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President's quick-pick new ministers under scrutiny

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President's quick-pick new ministers under scrutiny


Grajales andPino during a recent tour of La Joya prison complex

Posted 12/02/2020

Both the ministers appointed by President Laurentino Cortizo to fill the gaps left by the axing of their predecessors after he prison escape of a notorious killer have come under scrutiny after less than a week in office.

The new Minister of Government, Sheyla Grajales, is in the spotlight  for allegedly evading her taxes reports TVN News..

She is questioned for allegedly owing the Treasury a large sum of money, as revealed by former mayor, José Isabel Blandón, in his Twitter account.

TVN  talked with the General Director of Revenue, Publio De Gracia and reported that although he could not reveal information about the delinquency currently of  the minister, he acknowledged that in the past administration he notified her fiscal responsibility through an edict that was published in social media.

“ I cannot refer to the particular case of any taxpayer. I understand that there was an edict in relation to the lady. She is obliged as any taxpayer to comply with what is established by law, ”said De Gracia.

President Cortizo , said:“ Let her pay it. If you owe it, pay it, ”Cortizo said.

Grajales has held multiple positions in less than 8 months of government, going from a district representative in San Miguelito, to Governor and  to current Minister of Government.

“ The only thing I trust is that this designation made by the president is not exclusively to meet bureaucratic quotas agreed with the Molirena  Party. In eight months she has moved from a district representative of San Miguelito to governor of Panama, and Minister of Government. It has been a meteoric rise   ” said former Foreign Minister, Jorge Eduardo Ritter.

Although the Constitution does not say that as part of the requirements that those who are appointed as ministers cannot maintain debts with the State, at a political and moral level this situation leaves a bad taste for the power held by those who hold public office says TVN.

Experts in Law state that any claim for the nullity of the appointment must be filed before the Supreme Court.

The new Minister of Security. Juan Pino  former Air and Sea Service (SENAN) Commissioner is named  a criminal investigation involving a $40.million helicopter  and “structured” maintenance  contracts



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