Thursday 20th October 2022.

October 20, 2022

A few days before the National Assembly enters its two-month recess (November-December), the deputies have accelerated the discussions of the projects that are on the plenary agenda. The vice president of that State body, Kayra Harding, reported this Wednesday that they even enabled the plenary session for this Friday with the aim of approving several projects classified as important. Regularly, the plenary works from Monday to Thursday. She mentioned that the pending issues are the State budget for the fiscal year 2023, the project that creates the Ministry of Women, among others. She indicated that the ratification of the new magistrate who will replace José Ayú Prado is also pending. “We have pending issues and very little time. Constitutionally we must close on October 31. The president [Cortizo] has not yet appointed that person [magistrate] and everything seems to indicate that there may be extraordinary sessions,” said Harding. Gabriel Silva, from the independent bench, said that they will be present if they call extraordinary sessions. “These are issues that deserve a non-hasty discussion,” he said.

The rental of eight 4×4 trucks and two sedans for a period of six months (July-December 2022) will cost the Municipality of Panama the sum of $135,793. According to documents published in Panama Buy on October 14, the vehicles will be used by the superior office, an office headed by Mayor José Luis Fábrega ; Deputy Mayor Judy Meana ; as well as personnel from the General Secretariat, the Municipal Surveillance Directorate, the Urban Planning Directorate, the Legal and Justice Directorate, the Municipal Treasurer, the Human Resources Directorate, and the Planning, Strategy and Budget Directorate. “The Municipality of Panama has seen the need to rent vehicles, since it does not have a fleet of cars, mainly four-wheel drive that can reach the most remote and difficult-to-access communities of the 26 districts of the Panama district. The needs are changing, since adverse events of nature can determine at a certain moment to demand an immediate response and it is for us to be prepared (…)”, says part of the technical report with which the Mayor of Panama, justifies the service contracting. Arrendadora Global SA is the company that benefited from the direct contract. From time to time the Municipality of Panama renews this type of services.

A total of $61,000 in “economic aid” from the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu), was received by Paola Testa Rodríguez , daughter of the current deputy and candidate for a free presidential candidacy, Zulay Rodríguez . According to the digital media Foco, which released the information on October 19, the money would be for studies abroad. Documents from the Comptroller General of the Republic indicate that Ifarhu, led by Bernardo Meneses, sent the corresponding paperwork for its endorsement on July 1, 2022. And it was on July 9 that the Comptroller endorsed the document. La Prensa tried to contact the PRD deputy to make any statements about this matter, but so far no response has been obtained.

A criminal complaint for the alleged commission of the crime of identity theft was filed with the Public Ministry (MP) by the lawyer Francisco Carreira Pitty, this Wednesday, October 19. The basis of the complaint is the anomalies in the use of the app created by the Electoral Court (TE) to collect signatures in favor of the candidates for popular election positions, by way of free application. Carreira, who is a presidential candidate, specified that the complaint is for the TE officials in charge of managing the app to be investigated, since they have criminal responsibility for action or omission, by developing a faulty system that allowed the identity theft of people who, without knowing it, appear as signatories in favor of some pre-candidacies. The TE recognized that there are 1,019 dubious signatures, involving 53 candidates. Carrera maintains that technological tools created by the TE are being used to distort the will of the electorate and that this constitutes conduct classified as a crime in the Penal Code . It was stressed that it is now up to the Public Ministry to determine the possible responsibility of TE officials in the alleged fraud in the collection of signatures. The day before, Carreira went to the Electoral Prosecutor’s Office to investigate the possible commission of electoral crimes, using this technological tool for the collection of electronic signatures.

The Social Security Fund (CSS) opened administrative processes to 138 medical specialists who breached contracts with the entity. According to the director of the institution, Enrique Lau, this group of doctors was formed by the entity between 2010 and 2021. However, they did not fulfill their commitment to provide their service to the State and went to work in the private sector. “They [the doctors] were selected in a contest, and each one signed a contract with the institution, in which they are obliged to work where the Fund needs them, but they did not,” he said. Data from the CSS show that $10 million was allocated in the training process of the 138 specialists and, if they do not comply with the contract, they must return the money that was allocated in their learning and training process as specialists. “Now they must return to the entity everything that was given to them,” stressed the director of the CSS.

An allegedly mentally ill person wounded seven others with a knife in the Bella Vista sector, in Condado Del Rey, Panama City. The event occurred near the Bella Vista mini-supermarket, at around 10:00 a.m. Among the wounded is a captain of the National Police. The policeman received a wound to the right forearm, it was reported this Wednesday. Commissioner Ceferino Villarreal, National Director of Citizen Security. He said that the six injured correspond to bystanders.All the injured were transferred to the San Miguel Arcángel hospital (San Miguelito) The aggressor was arrested and taken to the Santo Tomás Hospital, after the police unit used its regulation weapon to defend themselves, Villarreal added. The commissioner added that the assailant (a member of the Chinese community) has no criminal record and that he would be a patient receiving psychiatric care.

A man was murdered in the early hours of this Wednesday, on Perico Island, in the district of Ancón. The incident occurred in a hotel that is closed on the Amador Causeway. According to preliminary reports, two men were arguing in one of the rooms of the premises; one of them received multiple stab wounds and was found in the hallway. The other person fled. The scene was cordoned off by police officers. Personnel from the Public Ministry who ordered the removal of the body, as well as the search for evidence as part of the investigations. The deceased was identified as Cesar Acosta. No arrests have been reported in this case.

 The Canadian airline Air Transat will become, as of November 1, the first to carry out regular flights from Canada to the Scarlett Martínez Airport in Río Hato, Coclé province. This was confirmed by the administrator of the Tourism Authority of Panama, Iván Eskildsen, who reported on his twitter account that there will be four weekly flights: two from Montreal and two from Toronto. Eskildsen stressed that this frequency of international flights will generate a huge impact on the Panamanian Pacific coast. Meanwhile, Howard Liebman, Transat’s vice president of government relations, also announced that based on three decades of service to Panama, Air Transat becomes the first international airline with itineraries “for the beautiful Rio Hato.”

The indigenous regions and maritime sectors in the national territory are under warning due to rains and storms that will be registered until next October 21. According to the National Civil Protection System, among the areas of greatest vigilance are: Veraguas, Chiriquí, Los Santos, Herrera, Ngäbe Buglé region, Coclé and Colón. The Directorate of Hydrometeorology of the Electric Transmission Company reported that the interaction and coupling of several atmospheric systems and the passage of tropical wave No. 38 that could generate scattered showers and storms are maintained.For emergency reports, there are lines 520-4429/911 or WhatsApp 6998-4809.

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