González Colón on Pérez Otero arrest: Some won’t ‘learn from the mistakes of the past’
By John McPhaul
Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón pointed to the gravity of recent arrests for public corruption in Puerto Rico after federal officials arrested Guaynabo Mayor Ángel Pérez Otero on Thursday.
“The recent cases of acts of corruption and those that may follow show that there is much to be done. It seems that some do not want to learn from the mistakes of the past. I reiterate that public service must be synonymous with honesty; whoever uses it to benefit personally must be repudiated,” González Colón said. “Like most people, I was surprised by the recent arrest of the mayor of Guaynabo, Ángel Pérez; it hurts me because I am united in a friendship with his family. However, our responsibility to the people goes above friendship. There is no room for lukewarm statements when we are the first to lead by example. Neither the municipality nor the political community have room for these acts where the trust of those who come to serve themselves is lost, instead of serving our people, the people we ask for the trust to represent them.”
González Colón said Puerto Rico does not deserve one more public corruption case.
“It is disgusting and a shame to see these corruption schemes and how their fabric endangers federal funds and public trust,” she said.
“I reaffirm myself in my statements of last week and demand, as our governor did, that the mayor of Guaynabo resign from his position and the political positions that he holds within the community,” the resident commissioner said in a written statement. “As I previously demanded, all those named must resign from their posts to allow the people to have honest service free from imputations.”
The New Progressive Party minority leader in the House of Representatives, Carlos “Johnny” Méndez Nuñez, said meanwhile: “It is an unfortunate moment for the residents of Guaynabo, as well as for all of Puerto Rico.”
“The evil of corruption, both in the public and private sectors, has to be eradicated now,” he said. “The vast majority of the men and women who work in the government do so by vocation, working honestly for the benefit of the citizens of this beloved island. That work should not be stained by the actions of a few. In the past, I took concrete actions, requesting the immediate resignation of those officials who acted contrary to the law and to the detriment of the sovereign. Today I call on those who have lost the trust placed by the people, to resign from their positions. There is no greater honor than to be selected by the people to serve them. That privilege cannot be violated under any circumstances.”
Méndez Núñez said some, for political reasons, will seek to tie “this sad event to those of us who are, with great honor, active members of the New Progressive Party.” “There is nothing further from the truth,” he said. “As in government and private companies, corruption has no seal or affiliation with an organization. Most of the citizens who belong to the NPP do so with great pride, in a transparent and honest way, with the sole purpose of improving the quality of life of all Puerto Ricans.”