Thursday 24th March 2022.

March 24, 2022


Panama did not register any deaths due to the new coronavirus for the second consecutive day, confirmed this Wednesday, March 23, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) in its epidemiological report. According to data from the Health authorities, in the last four days, no deaths from Covid-19 have been reported in three of them. Since the pandemic arrived in the country, in March 2020, the country has accumulated 8,159 deaths for a lethality of 1.1%. Regarding the new cases, the Minsa reports 386, after the application of 7,029 tests for a positivity of 5.5%. Active cases nationwide are 2,595. It is detailed that 2,470 are in home isolation and 125 in hospitals. Those in isolation are divided into 2,445 at home and 25 in hotels. Of those hospitalized, the report shows that 115 are in the wards and 10 in intensive care.

The plenary session of the Electoral Court (TE) decided to maintain the criminal electoral jurisdiction of former President Ricardo Martinelli, who is charged in two open processes: the payment of bribes by Odebrecht and the alleged use of public funds to acquire Editora Panamá América , SA Judges Heriberto Araúz and Alfredo Juncá revoked, on March 22, resolution 2-2022 of February 23 issued by the Second Administrative Electoral Court, through which the jurisdiction of the former president was lifted. Judge Eduardo Valdés Escoffery saved his vote.

A subcommittee of the National Assembly will be in charge of analyzing Bill No. 779, to modify the current legislation on the right to reply or rectification adopted by the media. The project that modifies Law 22 of 2005 was originally presented by the deputy Zulay Rodríguez, of the PRD, on February 24 last and this Wednesday, March 23, the Commission of Government, Justice and Constitutional Affairs of the Assembly decided to form a subcommission that will review the proposal. “Precisely, in this environment, changing the rules of the game for the media is an invitation to other restrictions that could worsen the situation of freedom of expression and the right to information in our country in a critical period,” says the letter signed by Guillermo Antonio Adames, president of the CNP, on behalf of the unions. The note was delivered to Deputy Rodríguez. Representatives of the unions were present this Wednesday, in the Government Commission of the Assembly, which is chaired by Deputy Víctor Castillo.

An Appeals Court ordered the provisional arrest of the former head of Operations of the National Charity Lottery (LNB), Franklin De Gracia Domínguez. Since November 2021, the former official maintained precautionary measures to prevent him from leaving the country and periodic notification. De Gracia Domínguez -who joined the lottery in 2019 and was separated in November 2021- is one of the six people that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor is investigating for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement through the irregular collection of tickets and winning chances .

The Third Liquidator Court replaced the preventive detention of the former director of the liquidated Financial Pacific brokerage house, West Valdés, and applied a precautionary measure to prevent him from leaving the country, after he remained in prison for five years. The third judge Baloisa Marquinez, through order No. 144 of March 23, 2022, decided to change the precautionary measure to Valdés charged with the crime of fraud to the detriment of the Jal Off Shore company.

The deputies of the Budget Commission of the National Assembly approved this Wednesday, March 23, a transfer of $5.5 million to the Electoral Court (TE) . The president of the TE, Heriberto Araúz, reported that the money will be used to finance the internal elections of the Cambio Democrático, Molirena, Movimiento Otro Camino and Partido Revolucionario Democrático (PRD) parties .

The Authority for Consumer Protection and Defense of Competition (Acodeco) granted a favorable opinion conditional on the economic concentration operation between Cable & Wireless Panama and Claro Panama. This marks the completion of a fundamental stage of the transaction announced in September 2021, when Liberty Latin America Ltd announced that its subsidiary Cable & Wireless Panama agreed to acquire América Móvil SAB de CV in Panama (Claro Panama). The acquisition of the operations of Claro Panama is valued at 200 million dollars and was approved at a meeting of the Cable & Wireless board of directors, exactly on September 14.

On the morning of this Wednesday, March 23, the thirty-eighth edition of Expocomer was inaugurated. Organized by the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture, the fair returns after two years of absence due to the pandemic.In the opening speeches, there was no lack of references to the break caused by Covid-19, with the difficulties that the country and the economic sector have experienced since the first case in the country was detected in March 2020. The event, therefore, is presented as a reflection of the return to normality of the economy.

Fuel prices will register a new increase starting at 6:00 am this Friday, March 25, confirmed the National Energy Secretariat. It was reported that 95 octane gasoline will reflect an increase of 3 cents per liter or 10 cents per gallon. With respect to 91 octane gasoline, it is specified that the increase will be 2 cents per liter or 7 cents per gallon. Low sulfur diesel will have a rise of 1 cent per liter or 4 per gallon. The new fuel costs will apply between Friday, March 25 and Friday, April 8. With the increase, 95 octane gasoline will cost $1.19 per liter, while $4.50 per gallon. The liter of 91 octane gasoline will be priced at $1.15 per liter and $4.36 per gallon. As for diesel, the cost will be $1.14 per liter or $4.33 the gallon.

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