Friday 23rd June 2023

June 22, 2023


The director of the National Decentralization Authority, Edward Mosley Ibarra , said this Thursday that he filed an appeal for constitutional guarantees against the decision of the Administration Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the diversion of millionaire funds to community boards controlled by members of the official party The Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , because -according to him- “the program cannot be stopped”.

Ibarra, who denies that there is a “parallel decentralization”, assures that the administrative complaint presented before the Administration Attorney’s Office has deficiencies, because “there are community boards that do not have the name with the link of the representative.”

It is a “badly done investigation,” added Ibarra, in statements to Telemetro Reporta , this Thursday.

Despite what Ibarra declared on the news, it is not true that the investigation led by prosecutor Rigoberto Montenegro put a brake on the funds that the AND delivers to local governments, since all he was asking for is an “explanatory report. ”

Although several voices have been raised to request that the money from parallel decentralization be suspended (that is, those that are delivered outside of Law 37 of 2009, which decentralizes the public administration ), not one authority has ordered this and the funds have been, they continue disbursing to this day, without knowing what the technical criteria that justify this distribution are.

The lawyer Ernesto Cedeño , who filed the administrative complaint, stated that the investigation initiated by the Administration Attorney’s Office did not suspend the decentralization system.

“He was only asked for a report on the subject,” Cedeño wrote on Twitter. He accompanied his message with a photo of the note the attorney addressed to Mosley.

Mosley insisted on Telemetro that “there is no parallel decentralization” and that $202.4 million was not “diverted.” “All the funds are regulated and are in the budget,” he added. But he did not explain the law that applies to deliver the money from parallel decentralization, since these disbursements do not conform to what is authorized in Law 37 of 2009.

Instead, he justified that the PRD community boards receive most of the money disbursed through parallel decentralization. “The majority are PRD and the needs are not the same” in the communities, he mentioned.

“We have been the most transparent program,” he added.

The amparo presented by the director of the AND is now in the office of magistrate Ariadne García.

The trial scheduled this Thursday for the former leaders of the Panama Olympic Committee (COP) Franz Wever, Miguel Sanchís, Fernando Samaniego was suspended.

This was agreed by the First Settlement Court for Criminal Cases. The session was scheduled for 8:20 am, after the start of the trial did not take place on June 5.

The investigation began in 2016, when the defendants were members of the COP. According to the complaint, during that management, alleged irregularities were recorded in the management of funds of that sports organization.

The Eleventh Circuit Prosecutor’s Office ordered the investigation of those investigated for alleged anomalies in the economic resources of the Olympic solidarity program, which were received during his administration against the COP.

Unlike what the authorities of the Social Security Fund (CSS) indicate, Julio Osorio, secretary of the National Negotiating Medical Commission (Comenenal) told La Prensa that there is a shortage of supplies for elective surgeries at the Rafael Hernández Hospital, in Chiriqui.

In Osorio’s words, what happens is that there are not enough supplies and they are only performing emergency surgeries, while elective surgeries are postponed.

“They are liars , because instead of facing the truth they say other things,” Osorio said about the statements by the CSS authorities that there are no problems with surgeries in that hospital.

In fact, he revealed that this has been happening for two weeks at the Rafael Hernández hospital. “In that time we have had four or five free beds in intensive care, when that never happens because it is always full,” said the doctor, who works in the post-surgical intensive care unit of the Rafael Hernández Hospital.

For its part, the CSS issued a statement in which Yelkis Gil, director of Health Services and Benefits, stressed that elective and emergency surgeries are being carried out nationwide without interruption.

He added that in the case of Rafael Hernández, concrete actions were taken to guarantee the continuity of the service with the necessary supplies and medicines, so that the surgeries can be carried out without interruptions.

At least 31 people were apprehended in several raids carried out in Panama and Colón at dawn on Thursday, through the Juárez and Judak operations.

Among those captured are officials and workers from a port, detailed the Public Ministry. These operations were carried out by the First Drug Prosecutor’s Office together with agents from the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) of the National Police.

The Juárez operation, explained the prosecution, is the product of an investigation that began on July 15, 2021, for the alleged commission of the crimes of assembly and conspiracy and money laundering.

Meanwhile, the Judak operation was to dismantle a criminal group that was dedicated to guarding and storing drugs from Colón and then introducing them into port terminals. The final destination of these illicit substances was Europe. The investigation was also launched on July 15, 2021.

State entities maintain a debt of 1.5 billion dollars with their suppliers, revealed on Wednesday by the president of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama (Cciap), Adolfo Fábrega, who added that the time it takes for the companies to receive their payments, after providing a service.

“We are concerned about the age of the debt and the lack of transparency to accurately determine the real amount that the State owes to its suppliers,” said Fábrega. The businessman indicates that all debt, which exceeds 30 days, already generates an impact on the finances of the companies, which must then seek financing to cover the cost of the service or goods supplied to State entities.

In October 2020, the Cciap reported that the State’s debt with suppliers was around 700 million dollars.

When the administration of Laurentino Cortizo took over the reins of the country in July 2019, he complained that the previous government had left a debt of 1.7 billion dollars with the private sector.

Now, Cortizo is close to reaching the same amount, while the country is now in a pre-election year and the Government tries to put the accelerator into many of its projects to cut the inauguration ribbons before the end of the current term.

Fábrega’s words were given during the presentation of the measurement for the month of May of the Consumer Confidence Index (ICC), which decreased 6 points compared to the data from last March, remaining at 88 points. Domingo Barrios, president of The Marketing Group, the company responsible for carrying out the measurement at the request of the Cciap, commented that any result below the 100-point mark reflects marked distrust.

The Panamanian authorities inaugurated this Wednesday the restored Royal Customs of Portobelo , built in the 17th century by the Spanish in the Panamanian Caribbean until it was abandoned in 1882, which has been converted into a museum in order to relive its history.

“This is a fairly important building on a tourist and historical level. The Portobelo Customs House is one of the last colonial buildings standing here in the town of Portobelo,” said the National Director of Museums, Anayansi Chichaco.

The official pointed out that the restoration of the building, which now houses the Museum of Afro-Panamanian Memory, had a cost of 3.7 million dollars with a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

The commercial importance of the customs house, an emblematic building built during the Spanish colonization, attracted merchants and pirates, according to information from the new museum.

Chichaco stressed that the Ministry of Culture “carries out other important works” such as emergency work to rescue the Portobelo forts.

Regarding the Museum of Afro-Panamanian Memory, the Minister of Culture, Giselle González Villarrué, assured that it is “an interactive and inclusive museum.”

“It tells the story of more than 100,000 slaves who arrived and transited through the Isthmus of Panama and vindicates them. It tells a story of optimism and how that slavery self-managed its freedom”, added the Minister of Culture.

The customs structure, already restored, preserved the characteristics of the last reform that was carried out in 1998.

“What was done in this new restoration was to return a bit to that old restoration that had been quite effective,” the architect and project supervisor, Eustorgio Márquez, told EFE .



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