Monday 15th January 2024.

January 14, 2024


On January 11, the Electoral Tribunal (TE) recalled that “we are in an electoral ban” until February 2, one day before the campaign begins towards the elections of May 5, 2024. That means that They can carry out activities where candidates or political parties are promoted.

However, the deputy of San Miguelito , Raúl Pineda , a member of the leadership of the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) , distributed 1,300 bicycles this weekend to children and adolescents in his district. Also participating in the activity was his nephew José Ruiloba Pineda , another PRD member who, like his uncle, is vying for one of the seven seats in the 8-2 circuit.

Last Saturday, December 13, Pineda and his nephew celebrated what they called Happy Summer, an event that had two slogans: #Soycomotú and #Elmotordelbarrio, with which both identify on a political level. But that was not the only coincidence with proselytism. On the bicycle horse rests a decal that says Raúl Pineda, in blue and red letters on a white background, the colors of the ruling PRD.

The first activity took place on a field in the Torrijos Carter neighborhood, in the Belisario Frías district of San Miguelito. Dressed in black t-shirts, Pineda and Ruiloba gave speeches and took dozens of selfies with the children who received the Rally brand bicycles. The girls’ ones were pink and had a basket on the front. The children’s

This Sunday, January 14, a similar party took place on the coastal strip, on Balboa Avenue in the morning. “We remain committed to the children of the district. #HappySummer more than 1,300 children,” wrote the vice president of the Budget Commission of the National Assembly, on his Instagram account.

In 2023, a year that was also key for this year’s elections, the San Miguelito deputy held a similar event. On that occasion he even closed one of the important roads that crosses the district. The event caused a storm of criticism. Multiple voices accused him of promoting clientelism. As now, the politician dismissed the questions. He assured that he brought “joy” to some 1,000 low-income boys and girls in the municipality.

Although the TE made the call to respect the ban regarding the Thousand Polleras Parade, which took place last Saturday in Las Tablas, province of Los Santos, the measure applies to other events. The institution even recalled what is contemplated in article 257 of the Electoral Code. This provision establishes that the electoral campaign is the set of paid activities carried out by political parties, pre-candidates and candidates during a certain period, aimed at capturing the support of the electorate, before an electoral event.

At the time of writing this note, no electoral authority had commented on the deputy’s activity. However, the topic was a matter of debate on social networks like X. Others wonder how much does each bike cost? And who financed the purchase?

José Ruiloba Pineda was recently reported to the General Electoral Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly proselytizing through a public office. The complaint says that his candidacy violates the electoral norm, because even though his candidacy for deputy has already been presented, he continues to serve as chief of staff of the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning.

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) reported this Sunday that, in the first days of the year, the sale of expired products continued to be detected in different parts of the country.

According to the entity, in the inspections carried out in the first two weeks of 2024, failures to control prices have also been detected in some of the 18 products in the basic food basket.

“According to the daily reports received, throughout the country, during these first days of January, there are still many expired products that are being marketed, which is a worrying situation,” is reflected in a statement from Acodeco.

Since last December, Acodeco has reported on the marketing of expired merchandise. He recalled that during the inspections for the Christmas season, 11,600 expired products were found, 1,434 without an expiration date, 814 damaged and 166 without a clear expiration date.

Regarding the sanctions registered to date, Acodeco reports 52 fines in the first instance for anomalies detected when failing to comply with Law 45 of 2007 (Consumer Protection), for an amount of $15,630.00; and for lack of price control, 20 sanctions have been imposed, for $10,750.00. Likewise, the first 7 fines have been issued for the improper use of the 25-pound gas cylinder, for $3,850.00.

The Directorate of Traffic Operations of the National Police reported that so far in 2024, 40% more violations have been recorded compared to what was reported in 2023.

The data reflects that in the first 13 days of this year, 18,028 sanctions have been registered for failing to comply with the Traffic Regulations. This figure exceeds the 12,920 violations recorded in the same period of 2023.

In this month of January, 3,437 tickets have been issued for speeding, 3,205 for disregarding signs, 2,127 for improperly parked vehicles and 1,692 for contempt. In addition, 1,105 for inadequate lights and 262 for proven drunkenness.

José Pineda, from Traffic Operations, reported that this year seven fatalities have been reported, of which three are due to being run over.

Police authorities reiterate the call for people to use pedestrian bridges and sidewalks to prevent traffic accidents.

The Supreme Court of Justice declared non-viable a second preventive habeas corpus appeal presented in favor of leaders of the Single Construction and Similar Union (Suntracs) and members of the National Coordinator of National Unity (Conusi) against the National Border Service ( Senafront).

Under the presentation of Judge Olmedo Arrocha and unanimously, the full Court decided to declare non-viable the appeal presented by lawyer Hessel Orlando Garibaldi, in relation to the protests carried out between the months of October and November in rejection of the mining contract. signed between the State and the company First Quantum for the exploitation of a copper deposit in the districts of Donoso and Omar Torrijos in the province of Colón.

The appeal was filed to avoid the arrest of Suntracs and Conusi leaders who participated in the street protests against the mining contract and that paralyzed the country for almost 30 days. This is the second habeas corpus presented for this purpose by members of these organizations.

In a ruling made public on January 3 and with the presentation of Judge Ariadne García, the full Court did not admit another appeal in relation to the demonstrations against the mining contract.

Following protests against the mining contract, the Public Ministry began investigations into property damage, acts of vandalism and confrontations with members of the public force.

The Attorney General’s Office clarified the position it issued in November 2023, when, after a legal analysis, it was understood that it was not feasible for the General Directorate of Revenue (DGI) to publish the list of people who fail to comply with their tax obligations.

However, on January 3, Rigoberto González , attorney for the Administration, responded to a new query from the DGI about the legality of publishing the list of taxpayers in default with the treasury.

After evaluating various norms, codes and decrees, the official’s position indicates that this is possible, always safeguarding the human rights of respect for confidentiality, image and information.

In its first analysis, it explained that article N°722 of the Tax Code only allows the disclosure of statistical data, which does not reveal the information contained in the sworn income tax returns.

Now you were asked for an expansion on the global scope of article 21 of Cabinet Decree No. 109 of May 7, 1970, as added in Law No. 49 of September 17, 2009, which indicates that DGI officials are obliged to keep the information they handle as part of their functions in the most absolute confidentiality.

This article N°21 also contains the exception to the principle of confidentiality of tax information established in article 722 of the Tax Code , regarding the publications of balances in arrears. This rule expressly indicates that the tax balances that are payable and that are in arrears for more than 12 months will be disseminated and published by the DGI in a local newspaper, with the name and Single Taxpayer Registry. (RUC) of the person responsible for the payment.

Then, with respect to the request for clarification, the Attorney General’s Office specified that, based on these regulations, the DGI is allowed to adopt measures of this type to demand the payment of taxes, as long as the human right to freedom is not violated. intimacy and privacy, enshrined in Law No. 6 of January 22, 2022 and Law No. 81 of March 26, 2019.

Publio De Gracia, Director of Revenue, indicated that they are only authorized to publish what the rule indicates, that is, that the entity could not disclose information such as address or telephone numbers of delinquent taxpayers.

Tax lawyer Adolfo Campos explained to La Prensa that an important point to consider is that these two regulations, both the Tax Code and the Cabinet Decree, have the same level.

Campos expanded that the attorney’s recent response is ratified in terms of the human rights of respect for confidentiality, image and information, but recognizes that there is an exception to this principle of confidentiality.

That is, the DGI can disclose the list of delinquent taxpayers, complying with all the conditions established in the decree and the Tax Code.

An important point is that article No. 21 does not indicate that the amount of the debt may be disclosed, so this information cannot be shared, Campos said.

Starting this January, the electricity bill will increase. The Public Services Authority approved the increase in the electricity rate that will vary between 2% and 15% for some service customers  the new increase in the electricity rate in Panama that will be in effect until June 30, 2024: Affecting customers who consume more than 300 kilowatt hours. This measure was approved by the National Public Services Authority (ASEP) on December 28 and came into effect on January 1.


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