Friday 2nd February 2024.

February 1, 2024


Former Minister Guillermo Ferrufino ‘s legal strategies are exhausted to prevent him from entering prison, after the Second Liquidation Court of Criminal Cases sent a letter to the Investigation Directorate (DIJ) to locate him and make him serve his six-year prison sentence. for unjustified enrichment.

This occurred after the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice reported that the sentence imposed is maintained.

Through Edict 112 published at the headquarters of the Second Liquidation Court for Criminal Cases on December 26, the parties were notified that the Criminal Chamber of the Court rejected an appeal presented by the defense of the former official in which it was requested to clarify the judgment. The sentence also affects Ferrufino’s wife, Milena Vallarino.

Sources from the Judicial Branch reported that after this decision of the Criminal Chamber and its notification, the court proceeded to carry out the corresponding procedure of sending its location to the DIJ.

In this case, the former minister’s defense may request a hearing before a Compliance Court to recognize the period of time he was detained or with precautionary measures restricting his personal freedom, such as preventing him from leaving the country or periodic notification. .

In February 2022, the Second Liquidator Court convicted Ferrufino, as well as his wife, for not having been able to justify the sum of $2.2 million, accumulated while he was Minister of Agricultural Development (Mides), during the administration of former president Ricardo Martinelli ( 2009-2014).

The former official has another sentence of 48 months in prison for the crime of corruption and is awaiting sentencing in a process for embezzlement to the detriment of the National Aid Program (PAN) , for the rental of helicopters.

The Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) rejected another protection of constitutional guarantees filed by Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) against the decision of the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases to grant a period of 15 days to the lawyers of the New Business case to present his appeal against the conviction handed down to the former president and four other defendants.

The ruling, under the presentation of Judge Olmedo Arrocha , although adopted on January 10, was disclosed by the general secretary of the CSJ this Thursday, February 1 through Edict 108, which notifies the parties of the decision.

The rejected amparo was presented by Shirley Castañedas , from Martinelli’s team of lawyers. Castañeda complained because the Superior Court for the Settlement of Criminal Cases granted 15 days to all defense lawyers to present the appeal, when – according to her – it should have been an individual period for each defender.

This is the twelfth protection of constitutional guarantees presented by the former president, to prevent his conviction for New Business from taking effect.

Last July, criminal judge Baloisa Marquínez sentenced Martinelli to 128 months in prison and a fine of $19.2 million. That decision was confirmed last October by the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases.

He also ordered the confiscation of 60% of the shares of Editora Panamá América, SA (Epasa), whose beneficiary is Martinelli.

In the Criminal Chamber of the Court, there is an appeal by Martinelli, against the conviction. It has not yet been announced whether the appeal is admitted or not.

The doctor and political leader Francisco ‘Pachi’ Sánchez Cárdenas resigned this February 1 from the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) to support the presidential candidate of Martín Torrijos, who also left the ranks of that political organization.

Cárdenas, former president of the PRD, said that since 2009, when Ricardo Marltinelli assumed the presidency of the Republic, the party “has been stumbling.” He recalled that Martinelli took some 16 deputies, also to the wing

“Since then the party has been suffering a progressive degree of corruption, and what is worse, it would be linked to cases of drug trafficking,” Cárdenas, who in March would celebrate 44 years in the PRD, told La Prensa .

At the moment he will not register for another match. According to Cárdenas, it is not the time for games. “Today they suffer from little love on the part of the electorate.”

The director of the National Police, John Dornheim , stated this Thursday that he will bring to justice those who are accusing him in an alleged case of workplace and sexual harassment.

“With justice I am going to make them pay for what they are doing. “No one is going to blackmail me, I am not going to allow it, because of my name and that of my family,” said Dornheim after participating in an act of mass destruction of firearms.

This Wednesday it emerged that a police second lieutenant supposedly filed a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, but so far the Public Ministry has not confirmed it.

Dornheim said it seems very suspicious that, after the anti-drug operations carried out in recent weeks, these accusations would arise.

“Our institution has rules and regulations that must be followed. Here we cannot have rules and regulations for each man who makes up this institution, and he who does not submit has to… They talk about persecution, this is not persecution, neither labor-related nor sexual nor psychological,” said Dorheim.

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo , sanctioned this Thursday, February 1, the medicines law, which seeks to ensure the availability and supply of medicines at the national level.

The law promotes the participation of small pharmaceutical establishments in public tenders of the Ministry of Health (Minsa), the Social Security Fund (CSS) and health boards.

With the new medicine law, the National Medicine Price System (Sinprem) is created, which will allow the purchase of medicines for public facilities and that solidarity pharmacies can also do so (pharmacies that are already established and wish to buy medicines from prices acquired by the State).

With this, the authorities hope to reduce medicine prices between 20% and 30%.

The document was signed at the Hospital del Santo Tomás (HST), in the presence of the Medicines Technical Board, which was created in 2022, and also bears the signature of the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre.

President Cortizo highlighted that the legislation has a first-world medicine acquisition system that seeks to “promote the availability of medicines and any product used for human health required for the provision of health services.”

Emma Pinzón , president of the Association of Patients with Chronic and Degenerative Diseases, noted that “they are pleased with the sanction of the new law,” she explained that this new regulation “expands the purchasing methods, although the old procedures were not removed, but it introduces faster methodology that allows decision makers to introduce time into these purchasing processes.”

Pinzón highlighted that it includes aspects that tell the Comptroller General of the Republic to prioritize the issue of medicines and medical supplies, which means that the endorsements must come out faster.

“It can be carried out through duality, that is, the delivery of medicines does not have to wait for endorsement, both processes can advance.”

Regarding fines, the legislation indicates that contracting authorities may apply a financial penalty to contractors who fail to comply between 5% and 15% of the total purchase amount; just as they may be disqualified for one year.

Sources from the Catholic Church reported that Cardinal José Luis Lacunza was found this afternoon in the district of Boquete.

According to preliminary information, he was inside his vehicle, somewhat disoriented. They indicated that he is in “good” health.

Earlier, personnel from the Bishopric in David, Chiriquí, filed a complaint because they did not know the whereabouts of Cardinal Lacunza, who had been last seen last Tuesday afternoon, when he was driving a gray Nissan Xtrail vehicle.

Monsignor José Domingo Ulloa confirmed the fact to La Prensa in the morning. Subsequently, the Public Ministry confirmed that the Chiriquí Regional Prosecutor’s Office began an ex officio investigation last Wednesday, January 31, “for the alleged disappearance of Cardinal José Luis Lacunza.”

Prosecutor Javier Caraballo said earlier that several interviews had already been carried out and “a group of prosecutors” was formed that is on its way to Chiriquí, to help in the investigation tasks. “We are facing a delicate case, where a person’s life is in danger. What we can confirm at this point is that we have an ongoing investigation,” Caraballo said.

“Yes, we have been surprised by this disappearance and we are waiting for what they can tell us from the Diocese of David,” said Monsignor Ulloa.

“He went out normally, like doing an errand, an errand,” he added. He was “missed” when he did not come to say mass the next day (Wednesday).

Last Tuesday, Lacunza, who is the current bishop in David, left his office, got into a vehicle and drove away. He left his wallet and his cell phone.

One of the surveillance cameras captured his vehicle heading towards San Pablo. Ulloa denied that the vehicle had been recovered. Ulloa said that he had received phone calls from several bishops in the Latin American region, concerned about Lacunza’s whereabouts.


More articles