Tuesday 24th July 2023.

July 24, 2023


Doctors, nurses, nursing technicians and support staff from the Nicolás Solano de La Chorrera Hospital declared a work stoppage on Monday.

The medical specialists made the decision to strike due to the damage caused by the air conditioning system in the operating room and the “constant omissions of surgical cases that go against the well-being and health of patients.”

Through a statement, the doctors reported that they will only perform “extremely urgent” surgeries.

The Vice Minister of Health, Ivette Berrío, went to the hospital to talk with the staff. They agreed that the issue should also be dealt with “urgently” with the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Office of the Comptroller of the Republic.

Irregularities in the distribution, in 2021, of solidarity bonds for almost $1 million, and the claim by an artisanal cheese factory called Joselito, in the province of Herrera– continues without being investigated. Neither the Public Ministry (MP) nor the Comptroller’s Office have initiated an audit or investigation process, in order to determine if there were more cases or if there are more involved. For this reason, La Prensa has sent a request for information to the Presidency of the Republic – based on the Transparency Law – to examine in detail the use of these funds.

La Prensa revealed two weeks ago that the Joselito Cheese Factory tried to redeem nearly 50,000 solidarity bonds, but could not due to irregularities detected by the company in charge of redeeming them. The then Minister of the Presidency and current Vice President of the Republic, José Gabriel Carrizo, ordered an internal audit that found greater and worrying irregularities, for which reason the same audit recommended filing a complaint with the MP, something that did not happen because no patrimonial damage to the State was proven.

But Carrizo, days ago, also described as “attacks” the questions that followed the publication of the content of the internal audit of the Ministry of the Presidency, whose recommendation to denounce the facts discovered before the MP was never followed.

In turn, the comptroller Gerardo Solís has already warned that he will not investigate the irregularities detected in the audit either, alleging that the Comptroller did not endorse the payments on behalf of the cheese factory.

the independent deputy Juan Diego Vásquez described Carrizo as “a liar, but we already knew that. The worst thing is that he does not have a hair as a lawyer, just as he does not have it as correct or honest ”. Vásquez’s statements were made last week, during one of his interventions before the plenary session of the National Assembly.

“The Criminal Procedure Code – added Vásquez – establishes the obligation of officials, public servants, to file a complaint against the possibility of a crime. His team [internal audit of the Presidency] told him, and he [Carrizo] did not comply, [so] he is an accomplice to this act of corruption and you have to keep an eye on him ”.

In turn, the lawyer Ernesto Cedeño, told La Prensa that the Administration Attorney’s Office informed him that a complaint he filed on this matter was admitted and the institution has requested a report on the actions of the Ministry of the Presidency in this matter.

With the mixed sentence in the New Business case , issued by Judge Baloisa Marquínez on July 17, which sentenced five people, including former President Ricardo Martinelli Berrocal, and acquitted 10 other defendants, the first instance of this high-profile corruption case was concluded. Now the second instance begins, driven by the appeals filed by the five convicted and the Public Ministry.

The New Business process is carried out according to the rules of the mixed inquisitive system, which is why it was carried out before the Second Criminal Court Settlement chaired by Judge Marquínez. The appeal to this mixed sentence (convicted and acquitted), will take place before the Superior Court for Settlement of Criminal Cases of the First Judicial District made up of the magistrates José Antonio Hoo Justiniani who presides over it, Secundino Mendieta González and Diego Fernández Paniagua. Given the concern of public opinion about the ability of this Tribunal to resolve the appeal in a reasonable time, it is necessary to understand the volume of matters that the Tribunal currently handles.

After repeated complaints about the poor conditions of educational centers, the Ministry of Education (Meduca ) and the National Association of Directors of Official Schools of Panama (Andeop) in a recent meeting agreed to implement strategies to expedite responses to school works.

The first administrative step is to create a working group made up of the Directorate of Public Procurement and the Comptroller General of the Republic to address the issue of public procurement and the Fund for Equity and Quality of Education (FECE) .

During the meeting, the Minister of Education, Maruja Gorday de Villalobos , indicated that the first installment of the FECE of 2023 was received, which is $10 million.

She added that $9 million remained pending, whose disbursement is expected to be made tomorrow today, which adds up to a total of $19 million from FECE.

The agreement also guarantees to review the status of administrative personnel appointed and not fulfilling their functions. Through the National Directorate of Human Resources, a response will be given to the cases presented, in conjunction with the regional directorates. In case of dismissal due to administrative faults, reports and evidence of sanctions (documented in the regional ones), transfers to other educational centers will be avoided.

The meeting arose after protests held last Friday by school directors at the Meduca headquarters in Cárdenas, Ancón district.

The vehicular flow towards the province of Panama Oeste was seriously affected on Monday afternoon, after an accident in the vicinity of the Howard sector.

Preliminary reports indicate that a tipper-type vehicle collided with the central barrier of the highway, causing car traffic to be affected in both directions, but the greatest congestion occurred towards the interior of the country.

The National Police reported that the driver of the dump truck, heading towards the capital city, had to make a manoeuvre to avoid a major accident and in that movement he hit the barrier. This caused part of the retaining wall to hit another vehicle that was going to Panama West. Two of the occupants of this car suffered minor injuries.

A network dedicated to the sexual exploitation of minors that was made up of about 11 people, including a corporal from the National Border Service (Senafront), was dismantled on Monday, by the Judicial Investigation Directorate (DIJ) and the Public Ministry.

An official from the Social Security Fund and another from the Ministry of Education were also arrested, confirmed prosecutor Giselle Acosta.

The so-called operation “Trillizas” took place in the provinces of Chiriquí and Darién, in which three minors who were allegedly sexually exploited were located.

Prosecutor Acosta explained that the investigation began in December 2022, since the minors became pregnant and went to a health center. In these health facilities, one of the victims reported that the baby’s father was a person who paid to have sexual relations with her, for which the information is forwarded to the Public Ministry.

Panama played its first match in a FIFA Women’s Soccer World Cup. The Panamanians faced Brazil on Monday, in a match that began at 6:00 am, at the Hindmarsh stadium, in Australia .

Panamanian fans were on the outskirts of the Australian stadium to receive the players of the Panamanian Women’s Team upon their arrival for their World Cup debut. As the soccer players got off the official bus that transported them to the match venue, dozens of people wearing Panamanian team shirts applauded and sang the emotional “¡Vamos Panamá!” when they passed by and said hello.

Full of emotion and feelings for their country, the Panamanians sang the notes of the national anthem for the first time in a FIFA women’s soccer world cup. At the moment of singing it, the cameras showed how players such as midfielder Marta Cox and goalkeeper Yenith Bailey were filled with tears for the historic and emotional moment for them and the entire country.

Our players faced Brazil, who won 4 goals to 0. The next match will be this Saturday, July 29, against Jamaica at 7:30 am Panama time.

The Women’s Soccer World Cup takes place from July 20 to August 20 in Australia and New Zealand.


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