Tuesday 26th March 2024.

March 25, 2024


A guarantee judge declared the investigation of doctors Walter Kravcio and Javier Alvarado as a complex case , related to the alleged fraud against United States veterans, who were allegedly charged for medical services that they did not receive.

Last February, prosecutor Sandy Cedeño , from the Specialized Prosecutor’s Office against Organized Crime , requested more time to conclude the investigation due to the multiplicity of procedures that her office must carry out and the number of victims of the alleged scam. Ultimately, she was granted a one-year extension to conclude the investigation.

The prosecution requested to extend the investigation period, since in the months of October, November and December 2023, it could not carry out a series of procedures planned in the province of Chiriquí, due to street closures due to protests against the mining contract. .

The prosecution had to reschedule the proceedings, as well as an indictment hearing to link another 25 people to the investigation, who are required to provide information about the destination of the funds paid by the patients.

The investigation began after the United States Department of the Treasury detected the alleged irregular collection of medical benefits to war veterans in Panama, which would have caused serious economic damage.

Until August 2023, the prosecution had managed to seize the sum of $585,689 deposited in local banks and which was presumed to be part of the money paid by the US government for its veterans to receive medical care in Panama.

Last August, the Superior Court of Appeals maintained the precautionary measures of house arrest with the possibility of doctors Kravcio and Alvarado going to work, both accused of the alleged commission of the crimes of aggravated fraud and money laundering .

According to the investigations, the investigation may reach other people who subcontracted other specialists to care for veterans and who allegedly charged extra prices for services.

The debts and commitments faced by the General Directorate of Posts and Telegraphs of the Ministry of Government will be settled through a transfer of the budget item.

This was reported by the Minister of Government, Roger Tejada, who explained that the request to transfer these resources has already been made and this Tuesday, March 26, he will go to the Budget Commission of the National Assembly to justify and explain the reason for this procedure. financial.

“We were informed by the Post Office of this situation and we proceeded as the Ministry of Government to locate the resources for them. A few days ago we made a request to the Budget Commission of the National Assembly and I must attend tomorrow, Tuesday, March 6,” he said.

A contentious-administrative lawsuit was filed against this institution for compensation for damages, up to the sum of $1 million. The request was presented in the Third Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice due to the poor provision of services by the Postal and Telegraph Department of the Ministry of Government.

Tejada indicated that in addition to proceeding to process the resources that this entity requires to pay the commitments they have, an analysis will be carried out to leave a proposal for the transformation of the institution to the next administration.

He announced that according to a study carried out by the Inter-American Development Bank, Post and Telegraph (Cotel) can be transformed into an entity through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) administration so that it operates as a solvent company and with standards like the companies that They process parcels and international mail such as Fedex and DHL.

“Through the Inter-American Development Bank, a report was made on the changes required by this institution and it indicates that it must be transformed to provide a FedEx and DHL type service,” explained Roger Tejada.

He stated that this report indicates the good practices that should be adopted in this institution and it is recommended to transform it through a PPP process and the migration to that system can take a year.

“We are going to present to the new government the report on where this institution should go, including the digitalization of processes.”

The two tables intended to register early votes for the elections on May 5 were installed this Monday, March 25, by the authorities of the Electoral Tribunal (TE).

At table 7456, the votes of residents abroad will be received via the Internet, while at table 7457 those of voters registered for early voting in the country will be recorded.

During the installation ceremony, the credentials were delivered to the members of both tables, as well as to the representatives of political parties and free nominations.

This online early voting process is aimed at Panamanians residing abroad and citizens registered in the Early Voting Registry, who, due to the nature of their work, will be outside the country or providing services far from their voting center on the day. of the elections.

Early voting will begin at 12:01 am on Tuesday, April 23, 2024 and will conclude on Thursday, May 2 at 11:59 pm (Panama time).

The installation of the tables is a mandatory phase, as part of the electoral calendar, as is the verification of online voting applications.

To date, 66 companies have expressed interest in participating in the long-term tender for the supply of Firm Power and Clean Energy, which is aimed at renewable generation plants.

This was reported by the Electric Transmission Company (Etesa), detailing that next Thursday, April 4, a clarification meeting will be held, in which they will give the necessary explanations of the process, so that all interested parties are clear about the rules and resolve any concerns. around this tender.

The receipt of offers for this tender is scheduled to take place on June 27.

This process seeks to contract, after 10 years, the long-term energy supply and guarantee the contracting of 500 megawatts of power, through new or existing renewable power plants, which represent an investment of approximately up to 400 million dollars.

Etesa highlighted that in addition to being the first long-term tender to contract renewable energy, it also marks a milestone by incorporating battery storage systems into the process, to give more flexibility to the National Electric System.

“This tender guarantees, in the long term (20 years), the supply of electrical energy to users served by electricity distribution companies, through new or existing renewable power plants,” the company stated.

According to the National Secretariat of Energy, the supply by the companies that are contracted will begin on September 1, 2026 for existing renewable plants, and until January 1, 2029 for new renewable plants.

The First Settlement Court of Criminal Cases suspended the trial of former deputy Marrio Miller and seven other people investigated for the alleged commission of the crime of embezzlement to the detriment of the National Assembly (AN).

The trial was scheduled for 9:00 am today, but Judge Agueda Rentería postponed the trial to next April 1, after the judicial secretariat received notification that the defense lawyers of three defendants had presented excuses for not attending. to the audience.

In addition to Miller, María del Carmen Acosta , Marisela Araúz , Isabel María Araúz, Erendira González, Migadalia Sánchez, Edith Navarro and Isabel Araúz are prosecuted in this case .

This process began following an investigation carried out by the newspaper La Prensa , which revealed that deputies of the National Assembly used the payrolls of this entity to defraud the State, through the issuance of checks in the name of third parties. These people cashed the checks and charged a commission for that task; The rest of the money was given to Miller and the other seven defendants in this case.

Miller was separated from the board of directors of the Democratic Change (CD) party in August 2023, so that he could face this judicial process.

The investigation determined that the checks were issued by the AN as supposed economic aid to the communities.

As a result of these events, lawyers Fredy Pittí and Carlos Herrera Morán filed complaints before the Supreme Court of Justice against Miller and 12 other people.

In 2019, due to the irregular handling of checks issued as supposed aid to the communities, the then comptroller Federico Humbert filed 11 complaints before the Supreme Court of Justice against AN deputies.

The situation in Panama is worrying when it comes to guaranteeing a sustainable water supply for its citizens.

A detailed analysis of the underlying causes points to several factors that contribute to the problem, including insufficient budget for investments, lack of coordination between different entities involved in water management, dissatisfaction with the service, non-payment by users and clandestine connections.

Panama finds itself in a paradoxical situation: surrounded by water, but unable to provide constant and adequate access to this vital resource. The country has 52 hydrographic basins and around 500 rivers, most of which have abundant flow and short distances.

At the same time, 75 thousand people receive water through tank cars and it is estimated that there is 45% of the water not accounted for, which more or less represents 150 million gallons that are being produced. This is water that is pumped or produced but then lost or ignored in the system.

In the country there are 1,106,487 registered homes and it is estimated that 25% do not have constant access to water.

One of the main problems is the poor governance of water in Panama, said Eric Martínez , former Finance Manager of the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), who now dedicates all his time to the Pro-Water Rescue Citizen Initiative, a group of professionals who are committed to a new social pact for the solution of an “issue of State and national security.”


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