Thursday 12th January 2023.

January 12, 2023

The pre-candidates for free application exceeded one million endorsement signatures. This was announced on the morning of January 11 by the magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal (TE) , Eduardo Valdés Escoffery, during a press conference. The magistrate explained that in 21 weeks they collected one million 9 thousand 897 signatures. “That had never been seen in the Republic,” said Valdés Escoffery. In the same period from 2017 to 2018 (21 weeks), the pre-candidates at that time had collected only 86,851 signatures. The magistrate indicated that the pre-candidates have collected many signatures despite the fact that one of the methods to do so, in this case the APP created by the Tribunal, was suspended for a month after allegations of irregularities. “So in no one’s mind there can be any doubt that the diversity of offer and system that exists for collecting signatures is working wonderfully, like never before,” he assured. The signature collection process began on August 15 and ends on July 31, 2023. Only those with the most signatures will appear on the ballot, for each election position. Each charge has a minimum number of signatures. For president, for example, 39,296 are required.Up until 6:00 am on January 11, the three pre-candidates for the Presidency of the Republic with the largest number of valid signatures are the current deputy of the Democratic  Revolutionary Party (PRD), Zulay Rodríguez, with 71,87 signatures; the former Panamanian deputy Melitón Arrocha, with 64,279 signatures, and the jurist Francisco Carreira, with 44,289, according to the TE.

Firefighters continued on Wednesday morning, with the work to put out the fire in a warehouse complex in France Field, Colon Free Zone. The fire started at about 7:00 am on Tuesday, in one of the Nevada company’s warehouses, according to the Fire Department. At least 6 warehouses were destroyed by fire, two of them were empty. The other warehouses kept merchandise, most of them aerosols, cleaning products, among others. According to the firefighters, they were working to prevent it from spreading to other warehouses where there are lithium batteries. so far parts of the structures have collapsed. For his part, the General Manager of the Colon Free Zone, Giovanni Ferrari, explained that the affected site is made up of 10 galleys, of which 6 were consumed. He added that after meeting with Colonel Abdiel Solís, director of the Fire Department of Panama, and with the first chief commander, Paul Baptiste, of the Colón fire department, he authorized the use of 75 gallons of F500, a fire suppressant of an “innovative technology” for firefighting and risk control. He said that this product is capable of cooling inflamed material with temperatures of 650º to 53ºC in a few seconds, in addition to destroying fuel molecules and being biodegradable. In this operation, 9 tankers, 4 firefighting vehicles, 2 ladder vehicles, 4 ambulances and a rescue vehicle have arrived. So far there is only one firefighter injured during the extinction work, who is stable and out of danger.

The Panamanian Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported the arrival early this Wednesday, of some 75,600 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech bivalent vaccine against covid-19 at the Tocumen International Airport. The first doses will be sent to hard-to-reach areas; They will be applied to officials and to immunocompromised people and, when more doses arrive, the population will be informed about the organization for the administration of this vaccine. The Minsa also explained that for a person to be inoculated with the bivalent vaccine, they must have two doses of the monovalent vaccine. “Before Friday, bivalent vaccines must be applied nationwide to the entire population over 12 years of age, starting with all officials in the health sector, including health science students, the elderly, patients with chronic diseases, the disabled, and the captive population as well as the fire police, Sinaproc will be vaccinated with the second batch that we will receive next week”, said Itzel de Hewitt, coordinator of the Expanded Immunization Program. The entity had previously reported that the new bivalent presentation of the vaccine has better protection against the original and Omicron variants, being supplied in single booster dose vials. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized on August 31 the bivalent formulations of the Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna covid-19 vaccines, for use as a single booster dose. . The goal of updated bivalent vaccines is to help restore protection that has diminished since the previous vaccination and provide broader protection against new variants. Vaccine specialists consider that the bivalent vaccine is ideally administered at least three months after the last infection or immunization, particularly before a new wave of disease infections.

Odebrecht gave birth to the biggest corruption scandal in the history of Panama. They did using presidents and ministers, their relatives and front men, advisers and intermediaries of three governments from three different parties. Since they arrived on the isthmus, in March 2006, and for the following 10 years, they paid million-dollar bribes to get at least 20 public megaprojects with cost overruns of the same by millions of dollars. All this was investigated by the Public Ministry of Panama (MP) in an endless six-year process. If a person reads an average of 130 words per minute, it will take up to five years without sleeping reading the entire file: there are 915,000 pages divided into 2,194 volumes, with 146 international attendances and 101 defendants. Only the fiscal view, which includes the forms, the background and the protagonists, covered 931 pages, with known and unknown details of a complex and tangled plot. To unravel it, a team from La Prensa translated the judicial tangle and turned it into an interactive database where users can see who was involved and navigate their interactions: what they did, where, with what methods and with whose help.

Panabrecht: the defendants and their links

A 48-year-old man was apprehended by the National Police in Parque Lefevre for possession of 15 firearms and 1,417 rounds of ammunition in a residence. The arrest occurred on the night of January 10 after a joint search with officials from the Public Ministry. Jaime Toledo, chief deputy commissioner of the San Francisco Police Zone, explained that after police intelligence monitoring they were able to capture this person in the Ernesto T. Lefevre sector, who also had a replica of a weapon. He had 680 12-gauge shotgun rounds, a total of 557 22-gauge rounds, and 180 9-millimeter rounds. Christopher Ortega Cobos, alias Nene, one of the most wanted by the judicial authorities, was captured by members of the National Police early this Wednesday. Ortega Cobos, 23 years old, was wanted for his alleged involvement in a homicide that occurred on November 20, 2021, in Concepción La Nueva, Juan Díaz corregimiento. Commissioner Víctor Méndez explained that he was apprehended during Operation Genesis, in conjunction with the Public Ministry. In the residence where he was arrested he had firearms, supplies, ammunition, and drugs.

Gasoline prices continue to rise. Starting this Friday, a new increase will be registered according to the National Secretariat of Energy. The 95-octane liter will go up five cents and will sell for $1.01. The 91 will increase four cents and will be at 0.96 cents per liter. While the liter of low sulfur diesel will have a rise of 0.02 cents and its sale will be $1.07. When converted to a gallon, the 95 octane will rise by 0.24 cents, remaining at $3.86; the 91-octane will increase 0.15 cents and will sell for $3.62. While diesel will increase 0.08 cents and will remain at $4.04 a gallon. At present, the Government grants a fuel subsidy so that it is sold to the public at $3.25 a gallon of 95, 91 and diesel. But, it will only be valid until January 15 of this year. According to the Ministry of Energy, with these new prices that come into effect from 6:00 am this Friday, the savings per subsidized gallon in 95 octane will be 0.58 cents. The 91 octane gasoline will be 0.39 cents and in the diesel gallon the savings would be 0.81 cents.




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