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This topic appears to be directly related to and a rapid reaction to the recent government purchases at bloated prices that led to the quick resignation of Vice Minister Juan Carlos Muñoz. Click Here to see the other referenced topic.

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Probe into state  advisor´s quarantine busting fling

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Heading to the party

Posted 16/08/2020

The Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation for alleged embezzlement of the Urban and Home Cleaning Authority (AAUD), after an official vehicle was used to transport to the guests to a party at his party during the total lockdown.

The vehicle is assigned to Pedro Ortiz, advisor to the AAUD, at whose home in Dorado Lakes (Rey County) the party was held until it was suspended after the neighbors called the police,  and began banging pots and pans.

The Police arrived and used six buses to remove those who participated in the party. An inspector from the Municipality of Panama also arrived, and the Comptroller's Office ordered the immediate retention of the official vehicle (a Toyota Land Cruiser truck) and announced sanctions to the driver.

Ortiz claimed that he was not in the house, but said on Twitter that he assumed the consequences with "responsibility,". When Ortiz wrote that he was not there, images of him circulated immediately on social networks in which it is clear that he was at the party.

The AAUD rejected any action that involves the misuse of the assets of the State.  And the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information warned that it will apply measures if it is found that there were officials holding parties in quarantine and using state assets.

This celebration took place during the weekend of total quarantine and within he curfew, which began on Friday at 7:00 pm and ended Monday at 5:00 am

                          

 

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/probe-into-state-advisors-quarantine-busting-fling-1

 

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Quarantine partying government advisor resigns

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Posted 17/08/2020

Pedro Ortiz a senior of advisor to the government’s  Urban and Home Cleaning Authority (AAUD) and the central figure in  a lockdown party scandal resigned on Monday, August  17, but still faces at least three investigations.

Photos and videos of an official vehicle assigned to Ortiz that took guests to a party organized at his rented home in Dorado Lakes (Lakes County)  during the total lockdown on  Saturday were circulated on social media. Neighbors  protested by banging pots and pans  and called the National Police who hauled the partying guests away

 At first, Ortiz denied being at the party but photos revealed his presence.

The information about his resignation was released by the general administrator of the AAUD, Pedro Castillo.

Castillo apologized for the events and said that all officials, regardless of their hierarchy, have to comply with the laws.

He clarified that, despite this resignation, the investigations that are being followed by the now-former advisor will continue.

The Public Ministry, the Ministry of Health, and the National Authority for Transparency and Access to Information are already carrying out processes and The  Supervision Directorate of the Comptroller General of announced the initiation of an investigation for misuse of State vehicles.

Ortiz "has to abide by all the sanctions that are given to him", said the AAUD administrator.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/quarantine-partying-government-advisor-resigns

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Pedro Ortiz Resigns High Level Position After Caught Partying and Using Government Vehicles During the Quarantine
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Butt-kissing official suspended over more "likes" threat

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José Ruiloba

Posted 18/08/2020

José Ruiloba who was at the center of a second-weekend embarrassment for the current administration has been suspended without pay from his job as head of human resources at the  Ministry of  Housing and Territorial Planning (Miviot).

The action followed the discovery of a voice message on WhatsApp in which he threatened action against officials of the Ministry for not giving "likes" to the social media publications of the current minister Rogelio Paredes and to those of President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen.

“I want to apologize to the entire population. I am a human being, I think I was wrong. They were not the most appropriate words. I agree with the Minister of Housing, that an investigation be opened and that the corresponding actions be applied to me.” said Ruiloba later in a mia culpa  video that he made public after the voice note was disclosed on social networks

.In a statement, the Miviot announced that in accordance with its  Internal Regulations a committee was established to evaluate the fault and the possible consequences and it decided to suspend him from his position, without right to salary.

Earlier in the week, an advisor to the garbage authority AAUD, resigned after throwing a house party in the midst of total quarantine and using an official vehicle to transport guests. He is facing three  investigations

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/butt-kissing-official-suspended-over-more-quotlikesquot-threat-1

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to The Cortizo Administration and Its Legacy; Insider Corruption; "Butt-Kissing" Advisors, etc.
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Business chamber wants reopening without bureaucratic ties

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Jean-Pierre Leignadier

Posted 20/08/2020

Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture (Cciap) called  on the government on    Thursday, August 20, for  the reopening of the economy " without bureaucratic ties, or measures that do not adhere to legality and due process."

The chamber emphasized that the health crisis cannot justify ignoring fundamental guarantees, under the pretext of any other considerations.

"Continuing  of restrictive measures, without logical and technical support and with signs of unconstitutionality work against the success of the economic and social recovery, and the bureaucratization of the opening of activities is a contradiction to this reactivation", said  Cciap president Jean-Pierre Leignadier

The chamber considers that although some measures have been introduced to make the restrictions on mobility and operation of economic activities more flexible, these are insufficient, and have led to a number of legal questions for affecting citizens' rights.

“The country has been subjected for five months to extremely strict confinement and with little comparison in the world;  in parallel to an equally severe restriction of economic activities. After so many months, the only realistic option for economic recovery and job preservation is through a responsible opening, where both the private and public sectors can seek a balance in health, social and economic revitalization.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/business-chamber-wants-reopening-without-bureaucratic-ties

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Health Ministry studying construction restarts

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Posted 20/08/2020

The Minister of Health, Luis Francisco Sucre, said on  Thursday, August 20, that he is trying to accelerate the restart of the largest possible number of construction projects, which were suspended because of the pandemic.

However, Sucre said that they are trying to ensure that these projects - whether public or private - are as dispersed as possible.

"We are approving little by little, some in Chiriquí, others in Bocas del Toro, Veraguas and the capital," he said.

Sucre also indicated that they are in talks with the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture and the Panamanian Construction Chamber to evaluate the issue to avoid a large concentration of people in the projects making  the construction a source of infection

One of the alternatives being studied is that the projects can be divided into phases so that, instead of 500 people at the same time in the same project, there are 100  who are dispersed.

"In general, in construction, distance is kept but there is also a lot of exchange of tools," he said.

The authorities have already endorsed the partial reactivation of some public and private construction projects.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/health-ministry-studying-construction-restarts

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Fat cat politicians and officials  will maintain lifestyle

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The Budger Commirree ponders lifestyle issues

Posted 24/08/2020

In the midst of the pandemic induced collapse of the  Panama economy the country’s fat cat politicians have ensured that their travels will continue first-class with per diem allowances of between $500 and $700 (for each day abroad).

For trips within Panama, they can claim between $100 and $125

The general state budget bill for 2021  also contemplates the payment of $ 500 in allowances to the members of boards of directors and even warns that "they may not be modified in the current fiscal period", despite the fact that the Executive itself presented a bill that contemplates the reduction of salaries to a group of officials and omits the payment of per diems for those who are members of boards of directors reports La Prensa.

The Budget Director, Carlos González , assured that the budget adjustment in 2021 is fundamentally in the areas of goods and services, and in terms of investments, but did not explain why the travel expenses will not be reduced, although Independent deputy Gabriel Silva asked questioned it in the Budget Committee.

"Where are you saving? Where are you saving on issues of bureaucracy, efficiency, on issues of the state payroll? I'm not talking about dismissing officials (...) But we know that the public sector has a disproportionate payroll ... huge, compared to other countries, and on the other hand, we have doctors who are not receiving salaries due to them ”, he said.

If the trip is to Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania, the ministers, deputies, attorneys, magistrates, prosecutors, the ombudsman, the comptroller, managers, superintendents, administrators, university rectors, members of boards of directors of entities in the sector public; and all their seconds-in-command are entitled to $700 per day for travel expenses.

The rest of the officials, $ 600. If the tour is to the United States, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, and Chile, the amount for the first is $600; that of the others, $500. When it comes to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, and the rest of Latin America, the highest-ranking officials receive $500 a day, and the rest, $ 400.

This does not include transportation costs (air tickets, and others), which in the case of ministers and similar officials, could be higher since they have free access to travel in first-class when the destination country is more than three hours away.

The per diem table for official missions appears every year in the budget law. It has not changed in recent times; and for 2021, a year in which revenues similar to those of 2014 are expected, as a result of the Covid-19, crisis the per diem will remain intact, in accordance with the budget bill that is currently being discussed in the National Assembly. This, despite the fact that the proposal presented by the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to the Legislature considers the "relative decrease in operating expenses", the "promotion of savings", and the "management of those responsible for the resources of the State", reports La Prensa.

There is currently no rule that regulates the issue of travel and per diem expenses. It is not an obligation to return the money that is not spent to the treasury. A  draft law, presented by  Deputy Silva, would oblige officials to return the unspent amount is resting in the Assembly.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/fat-cat-politicians-and-officials-will-maintain-lifestyle

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OPINION: When callousness rules

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Posted 24/08/2020

As the country suffers its worst economic downturn in 30 years, with thousands of jobs lost and a recovery that will take years to reach 2019 growth, the government displays grotesque callousness. For 2021, the General State Budget bill does not contemplate any reduction in travel expenses or allowances for officials who have to travel within or outside the country, which includes expenses of up to $ 700 a day for trips abroad. The savings, say, government spokesmen, will be in investment matters, despite the fact that this is precisely the engine that drives the economy the most. Such a privilege is a slap in the face for thousands of Panamanians who will hardly be able to reach $700 a month to survive. The solidarity Panama that the Government cackles so much about is not for that ordinary person, who suffers like no one else from poverty and the lack of public services. No, that solidarity is for the pockets of high officials, whose empathy with their voters is that of a slave owner, who sees in each vote the possibility of improving his own life, instead of that of those who have put their hope in them. Our worst tragedy is clearly not the pandemic. - LA PRENSA Aug 24
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-when-callousness-rules-1

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Absurdities and Abuses

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Posted 26/08/2020

Throughout more than five months of a health crisis, the relationship between the Government and citizens has been difficult, uncertain and complicated. At first, a blank check was issued to the authorities to articulate an organized response, in the face of an unknown enemy. As the pandemic took over the entire public agenda, institutional responses were fragmented, sometimes making a verbal statement more important than a degree, or a tweet that determined the scope of a legal norm.

Public security agents were turned into interpreters of arbitrary norms and an authoritarian attitude of the Government. If citizens behaved "well", there was more flexibility; otherwise, the measurements were tightened.

This normative infantilism made the sanitary restrictions become monarchical prerogatives loaded with absurdities and abuses. Of course, the State has the obligation to protect the health of citizens, but in the name of this obligation, a tyranny of ridicule and arbitrariness cannot be erected. Palliative advertisements cannot cover up this reality.LA PRENSA, Aug. 26

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/absurdities-and-abuses-1

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OPINION; Speeding with the brakes on

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Posted 27/08/2020

The schedule for reopening economic activities, presented by the national government, maintains uncertainty, and continues to punish the economy. According to the main leaders of the business associations, the Cortizo administration's calendar prolongs the closing of businesses too long, causing more unemployment, and unnecessarily postponing essential activities for the country. The vast majority of Panamanian companies that are in a position to open are willing to take care of their employees and protect their customers. Prolonging the restriction of days out by sex denies opportunities and benefits to all of society. How do you intend to stimulate restaurants and domestic tourism?

It is contradictory to open activities without clients. Citizens can act as responsible adults, facilitating both the control of the pandemic and the awakening of the economy. The fact that the government does not effectively dialogue with the different sectors of society, and in this case the business sector, produces great doubt about how and with whom this schedule was agreed. The best way to govern is not by ordering, but by convincing. LA PRENSA, Aug.27

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-speeding-with-the-brakes-on

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OPINION: Your sin will find you out

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Posted 28/08/2020

It is a mystery why the Cortizo government authorities insist on reducing credibility and trust. Something as simple as leading by example would have made all the difference in managing the health crisis. The parties sponsored by public servants, the occasional banquets denounced by the population, and the breach of sanitary restrictions, exhausted citizens' patience. This, added to the perception of rampant corruption in the awarding of the modular hospital, the purchase of ventilators and a questioned logistics tender from the Social Security Fund, drove stakes in the government's image. Wake up, ladies and gentlemen of the public administration! We live in the 21st century and communication makes everything known, sooner or later.

The media and digital sites, citizen activists and spontaneous protesters are not adversaries of the president. Its true enemies are in the institutions of government; They are those who believe that they do not have to comply with the law and that 10 years away from office are justification. Be very careful, that way we can lose democracy. - LA PRENSA, Aug.29

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-your-sin-will-find-you-out-1

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Panama Government Rasputins and the "New Normal"

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Rasputin "The mad monk"

Posted 28/08/2020

Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin was a highly influential Russian mystic in the last years of the Romanov dynasty. He belonged to the sect of flagellants, who believed that Christ could be incarnated in any man. One of his maxims was: "The most heinous sins must be committed, because God will be more pleased to forgive great sinners." Highly ambiguous and incredibly easy to speak, Rasputin was the man who got jobs and allowed business in exchange for large sums of money for his favors.

We are living moments of uncertainty, attacked by a deadly virus that has changed the dynamics of our lives writes  Diana Peña de Ortiz in La Prensa

As a Panamanian, I feel submerged in a sea of inappropriate, toxic and opportunistic actions. We continue with the same “status quo” of job appointments for political commitments, cronyism or familiarity.

The country is subject to groups that respond to different currents within the same party or related to it. It is like a big cake divided into pieces of different sizes. We are a ship adrift, we lack leadership and if one day something is said, the next day the opposite is done.

They promise us that we will reach a “new normal”, but, I wonder: will it be normal to walk with masks, gel and alcohol? Is it normal not to be able to meet with our relatives and hug and kiss them? Gentlemen, the "new normal" does not exist. Our new reality is much more difficult and complex.

We lack transparency and accountability. Millions of dollars have been processed through loans and bonds to meet the multiple needs of the health sector in these times of pandemic. However, we observe with pain and anguish how medical personnel complain because they have not received their salaries for more than 2, 3 or 4 fortnights and because they do not have adequate supplies for their protection and safety. So I wonder: where is the money? Don't tell me it's the government bureaucracy. It is unacceptable! For this, there must have been due planning in time and space. You were supposed to work with the best, but we lack equality in the application of the laws. There is a defenselessness where the one who has the means, if he has a problem with the law, gets house or country arrest as "jail" There is a lack of fulfillment of what was promised. Promises are made, which are then forgotten and, of course, not kept.

I believed with great enthusiasm that a better Panama would come. I feel frustrated and powerless at not being able against these great powers. It is a fight between David and Goliath, but with a David without her wave or her stone.

I feel anguish and grief when I listen and see that other countries have managed to combat these deficiencies and have come forward. Envy of the good! Prayers, faith and hope are what keep me in spirit and courage to see if one day these Rasputins come to an end.

The author is an architect

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/panama-government-rasputins-and-the-quotnew-normalquot-1

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OPINION: In search of leadership

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President Cortizo

Posted 31/08/2020

During the pandemic, high and low-level politicians have set a bad example that many more Panamanians have followed. At the time of punishment, those who set the example are rewarded with ridiculous and laughable sanctions, but those who followed in their footsteps suffer the full weight of the law.

The cruelty is such that, although the latter did wrong, they become victims, because those who incited this behavior receive reverential treatment.

But, in addition to harming collective behavior, who else do these politicians offend? The restrictions adopted in the pandemic come directly from the Executive, so it is not difficult to imagine who they are making fun of.

The President and his ministers are the target of ridicule and sarcasm on the part of the population, but provoked, precisely, because before, their political allies, their comrades in government and even their subordinates have been the first to ignore them, disavow them and disobey them.

Mr, President, if you want to maintain what remains of the respect of the governed, you cannot continue to privilege those who make fun of you, while fiercely sanctioning those who follow the example they set. Show your leadership. LA PRENSA, Aug.31

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-in-search-of-leadership

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Moderator comment: This news article refers to a party held at "La Fragata", which is commented on in a separate topic. Here are several links to some postings in the other topic on the subject of that quarantine busting party:

 

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President sidesteps issue of high profile quarantine violaters

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The buck dtod here

Posted 31/08/2020

Panama  President, Laurentino Cortizo, came out of his shell on Monday, August 31  to respond to public concern over the flouting of quarantine rules by  high profile government employees  and politicians.

He skirted the alleged party at the La Fragata restaurant and bar on August 26, where one of the presidency staff was allegedly present and passed the buck to the Health Ministry (Minsa) in the case of Colón,  Mayor and fellow PRD member Alex Lee

The mayor admitted to having  traveled to the Decameron villas on the beaches of the Coclé province, when in his province, Colón, a total quarantine was in place..

Cortizo stated that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health (Minsa) to carry out the investigations and apply the corresponding sanctions.

The president also referred to the request from business associations to  speed up the reopening of  economic activities during the month of September.

He said that the announced schedule is being maintained, and that they seek to carefully observe how the situation evolves after the reopening on September 7, when the free zones and construction open.

He said  it is important to avoid a complete reopening that then has to reintroduce a total quarantine in October.

Business associations have claimed  that some companies will  go under in the next week if reopening is delayed. And will join many others that have already closed their doors.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/president-sidesteps-issue-of-high-profile-quarantine-violaters

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OPININON: Mocking the common herd

Posted 02/09/2020

The mockery  which we citizens who respect the directives issued by the Executive to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus is reaching its limit. While the government limits its citizens, with officials - who are called to set an example of good behavior and respect for what they themselves demand from the rest of the population - licentiousness reigns and frankly patience is already running out. 
They present themselves with the best cheekiness they can gesticulate to lie to us, to make us pass as fools in the face of obviously blatant acts. And the satiety is beginning to show: citizen protests are becoming more frequent. We are all tired of this long quarantine, of the loss of jobs, of this suffocating restriction of mobility, while politicians drive around with escorts, lights and sirens. They treat citizens as third-class people, who do not deserve explanations, who are only there to obey. 
They may ignore it, but they will end up with what little political capital they have left, since they have abused as authorities, as citizens and as human beings. The President's lack of leadership vis-à-vis his subordinates and peers is simply intolerable. And these attitudes are one of the few that Panamanians do not forget. - LA PRENSA Sep.2
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opininon-mocking-the-common-herd

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Panama comptroller wearing blinkers

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The modular hospital

Posted 05/09/2020

Did the Comptroller General of the Republic do its job of overseeing the modular hospital? This institution has among its official's specialists, auditors, engineers, forensics ... a complete team of professionals who can inspect the works paid by Panamanians who pay taxes. Professionals in the field and investigations of this medium found irregularities about that tender that have not been clarified either by the contractor or by the Minister of Public Works, Rafael Sabonge. And now the Comptroller's Office joins that list, which will endorse the contract, despite the fact that it also found upward differences with market prices. It seems that the dance of the millions continues without giving quarter, despite the damage that the pandemic has done to the economy. The decision to endorse has been made, despite the fact that the origin of the hospital modules is still unknown, leaving the problem in the hands of a government agency. Another case that will end up archived and forgotten. – LA PRENSA, Sep. 5

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/panama-comptroller-wearing-blinkers

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OPINION  The President’s Untouchables

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Posted 08/09/2020

No matter how much the President of the Republic denies, there are untouchables in his government, despite the fact that they leave him so bad that his credibility has been undermined and, by his subordinates. 

To make matters worse, the lack of governmental capacity to face the crisis that is coming with the unemployment that the pandemic will leave us (25%) is perceptible. 

And despite the difficult situation, we will face, the government's priorities are one of those jokes that no one laughs at, except the one who says them. Never before has true leadership been so necessary, but those who lead the reins of public affairs are more concerned with charging their interests - and the businesses in which they are involved - than in promoting the conditions that will be necessary to recover the levels of growth we had. 

Politics is far above technical needs. A huge number of employees respond to the payment of electoral favors. And so we see subjects without any preparation - but a friend or relative of a public office - throwing thousands of dollars into their pockets to watch that their colleagues give them "Like" the posts of the boss. When ... when will they set foot on the ground?  LA PRENSA, Sep. 8

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-the-presidents-untouchables

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Transparency International condemns Panama Comptroller

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Questions hang over modular hospital contract

Posted 11/09/2020

The Panama Chapter of Transparency International  regretted the recent decision by the Comptroller General, Gerardo Solís, to endorse the contract for the modular hospital in Albrook, despite ongoing questions

“The impact on public trust has been immediate: discrediting the Executive's ability to be guided by ethical principles of public administration that avoid conflicts of interest and influence peddling; and doubts about the role of control, inspection and the counterweight of the Comptroller himself, "said The Foundation for Citizen Freedom, which had recommended to Solís" not to endorse " the contract of the hospital.

They had also recommended that he send a note to the Public Ministry to initiate the pertinent investigations and those responsible to face their responsibilities.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/transparency-international-condemns-panama-comptroller

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Panama’s corrupt predators cash in on pandemic

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Carlos Barsallo of Transparency Internarional

Posted 12/09/2020

As ordinary Panamanians reel under the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the inherently corrupt have seized on the health and economic disaster to flaunt the privileges of power and plunder the public purse.

 The alleged irregular purchases of medical equipment, violations of quarantine by officials, and public spending seen as superfluous despite the social crisis derived from the pandemic feed a sense of corruption and impunity in Panama that hits the image of the Government, according to an EFE  News Agency analysts.

The "lack of transparency and governance" coupled with the historical "institutional weakness" are the main creators of this feeling of "impunity and corruption" to which citizens are already protesting, social networks and the media.

A "repetitive and tiring" modus operandi  The Prosecutor's Office is handling  a dozen investigations, opened after complaints from the local press, for alleged irregularities in emergency state purchases during the COVID-19 pandemic, which already exceeds 102,000 cases and accumulates 2,140 deaths..

Among the most recent scandals is the alleged purchase of 53 "old and dilapidated" mechanical ventilators for critical patients of COVID-19, at a cost of $2.3 million.In Panama "we have a repetitive and tiring modus operandi: there is a scandal, there is an investigation of a different type and little conclusion. This is generating an enormous danger of lack of credibility of the institutions and of governance," said  Carlos Barsallo,  the president of the Panama Chapter of  Transparency International (TI),

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/panamas-corrupt-predators-cash-in-on-pandemic

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‘Nos montaron un estado policíaco’

Con bisturí en mano, el politólogo Carlos Guevara Mann repasa los actos arbitrarios de la fuerza pública y los de presunta corrupción del gobierno.
 
Flor Mizrachi Angel
13 sep 2020 - 12:00 AM

https://www.prensa.com/impresa/panorama/nos-montaron-un-estado-policiaco/

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OPINION: Time for government creativity

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Posted 15/09/2020

Panama began to recover its rhythm of life yesterday, after seven very long months of confinement at home, a time in which our daily lives changed significantly. The normality that we lived before is no longer the same, but what still does not change is that the virus is still present, so it is not advisable to relax the hygiene and health measures that we have been practicing.

The ground that we have gained so far in this fight may be lost if we do not continue to be careful to prevent contagion. And given what we have experienced, it would be a shame to have to return to confinement due to carelessness that, at this point, are unforgivable. It will be up to each of the Panamanians to maintain this openness and preserve the land gained. We all know what to do before this, our new reality.

 And now we hope that, while we citizens comply with the circumstances, the Government also does its thing to reactivate the economy. Normality will depend on how creative you are, how much money you inject into private companies, especially small and medium-sized companies, which are the hardest hit. This has been a huge setback, but now is the time to get up and move on. - LA PRENSA,Sep.15

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-time-for-government-creativity

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On 8/19/2020 at 7:23 AM, Moderator_02 said:

 

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"Likes" threats earn official 35% salary fine

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José Ruiloba,

Posted 16/09/2020

The chief of staff of the Ministry of Housing (Miviot), José Ruiloba, who threatened staff who did not post “likes” for pronouncements by  the Housing Minister and President Cortizo been fined 35% of month's pay   for  "Engaging in conduct that affects the smooth running of the public service."

The sanction was imposed by National Transparency and Access to Information Authority (Antai)

The case became notorious when on August 14, a recording in which Ruiloba threatened a group with "respective actions" against officials who did not  post likes

Ruiloba earns $ 5,000 a month.

According to the Aantai resolution, “the fact that the official issued a voice note, where he gives instructions to his staff to generate" likes " on social networks, undermines the image that society should have of its institutions… this action is alien to the mission of the ministry where the official works ”, says an Antai press release.

The entity reported that salary fines were  imposed on a justice of the peace in San Miguelito and a representative of Veraguas, for breach of the right of access to information.

Antai  has the power to apply fines to public servants up to an amount that does not exceed 50 % of their monthly salary

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/quotlikesquot-threats-earn-official-35-salary-fine-1

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OPINION: Government off the rails

Posted 18/09/2020

It takes a lot to decipher the government's priorities. Authorities seem unable to see the enormous impact that the pandemic has had on the economy, causing unprecedented job losses and the closure of hundreds of businesses. Our leaders, instead of trying to revive the economy, are determined to spend what little there is. They cannot answer simple questions. What to do so that investment stimulates the economy? What do you think of when you want to spend more than $10 million to rent cars? Why, now, is it necessary to remodel the DIJ headquarters, for almost $5 million? Who told you that you have to employ people, just to speak well of the rulers in the networks? Are they seriously going to spend more than $1.5 million to strengthen the image of the Government? Regarding expenses, Why do they pay for expensive medical supplies when they can buy them at competitive prices? What was the director of the CSS thinking when he wanted to provide a questionable and expensive service to equally questionable companies in a pandemic, for $ 168 million? This is not myopia; it is blindness pure and hard. LA PRENSA, Sep.18

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-government-off-the-rails-1

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