Wednesday 19th October 2022.

October 19, 2022

The pre-candidate for the Presidency of the Republic for the free nomination, Francisco Carreira, and the pre-candidate for deputy, Elías López , denounced this Tuesday, before the Electoral General Prosecutor ‘s Office , alleging irregularities in the signature collection system of the Tribunal Electoral (TE) . Carreira went to the prosecutor’s office this Tuesday “stating knowledge of criminal acts”, which he assures that he can prove with evidence In fact, he announced that people who have declared that they have not given their signature to anyone but, yet, they appear in the TE records as if they had given their support to a candidate. “It’s a lie, it’s identity theft!” he exclaimed. Carreira also indicated that “the confirmation that there is a crime here is that there are 1,119 people who have had the signature removed, it does not say which candidate, the reason is not said, but the photos are questioned… Precisely, that is a crime. that we are denouncing”. He stated that the issue, due to its seriousness and implications, should not be handled by the TE, through communications “or Twitter.” “Electoral crimes have been committed here as well as provisions of the Penal Code , so it must be investigated to the last,” he added. In Carreira’s opinion, there is not the slightest doubt that the electronic system for collecting signatures is “vulnerable”, which -according to what he said- explains the “dizzying” increase in support for some pre-candidates. For his part, Elías López – who is seeking signatures to be a deputy in the 8-3 circuit – reiterated that the complaints are due to the mishandling of the TE application, from which some applicants have “benefited”, to the detriment of others. . He commented that “we are in a very precarious situation.” The director of the Electoral Organization of the TE, Osman Valdés , pointed out that audits have been carried out and that the Electoral General Prosecutor’s Office will be in charge of carrying out the respective investigations. According to Valdés, two internal inspections have been carried out with which the canceled cases have been detected. The official affirmed that the sanctions to the pre-candidates can become fines. Subsequently, the Electoral General Prosecutor’s Office reported that it will proceed to initiate an investigation aimed at clarifying the facts denounced and will request that the respective sanctions be applied.

The investigations initiated by the Public Ministry (MP) between 2014 and 2015 related to the irregular use of funds assigned to the extinct Social Assistance Program (PAN) targeted countless officials from the administration of former President Ricardo Martinelli  . The investigations carried out in the PAN and in the institutions that allegedly received financial aid for school meal programs, housing construction, purchase of tires, grain and helicopter rental revealed that there was a dark management in the use of funds and a scant Supervision of supplies deliveries. This information was also corroborated by audit reports from the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic. Some 30 people, including ministers, directors and individuals were linked by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for the alleged commission of crimes of embezzlement, corruption of public servants, influence peddling and fraud. Almost all of these investigations, which culminated in prosecutorial hearings in which a summons to trial was requested, stumbled upon the decisions of the then Fifteenth Criminal Judge Leslie Loaiza and an intricate tangle of legal resources that caused some of the cases to progress at a slow pace, which led them to be for years in a kind of limbo. Leslie Loaiza, whose employment contract was not renewed by the Judicial Branch in December 2020, dismissed several of these cases: On August 10, 2018, five people investigated for embezzlement by the Social Works Improvement Program in the provinces of Herrera, Coclé and Los Santos. But four years later, the Superior Court of Liquidations reversed that decision and sentenced them to eight years in prison. That decision reached the former director of the PAN Giacomo Tamburelli; the former candidate for deputy for Democratic Change Heriberto Yunito Vega, Luis Alberto Hernández, Estilio Díaz and Luis Alberto Vega. The same thing happened with the investigation of the Public Ministry related to the rental of helicopters contracted by various public entities through the PAN. In 2018, the file was archived by Loaiza, who declared its relative nullity for alleged violations of due process. But the Second Court revoked that decision and ordered to continue with the process, which was again archived by the First Criminal Court, which took over the process after the liquidation of the Fifteenth Court. Finally, the Superior Court of Liquidation, after an appeal from the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, reversed that decision and called 18 former officials to trial, including former ministers Guillermo Ferrufino (Social Development); Franklin Vergara (Health); and Emilio Kieswetter and Óscar Osorio (Agricultural Development), all accused of alleged embezzlement. The trial is scheduled for September 4, 2023.

The National Directorate of Pharmacy and Drugs of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) granted on October 7 an extension until March 31, 2023 so that pharmaceutical establishments can sell anti-migraine drugs with the active ingredient called ergotamine, without a medical prescription.. These are, among others, those marketed as Avamigran, Migra Dorixina, Migratam and Migretil. This temporary decision was adopted after the complaints received by patients suffering from migraine, who since last September 22 needed to have a prescription to obtain these drugs, and in order that pharmacies can get their entire inventory of medicines. that have the active ingredient ergotamine before the new provision comes into force. The regulation for the sale of these prescription drugs is not only due to commitments acquired by Panama in 1994, when it signed the United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances of 1988 , where the substances that they can be used as precursors to manufacture controlled substances, including amphetamines. The other reason is medical, as combining these medications with other pain medications can aggravate a person’s migraine. The president of the Isthmian Association for the Study of Pain-Panamanian Chapter of the International Association for the Study of Pain, Eka Pérez Franco, explained that the prolonged use or overuse of combined medications, those that mix several substances (in this case combinations such as paracetamol, caffeine and ergotamine, or ergotamine, lysine and caffeine), can have serious consequences, not only at the kidney and liver level, but they can become “enhancers” or “maintainers” of pain, and by themselves, produce increased headaches or more frequent headaches, known as rebound headache or medication overuse headache. In Pérez Franco’s opinion, the decision adopted by the health authorities is sensible and correct. And said that granting an extension to require a prescription for these medications gives time to educate and guide the population on the subject, since a person who suffers from migraines cannot afford to wait hours or days to have the medicine they need. It will allow you to manage the episode of pain, because this will cause your migraine to establish itself, become more acute and in some cases, even transform into a more severe pain, which will require different management. “Our population, until now, was used to going to a pharmacy and in minutes they had their medicine. Now we must learn that we must always have with us the migraine medication that we use, and that these medications are going to be bought with a prescription, ”she emphasized. The specialist stressed that when the painful episode of migraine begins, the patient has about 15 to 20 minutes to “attack” the pain, that is, take their medication, before the picture intensifies and settles down. “It makes a huge difference managing pain [in] the first few minutes of the frame. If not, the migraine episode can more easily run its course (which can last anywhere from 4 hours to 72 hours),” he noted.Migraine events are different for each person, so it is difficult to establish a maximum number of tablets per month. Some patients may require 3 to 4 tablets, others 10 to 20 tablets. In  addition, an open prescription cannot be provided either because the country does not have a digitized system (online/virtual) for drug dispatch information between pharmacies, she stressed.

A total of 1,400 doses of the monkeypox vaccine arrived in the country this Monday, , reported the Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, during a tour of the construction of the new Children’s Hospital, which has a advance of 10.55%.Sucre reported that this Tuesday they will hold a meeting to coordinate the vaccination methodology with the teams. He announced that they hope to start next week with the  inoculation of those who should be immunized. According to the recommendations, priority health personnel who attend to these cases must be vaccinated, then people at risk such as sex workers and, according to the cases registered in Panama, men who have sex with other men, Sucre pointed out.To date, 16 cases of monkeypox have been detected in Panama. Regarding the new Children’s Hospital, the minister indicated that they are asking for greater speed from the contractor. “We are asking the construction company to improve the times, because the Panamanian population wants to see faster results,” said Sucre. The Children’s Hospital is being built in the old facilities of the United States embassy on Balboa Avenue and will have parking floors, a cafeteria and will provide outpatient and emergency care.

Drivers from some 80 nations around the world, including Panama, will be participating from October 26 to 30 at the FIA ​​Motorsport Games 2022 , to be held in Marseille, France.The national colors will be represented by Valentino Mini, who will compete in the Formula 4 category, and Valentín Flammini, who will participate in Karting Spring Senior.  “Without a doubt, it will be a great responsibility to be the first Panamanian driver in these competitions, but at the same time it is another boost to give my best and achieve a great result on a track of the caliber of Le Castellet”, Mini commented on what it’s coming.



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