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The Cortizo Administration and Its Legacy; Insider Corruption; "Butt-Kissing" Advisors; Incompetence; Indifference; etc.


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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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OPINION: Incompetence rules

Posted 20/10/2020

The irresponsibility of Panamanian politicians is unparalleled. With the number of administrative employees appointed in the Social Security Fund (CSS), the institution commits suicide, since it is seen that the health entity is not such a thing, but a political booty that provokes the scramble in the governments of the moment to appoint staff that does nothing. The fact that there is an administrative employee for each member of the health personnel is an inexcusable administrative mess, which should be subject to criminal sanctions since the money they manage does not belong to them, but to contributors, retirees, and pensioners. How is it possible that now, when CSS is going through one of its worst crises, Does anyone - including its verbose CEO and inoperative board of directors - consider cutting down that stubby payroll that consumes policyholders' money? The director of the CSS is far from being a good administrator, he is erratic and frankly, it is difficult to believe him because one day he says something and hours later he comes out to say that it was not what he said when we all heard him say what he said. And as if all this were not enough, now they want the untimely - and populist - unification of health services. Incompetence is what rules this country - LA PRENSA, Oct. 20

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-incompetence-rules

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OPINION: Demagoguery vs the Constitution

Posted 25/10/2020

During 29 Sundays, a large part of the population was locked up by government order. With a simple executive decree, No. 507 of March 24, 2020, which declared a total curfew, the Executive delegated the regulation of mobility to the “health authorities”. In essence, a minister has the power - for 215 days - to decide, at his discretion, when and in what way citizens can leave their homes. The rights and counterweights enshrined in the Constitution are a dead letter. The Assembly did not question the appropriation of powers by the Executive and the Supreme Court of Justice, nor did it deign to examine the unconstitutionality claims. In a recent exercise, the lack of a photocopy outweighed the consideration of our rights. In the meantime, the reasons for keeping us cloistered became more and more cartoonish. For months it has been evident that curtailing outdoor recreation and limiting the time for people to run their errands, created stress and increased crowds, and affected the mental health of all, especially children. The incongruous situation finally begins to be remedied, but not the institutional mess. And if the lack of justice does not end this country, will do so, which advances in the absence of an economic strategy.LA PRENSA, Oct.25

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-demagoguery-vs-the-constitution

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OPINION – A Time for Action

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Posted 25/11/2020

The economic performance data of the country, for the second quarter of the year, is shocking. As if there were no more, they are published two months late. And just a month ago we saw the MEF present a budget that projected a 9% fall in GDP in 2020. For this projection to be fulfilled, making a simple rule of three, the economy would have to grow at least 0.5% in the second half of the year compared to the same period in 2019. You don't have to be an economist or genius to understand that this will not be the case. . The economic reopening started slowly and there are sectors that have not been able to open directly or have only done so partially. Even so, from the MEF there were no qualms about presenting a budget for 2021 higher than that of 2020. For many years, the country has walked - party after party -, governed by bureaucratic mediocrity, loading a state payroll that grows out of control and sweeping serious problems of justice, education, health, and pensions under the rug. How long will we continue to behave as if all this could continue without dire consequences? The time to act has come.- LA PRENSA Nov. 24

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-a-time-for-action

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A communications disaster

Posted 28/12/2020

The government's ability to improvise a nationwide communication disaster and unrest is simply disconcerting. The new measures announced yesterday by the Minister of Health have left - as usual - a deep sea of doubts, not only due to the lack of clarity in their proposals, but because some of them collide head-on with provisions that will come into force at the beginning of the year, when, precisely, those announced yesterday will begin. 

The Panamanian people are not a flock of sheep that can be managed as such; neither are we subjects of a monarchy, although we are increasingly treated that way. This is a democracy - get it right - in which public servants owe us transparency and accountability. 

So much ineptitude and incompetence in managing this crisis is unacceptable. There are no plans, there are no projections, there are no thinking people, everything is the product of a scandalous improvisation that reveals an extraordinary clumsiness. This pandemic has had to be handled with technical criteria, but in the Government the greed of a gang that only wants and works to loot the State to line its pockets is perceived. When, President, will you start asking for resignations? LA PRENSA, Dec. 28.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/a-communications-disaster

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Incompetence fueling crisis

29/12/2020

If we asked the Minister of Health what is the plan to face the increase in infections or if we asked the Executive what is the plan to lift the economy, surely we would not receive any answer. Government actions to mitigate the economic, social, and health effects of the pandemic are not planned, they are trials and, in many cases, lacking in support, since those who decide them are far from being qualified professionals to foresee the consequences of their actions. It is clear that when restrictions are announced, the extremes are notorious. For example, when mobility is limited, the economy collapses, and if it is open, the healthcare system collapses. To this is added that everyone walks by their side since coordination between government entities is non-existent. There is also no plan to deal with the disobedience of a growing number of people to the restrictions. If they continue like this, this crisis will eventually get out of hand. The leadership of the Government is quickly lost due to the incompetence of politicians who, despite their obvious lack of competence in these matters, are unable to resign so that experts take over. They neither do nor let do. That is our harrowing reality. – LA PRENSA, Dec.29.

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/incompetence-fueling-crisis

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VP is honest and loyal says Cortizo 

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Cortizo and Carrizo

Posted 13/03/2021

Vice ­­President José Gabriel Carrizo,  the target of speculation and innuendo is an is honest and loyal man says President Cortizo in  an interview to be aired Sunday on Telemetro.

In a preview presented on Friday night, Cortizo defended Carrizo, who has been harshly questioned after the scandals related to ventilators, car rentals and a direct contract to the in-laws of his older brother.

Cortizo said that Carrizo " s young, honest and loyal and prepared.

He comes from an honorable family and his whole family is."

After winning the 2019 elections, Carrizo enjoyed popularity with a cell phone were the subject of jokes and laughter, the acceptance showed positive numbers. All of this changed drastically 10 months ago reports Mi Diario.

The people demanded that the promise that there would be no untouchables be fulfilled but nothing happened. Cortizo did not remove the VP or Rafael Sabonge from the Public Works ministry.
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/news/vp-is-honest-and-loyal-says-cortizo

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Life in the presidential bubble

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Hands in the fire for Vice President and Public Works Minister

Posted 15/03/2021

Presidents in Panama seem to live in a bubble. It seems that they do not see or hear or feel through their own senses, but through those of their close people, because their reality is always in conflict with ours. In a recent interview with Telemetro, the current president said he was willing to put his hands in the fire for two of his closest collaborators: the Minister of Public Works and his vice president.  That is to guarantee - without harboring any doubt - that these are honest, honorable, blameless people.

 Such an action is the equivalent - to put it in his own words - to raffling it off ... and big. The president, although he said that he did not ask ex-attorney Eduardo Ulloa to resign, deliberately omitted the real reasons why he left or addressed the issue of the resignation of the director of Senniaf, that it was not accepted because the Presidency of the Republic wrote another one for it. Although his answers went one way, the reality goes another: he says there should be no impunity, but he is still present, and that he did not come to do scams, but he names those who do them ... and they are in complete impunity. I live in a bubble. LA PRENSA, Mar. 15
 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/life-in-the-presidential-bubble

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Party time

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Posted 26/03/2021

While in Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel assumes the errors of her government and apologizes to the citizens, in Panama the administration of Laurentino Cortizo justifies the celebration in Atlapa on the occasion of the first anniversary of Panama Solidario. The Presidency excused itself by saying that the presentation of musicians, magicians, and congos had the purpose of procuring “permanent motivation” of the volunteers. La Prensa

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/party-time

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OPINION: Presidential Credibility

Posted 06/04/2021

In a democracy, the main function of a communication medium is to monitor the exercise of power and the use of public resources. However, when those who exercise that power do not understand this function, such surveillance is punished with obstacles to access to information and the award of state advertising contracts. In past administrations, this medium has suffered similar manipulations, but we hoped that this would change with this government, as President Laurentino Cortizo promised to do so when he signed, just five months ago, the Declaration of Chapultepec. In its seventh principle, this document declares that "the granting or suppression of state advertising" should not be applied to reward or punish media or journalists. This is exactly what Vice President José Gabriel Carrizo seems to be doing. The ministry that he directs has just awarded millionaire advertising contracts for 2021. And it has done so unequally and unfairly. Mi Diario, perhaps the one with the highest circulation in the country among printed matter, was assigned zero advertising. Instead of scope, audience and circulation, arbitrariness prevailed. Carrizo has ignored a commitment made by Cortizo. And with this, he has eroded a little more what remained of the President's credibility.LA PRENSA, Apr. 6

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-presidential-credibility

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OPINION: In search of Leadership

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Posted 14/04/2021

Although there is still a long way to go to return to normality —even if it is a new one— the country seems to be starting to move its paralyzed gears as regards economic activity. But everything indicates that it is the product of inertia and not of a well-planned reactivation.

The Government continues to improvise, a behavior that has been consistent throughout the pandemic. The Health Ministry has now turned its effort into the mass vaccination campaign, while the rest of the officials seem to contemplate what doctors and nurses do. The Government must strengthen the dialogue with private companies to analyze solutions, and plans, in order to facilitate economic reactivation. The private sector is an important provider of funds - through multiple taxes - to execute government plans, but officials seem to have ignored this fact. The new slogan is for himself who can, because here there is no policy, plan, consensus, line, purpose or idea that sets the course to follow. It is evident that the lack of authority is the one that traces the courses of this new normality. Never before has the country needed so much national leadership and never before has it been so absent. – LA PRENSA, Apr. 14

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/opinion/opinion-in-search-of-leadership-2

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OPINION: The untouchables

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"In my government there will be no untouchables " - Cortizo

Posted 01/05/2021

Private companies, the hardest hit in this pandemic, with thousands of jobs lost - in contrast to the Government, which has increased its payroll – have had to take the initiative in presenting an economic reactivation plan, since, the Executive, has nothing that can be called a plan.

 Simply put, the lack of capacity of this administration to face challenges or tasks of this type, which are its entire responsibility, is unimaginable. This lack of leadership, of an uncertain and erratic course, says a lot about the quality of the politicians who govern us. Its most important initiatives have died in the cradle or show no progress: constitutional reforms, dialogue by the Social Security Fund, transparency in Covid-19 purchases ... All this without counting the unfulfilled promises. Where was that of "we are going to do ... without stealing" or "in my government there will be no untouchables, be they ministers, deputies, big businessmen ..." Or the one that promised "austerity with efficiency", that is, "do more with less". The pandemic not only wiped out the economy but the president's promises. Hopefully this time the execution of the plan remains in the hands of competent officials and with the will to make it happen. – LA PRENSA, May 1.

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/opinion-the-untouchables-1

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Hospital stained by opacity

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Posted 11/05/2021

The project that resulted in the construction of the Albrook modular hospital was opaque, unsupervised and onerous. A work like this, which cost us millions of dollars, must be thoroughly investigated since the office  of the Comptroller General did not even want to intervene, and accepted as good what the Ministry of Public Works told it. But the truth is that it was never clarified if the modules were second-hand - a justified suspicion, after an investigation by this medium - and that professionals from the Panamanian Society of Engineers and Architects (Spia) also questioned as onerous. The pandemic has been a vehicle to deprive the State of funds, and not only in this project, but in countless purchases that government entities made and continue to make. The dehumanization has been palpable in these purchases, where a few - with friends in government - have profited from millions in grossly exotic sales and profits. Citizens demand thorough investigations into the use of funds in this pandemic. There have been hundreds of millions that we still do not know its use and justification, including this hospital, stained by suspicion and opacity - LA PRENSA, May 11

 

https://www.newsroompanama.com/business/hospital-stained-by-opacity

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