&T. They also feel there is a chance that Pena may have misguided Manning into calling a premature election.

    AG to police: Secure Guanapo church assets
    Attorney General Anand Ramlogan has called on the Integrity Commission and the police to move with great dispatch and exercise their powers to protect the assets at the controversial church at the Heights of Guanapo in Arima. Ramlogan made the call last night following reports that equipment and material were being removed from the site.

  13. People please be real it is a church,if this is wrong then,funds to build a temple in Tobago is wrong, don’t make god angry.

  14. If he had stolen state funds then I will support your claim,he is not a thief,Anyway don’t be blinded by the material things in life,we need to focus on the after life.

  15. Guanapo church site locked and deserted
    ONE DAY after Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard met with Acting Police Commissioner James Philbert for an update on investigations into the construction of the Lighthouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ Church at the Heights of Guanapo, the construction site was locked and deserted.

    The Reverend Juliana Peña and the Secular State
    It made the headlines in Newsday of Tuesday July 8: “Cops move to find Rev Juliana Peña.” Of the many hare-brained schemes which contributed to the spectacular fall of Mr Manning, his relationship with the Rev Juliana Peña must count among the strangest.

  16. Cops to visit Guanapo church
    DETECTIVES from the Fraud Squad led by Senior Superintendent Harold Phillip are expected to visit the controversial, partially built $30 million Light House of the Lord Jesus Christ church in the Heights of Guanapo, Arima this week, as part of an ongoing police probe in the construction of the church.

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