Friday 8th March 2024.

March 7, 2024


The deputy and presidential candidate Zulay Rodríguez did not appear at the hearing to bring charges to which she had been summoned, as part of the process being followed for the alleged commission of the crimes of money laundering and illicit association , related to the appropriation of some gold sheets belonging to the deceased Mexican merchant José Luis Penagos .

At the hearing, called for 2:00 pm this Thursday, March 7, Rodríguez’s lawyer, Ángel Álvarez , could not present the certification of the National Assembly (AN) that confirmed his client’s resignation from the position of deputy. by the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD).

Therefore, Judge Ariadne García , acting as guarantee judge, declared that the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) remains competent to investigate and prosecute Rodríguez.

At the hearing, Judge María Cristina Chen Stanziola , who acts as prosecutor in the case, presented a note that Deputy Jaime Vargas , president of the AN, sent her this morning, to inform her that the “official procedure” has not yet been completed. correspondent”. Therefore, for the AN, Rodríguez is still a deputy.

In that note, Vargas informed the fiscal magistrate that Rodríguez’s written resignation was received at the general secretariat of the AN, on February 27 . After a consultation with the Attorney General of the Administration, Rigoberto González, he told them that the resignation letter should be sent to the legislative commission of Credentials, Regulations, Parliamentary Ethics and Judicial Affairs , for their “knowledge”, which Vargas did that same day (February 27). Subsequently, the president of the Credentials Commission, Raúl Pineda , would have to send a report or minutes to the Presidency of the AN, but Vargas informed the fiscal magistrate that this procedure has not been carried out.

Rodríguez also tried to get the general secretary of the AN, Quibián Panay , to issue a certification regarding the acceptance of his resignation. On March 4, Panay responded that Rodríguez’s letter was sent to the legislative Credentials Commission, for his “knowledge.” Panay’s response is the same response as that of Deputy President Vargas to Fiscal Magistrate Chen.

But according to lawyer Álvarez, Panay’s note is sufficient proof that his client has indeed resigned.

“There is a vacuum… and I attribute this absence to the inaction of the president of the National Assembly of Deputies… I understood that this case will remain in a kind of suspense, until the president of the Assembly does his job,” he said. Álvarez to the journalists who were waiting for him at the end of the hearing.

He added that “the only citizen of this country who apparently does not know that Mrs. Zulay Rodríguez resigned is Mr. Vargas.” Since Rodríguez did not attend the hearing in person, charges could not be filed.

The President of the Republic, Laurentino Cortizo , stated this Thursday, March 7, that the officials responsible for the alleged electronic fraud to alter the economic benefits of the Universal Educational Social Assistance Program ( Pass-U ) must face the full weight of the law.

“The message is very clear for the officials who betrayed, that is why there is a good Public Ministry, and a good administration of justice and the full weight of the Law must fall on them,” said the president during a tour of the eastern sector of the province of Panama.

An investigation carried out by the Prosecutor’s Office Specialized in Crimes against Intellectual Property revealed that in 2022 the user account of an official from the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu) was used to make 7 thousand changes of PIN number in the accounts of the U-Pass beneficiaries.

In addition, it was detected that, after the modifications were made, the accounts were used to make purchases in various businesses in the town.

It has been reported that the two arrested people (the Ifarhu official and a merchant) will be brought before a judge of guarantees in the next few hours for the formulation of the accusation.

The Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) temporarily suspended the regulations that allowed the community boards of the district of Panama to spend, within half a year, the Investment and Social Assistance Fund, whose total amount is $22.1 million.

The decision was adopted after a contentious administrative lawsuit filed by the lawyer and candidate for vice mayor of the capital district , Roberto Ruiz Díaz.

In his lawsuit, Ruiz Díaz requests that the second paragraph of article 48 of Municipal Agreement 351 of December 5, 2023 be annulled as illegal, through which the Municipal Council of Panama approved the Municipal Revenue and Expense Budget of Panama by 2024.

This article allows the 26 community boards of the district of Panama to use, between January and June, all the resources of the Investment and Social Assistance Fund, which comes from the Municipality of Panama.

Each community board is given an annual sum of about $850,000 , divided into three items in the months of February, April and June. These funds are specifically for projects related to social assistance, education, culture, infrastructure and housing.

One of the lawyer’s main arguments is that, given that new authorities will be elected in the elections on May 5, which will take office in July, they may not have resources when they reach local governments.

“They cannot leave the incoming authorities without funds,” he said on his social networks. “The impact would be found in the lack of budget in the community boards for the second half of the year, which would not only have a detrimental effect on the authorities that are elected, who would not have the funds for investment expenses, but would directly affect to the population of said community boards,” indicates the ruling whose presiding judge is Carlos Vásquez.

The Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) has everything ready to issue more debt. This time it is $30 million that will be obtained in the local market, through treasury bills, whose auction will take place on March 12.

In ministerial resolution No. 003-2024 of February 29, 2024, the parameters of the issue were set, expiring on March 14, 2025. The auction will be held on the Latin American Stock Exchange.

Treasury bills are an instrument issued by the Republic of Panama that represents a short-term debt (1 year or less), sold through auctions at a discount and payable at maturity for its face value.

The ministerial resolution, under which the auction is agreed, was published in the Official Gazette No. 29983-B on Wednesday, March 6.

Since assuming the Presidency in July 2019, the country has seen a significant increase in its total debt, going from $26,612 million to an alarming figure of $46,894 million.

This increase represents an impressive increase of $20,282 million during the current administration.

A total of 3,004,083 citizens will be eligible to vote in the general election on Sunday, May 5, 2024, in which 1,511,049 (50.3%) are women and 1,493,034 (49.7%) are men, according to statistics from the Final Electoral Roll (PEF) presented by the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

If you are a voter authorized to vote in these elections, you can verify your center and voting station corresponding to your residence through the Verifícate portal ( ).

The first step to follow is to fill out the data required by the website:

  1. ID 2. Date of birth (In order: day, month, year)

Click on the white square next to the phrase “I am not a robot” and then on the green box at the bottom; “Check me.”

Next, the page will provide you with your electoral residence information (Province, district, township, circuit), voting center and the corresponding polling station number.

To find out the electoral offer that corresponds to your place of residence, click on the lower green box “Electoral Offer”, there you can see the candidates for president, deputy, mayor and representative.

You will be able to see the resume and proposals submitted by each candidate.


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