Tuesday 25th October 2022.

October 25, 2022

The third liquidation court has set for October 31 the preliminary hearing for former president Ricardo Martinelli for alleged money laundering through the purchase of the Panama America publisher (Epasa) by the New Business company and called another 20 to trial. Through a resolution issued on October 21, the third judge to liquidate criminal cases, Baloisa Marquínez, decided to set the preliminary hearing for Martinelli on October 30 and with an alternate date on November 29, 2022. In his resolution, Marquínez also granted a provisional dismissal for another nine people also charged with the crime of money laundering. In the case of former President Martinelli, the court had ordered the procedural rupture, after his lawyers, during a hearing held last January, argued that he was protected by electoral criminal jurisdiction as a result of the internal elections of the Realizing Goals Party (RM ), of which he is president. However, after a petition filed by Judge Marquinez, the Electoral Court (TE) lifted the former president’s electoral criminal jurisdiction, which opened the door for the case to continue. In its decision, the court also denied the prescription and annulment incidents presented by several defense attorneys and the lifting of the precautionary measures imposed on a corporation allegedly involved in the money laundering scheme. These resources were presented during the preliminary hearing held on July 5.The investigation began in 2017, when the Public Ministry revealed that the  purchase of Epasa was managed through a basket company called New Business and that the money contributed came from contracts awarded to various companies for the alleged execution of public infrastructure works.

The plenary session of the Electoral Tribunal reported this Monday, that it decided to temporarily suspend the use of the app that had been enabled to collect signatures for free candidates, due to the irregularities reported by those who use the system. In a press conference, the TE magistrates, Heriberto Araúz (President), Eduardo Valdés Escoffery and Alfredo Juncá, gave details of the decision taken, anticipating that the suspension of the application is from this Today, October 25.In a statement read by Araúz, it is highlighted at the same time that it was ordered to carry out both internal and external audits, including forensic audits, of all the signatures collected by the activists of the pre- candidates for free application using the app . They will be carried out by the Technological University of Panama (UTP), and a private company that will be hired.At the same time, it was reported that the process of collecting signatures for the free application will continue with the rest of the tools that the TE enabled, such as the User Service Center, the self-service kiosks and the regional district offices of the  entity for face-to-face signatures. In addition, mobile books for remote regions that do not have internet. “Once the audits are concluded, a report will be submitted to the country and the corresponding additional legal actions will be filed with the competent authorities,” said Araúz. The entity affirmed that the app used within the framework of the law, accredits signatures in a legitimate and reliable manner.”It has been the misuse of the app by some activists outside the law that has affected an important technological innovation that the vast majority of  candidates agree is the most appropriate of all methods of collecting signatures” , highlighted Arauz.

The case of financial aid granted by the Institute for the Training and Use of Human Resources (Ifarhu) arrived this Monday at the Accounts Prosecutor’s Office, the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information (Antai) and the Public Ministry ( PM). This occurred after lawyers Ernesto Cedeño and Abdiel González Tejeira filed three legal actions seeking to clarify how these benefits are granted.Cedeño went early Monday to the Accounts Prosecutor’s Office to request an audit of the management of the economic aid funds delivered by the  Ifarhu and to establish whether the process for their adjudication was in accordance with the law. He explained that in this case the important thing is to know if the funds were used correctly.  Later, Cedeño went to Antai in order to establish whether the actions of the officials who delivered the financial aid adhered to the spirit that led to the creation of this figure, which is to give financial aid to students who do not have resources to study. Cedeño’s actions have their genesis in a series of publications in which children of deputies, relatives of politicians and officials with good incomes were given financial aid by Ifarhu. While Tejeira, from the Arraiján 2,000 Movement, went to the MP in the morning to file a criminal complaint against the director of Ifarhu, Bernardo Meneses, for the alleged crime of embezzlement for  the waste of thousands of dollars delivered to government officials in financial aid, despite having large financial resources, to the detriment of low-income students. Tejeira asked the MP to carry out a raid on the Ifarhu headquarters to obtain information on how the financial aid was given. Parallel to these actions, workers from the Single Construction and Similar Union (Suntracs) carried out a picketing at the Ifarhu headquarters demanding the resignation of director Meneses.

Panamanian scientists carry out the inter-institutional and multisectoral research project “Safety of covid-19 Vaccines applied in Panama”, which consists of an observational study, to actively and systematically monitor adverse events that could occur from the day of the application of the first dose of the covid-19 vaccine and for up to one year. The study is expected to reach a minimum of 30,000 people for each age group (under 16 years of age and over 16 years of age) who receive the covid-19 vaccine from the pharmaceutical duo Pfizer/BioNTech. Hildaura Acosta de Patiño, director of the Center for Research and Information on Medicines and Toxics of the University of Panama, pointed out that for this study the technological tool (virtual assistant NORA – Notification of Adverse Reactions) will be used, to effectively monitor the events adverse effects presented by the vaccinated person who has agreed to participate in the study. He explained that this tool consists of a virtual assistant and omnichannel monitoring (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Web, Twitter and phone calls, depending on the technology that each person has or is more familiar with). You will work with automated and personalized attention, 24/7 and 365 days.The objective is to analyze the safety of the covid-19 vaccines applied in Panama through a surveillance process, in which emphasis will be placed on the group of people from 6 months to 4 years of age, as it is the one that is being vaccinated in this month of  October. The National Secretary of Science, Technology and Innovation, Eduardo Ortega Barría, mentioned that this project is based on the active surveillance methodology as an important complement to the system of spontaneous notification of adverse reactions.He added that this study will provide data obtained with scientific rigor and in an active way, using technology and innovation, which will support decision- making with specific information on our population.Data from the Ministry of Health show that in Panama from January 21, 2021 to October 17, 2022, a total of 8,652,344 doses against covid-19 had been applied.

The administration of the Tocumen International Airport reported this Monday that it plans to mobilize some 52,250 passengers for 11 days, on the national holidays. According to Tocumen SA, between October 28 and November 7, on the occasion of the celebration of the national holidays, it is expected to mobilize some 4,750 passengers daily, either by entering or leaving the country to different international destinations. “Estimates indicate that November 2 will be the busiest day with 5,310 outgoing passengers, while for the return to the country the flow will increase on November 6 with 8,413 passengers,” the entity reported.It is highlighted that among the main destinations for Panamanians to travel on those dates are the United States, Colombia, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador.  “We strengthened the attention of the passenger service personnel in both terminals, to guide and serve our users”, pointed out the general manager of Tocumen SA Raffoul Arab. The administration of the air terminal reported that due to the increase in passenger traffic for those days, travelers are recommended to arrive at the airport three hours before the departure of the flight. Likewise, verify the validity of passports and travel permits for minors, in order to speed up immigration and security controls.

More articles