Wednesday 7th June 2023.

June 6, 2023


The Court of Honor and Discipline of Cambio Democrático (CD) , by majority, decided, on June 2, to approve the “immediate expulsion” from the party of the deputy and presidential candidate Yanibel Ábrego .

This decision was recorded in the Electoral Bulletin 5371-B of this Tuesday.

The Court accepted and declared “proven” the facts of the complaint filed by Rafael Ponce González , who denounced Ábrego for alleged breach of the CD statute, by publicly supporting and promoting the electoral offer of another party: Realizando Metas (RM), the Ricardo Martinelli ‘s new collective .

González, a CD leader, asked that Ábrego be expelled, stating that she violated article 135, numerals 1, 2, and 3, of the statute.

Ábrego has met Martinelli on several occasions and has publicly said that she wants to control CD to make an electoral alliance with RM.

The decision of the Court of Honor and Discipline was signed by Javier Rodríguez, Dilia Cornejo and Luis Cortes. While Arturo Vallarino, brother of Marylín Vallarino, one of the deputies who supports Ábrego, saved his vote. So did former deputy Noriel Salerno.

At the time, Abrego -current general secretary of CD- interpreted her expulsion as proof of the fear that -according to her- Rómulo Roux, current president of the group, feels.

Roux and Ábrego will compete for CD’s presidential candidacy, in the primaries on July 9.

After learning of her expulsion, Ábrego wrote on her Twitter account that “ a president defeated and very afraid. With a court of honor and discipline kneeling at his feet, he decides to expel me from Cambio Democrático. I want to inform you that I am still in the presidential race. The tyrant’s cowardice is so serious that he doesn’t know what else to do to lower my candidacy… ” The publication of this sentence is appealable before the board of directors of CD. Once the internal route is exhausted, an appeal can be made before the full magistrates of the Electoral Tribunal.

The deficiency in the electricity supply in various sectors of the country could lead the National Public Services Authority (ASEP) to apply sanctions of up to $20 million, the entity warned on Tuesday.

Asep’s reaction comes after multiple reports of a prolonged interruption of electrical service in some regions, including the province of Panama Oeste.

“We are following up on all the cases that arise, mainly in this region, where technical investigations are being carried out by the National Electricity Directorate, to initiate sanctioning processes,” said Armando Fuentes, ASEP administrator.

In a statement from the entity, it is highlighted that these “blackouts” will be investigated to comply with supply quality standards.

Fuentes emphasized that the electricity distribution companies must comply with the respective maintenance, in order to prevent the rains from producing some type of affectation.

Likewise, he recalled that with the objective of avoiding this type of situation in the electrical service, investments of close to $300 million were approved, of which $204 million are allocated to new electrical substations, $57 million to restore the circuits and the creation of new circuits and another $42 million in public lighting to improve visibility on the main roads of the country.

In addition, the ASEP reported that it will serve all customers who have submitted their claims directly to the service provider, mainly for damage to electrical devices.

In a second attempt to find out how the funds from the parallel decentralization orchestrated by the National Decentralization Authority (AND) were used, 11 community boards from the Capira district, province of Panama Oeste and political fiefdom of deputy Yanibel Ábrego, were asked to detail of all checks received.

The request was made by the lawyer David Montenegro who sent a note on May 25 to the community boards of Capira, Caimito, Campana, Cermeño, Cirí de Los Sotos, Cirí Grande, La Trinidad, Las Ollas Arriba, Lídice, Villa Rosario and Santa Rosa so that they could send him the information.

The lawyer asked the representatives of these local governments for the details of the amounts and the number of checks for all the programs that were issued to them by the National Decentralization Authority from January 1 to May 15, 2023.

In its note, Montenegro indicates that it makes the request in its capacity as a citizen, exercising the right enshrined in the Constitution and in Law 6 of January 22, 2002 [which establishes norms for transparency in public management], since According to what he told this newspaper, it is “clear that the decentralization funds are being used for campaigns and these communities live in a state of misery without basic services.”

“The inhabitants of these communities have the right to know what so many millions of dollars have been spent in a discretionary way and if they have been used in political proselytism when there is so much need for roads, health centers, recreational areas, schools in poor condition and lack of water in these communities,” he said.

However, he has already received the first rejection of his request. Cirí Grande’s representative, Paula Alonso de Mejía, refused to receive his note. “She did not want to accept the request,” Montenegro said.

For now, the lawyer has not received a response from any of the community boards, but he assured that he will present a series of actions and complaints due to the scandal of millionaire funds that the Decentralization Authority has deposited to Community Boards.

It is precisely these community boards of Capira where the $3.3 million of the “parallel decentralization” of the National Decentralization Authority passed. That is the amount disbursed so far in 2023 and represents 75.45% of what that institution has transferred in the last three years to local governments in that district ($4,479,500).

As of this Tuesday, June 6, Panama is part of the Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) Program, which will allow citizens to travel to Canada without a visa.

This was announced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement.

The entity highlights that the eTA program shortens the management time to obtain an entry permit to Canada for all Panamanian citizens who have been granted a Canadian visa in the last 10 years, or who have a valid Canadian visa. non-resident of the United States.

When applying, you must have a valid passport, fill out the online form and pay seven Canadian dollars.

“This exciting development means that more people in Panama can now embark on unforgettable adventures, explore our diverse landscapes, meet with family and friends and immerse themselves in our vibrant culture without requiring a visa,” said Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Canadian citizenship.

Fraser added that this expansion will not only improve the comfort of travelers, it will also “increase travel, tourism and economic benefits, as well as strengthen our link with Panama.”

Due to the increase in cases in the country of the AH1N1 influenza virus, the Social Security Fund (CSS) reiterated that the mandatory use of the mask remains in force in all health facilities and in those patients with chronic diseases.

The entity recalls that the above is established in Executive Decree No. 101 of July 1, 2022.

Thus, CSS collaborators who have respiratory symptoms, officials without symptoms who present comorbidity such as diabetes mellitus, heart or kidney disease, cancer, people with HIV or other pathologies that weaken their defense system, should wear masks, explained Yelkys Gill, director National Executive of Health Services and Benefits of the entity. The same goes for pregnant women or CSS staff 60 years of age or older, she added. In recent weeks, the health authorities have urged the population to get vaccinated against influenza. This vaccine is applied free of charge, in health centers and police centers nationwide, from Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

The Santeño Front against Mining, supported by professors, university students and citizens in general, protested at noon on Tuesday, June 6, 2023 to reject mining exploitation on Cerro Quema, in Tonosí, Los Santos province.

“Yes to life, no to mining”, under this clamor the protesters partially closed −for an hour− the road at the height of the overpass in front of the Los Santos Regional University Center, based in Las Tablas.

Carrying banners and chanting slogans, the demonstrators temporarily closed the entrance to the city of Las Tablas to attract the attention of government authorities.

The sociologist from Santeño Milciades Pinzón, from the Santeño Front against Mining, said that it is “unacceptable” to try to reactivate this mining project. He indicated that there are other projects to rescue flora and fauna, to reactivate the economy, but “mining is not the solution.”

For her part, María del Pilar Rivera, coordinator of the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the Los Santos Regional University Center, said that with this protest they are demonstrating against the negotiations carried out with the Cerro Quema mining company “because they will substantially affect valuable assets of individual, health and life.

“This type of business generates jobs, but at what cost? we know they generate income that benefits the national treasurer, but at what cost?” she emphasized.

Rivera added that this is just one of the many demonstrations that are going to be held on this issue, so she asked the rest of the population to join these calls.

These protests are carried out after learning that the Ministry of Environment endorsed the environmental impact study, category III, which allows the extraction of gold in Cerro Quema, province of Los Santos.



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