Mrs. Juliet Holness files lawsuit for defamation against Dr. Peter Phillips
February 24, 2016
Holness meets with residents in a walk through in his constituency
February 24, 2016

Perspective: Dr. Peter Phillips & Dr. Laurent Gbagbo … Tales of Two Characters?

dr Peter Phillips on property tax leader

Photo: Dr. Peter Phillips


Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo


Having done a perspective on Laurent Gbagbo for vision of the Ivory Coast recently… his behaviour is fresh in my thoughts. It would be instructive to do a comparative analysis of himself and Dr. Peter Philips of Jamaica. Both are facing trials … they are people of colour and are academics. Leaders who obviously craved for and have been entrusted with state power … leadership at the highest levels.

You may recall that Gbagbo is on trial in the Hague, Netherlands for abuse of power committed when he held office as president and refused to exit graciously when the people rejected him.

Philips is on the other hand is Finance Minister, Campaign Director for the PNP, also on trial, albeit of a different nature … a trial by the people questioning his judgment, sensitivity and by extension his suitability to lead.

Phillips is not at the International Criminal Court (ICC) but equally as important the court of public opinion in Jamaica W. I., where different rules apply. The verdict of which can still be far-reaching.


Gbagbo is an academic/intellectual who lectured as a professor at the university level prior to entering into politics.

Phillips is also an academic who lectured at the university level before transitioning into becoming a politician.

They are both senior citizens whom we would have been led to believe are sound thinkers. It is only natural for us to expect both men to be of sound judgment. Gbagbo is 70 and Phillips 60+ … senior citizens … so is Portia Simpson Miller, 70 Jamaica’s Prime Minister pro temp.

Whether you give deadly weapons to persons known or unknown to harm etc … the tongue used to slander, cast doubt on say sully an opponent’s character, aka character assassination, or to denigrate by the spoken word or a written epitaph … it is damage all the same. Sometimes irreparable damage is done in a real sense.

Peter Phillips


Juliet Holness today filed a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Dr. Peter Phillips accusing him of Slander and defamation of character, seeking unspecified damages. If he does not settle out of court we will see him in our Supreme Court, Jamaica’s highest court.

It is the attempt at character assassination by misguided elements of the PNP in their campaign for possible reelection to state power directed by Dr. Peter Phillips that makes the charge of crime against humanity most relevant. Character Assassination has the potential for mortal damage as it can incite misguided individuals who at times like some political activists tend to behave as if fanatics.

Vision carried a story of alleged “Character Assassination” by Dr. Peter Phillips … we are visionary as we saw this coming long ago … you cannot cast aspersions without sound evidence on someone of the calibre of the Opposition Leader, a Constitutional Officer and his wife, a candidate in a national election and expect to get away with it … “no sankey no sing so” as we like to say in Jamaica.

Power Of The Tongue

Free speech like the pen is very powerful and can inflict serious harm to careers and ones future. The power of the spoken word is being cited by lawyers for Mrs. Juliet Holness et al.
“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

The comparison of Gbagbo and Dr. Peter Phillips is not so farfetched after all … they both seem to have abused their power.

Is it true that … ?

“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.

We will stay on the edge of our seats as we await the verdicts. Their conducts are despicable, if they are guilty … but they are presumed innocent until found guilty or innocent … the accused deserve a fair trial … in our justice system.

Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is the Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.