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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Governor: Feedback on designated Education secretary has been positive

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi

Does not rule out a pocket veto of Electoral Code

By The Star Staff

Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia said Monday that what he has heard so far bodes well for the eventual confirmation of designated Secretary of Education Yanira Raíces Vega.

“What I see is that all the information that comes to me is positive,” the governor said in response to questions from the press. “She has expertise, undeniable experience and has the right attitude. I see that her portrayal in the media has been very, very effective.”

“So it’s a matter of her continuing to do the job,” he added. “The priority of the secretary, of Dr. Raíces, is the one that I have established, which is the school restart. And at the same time, infrastructure improvements and repairs in the department that are ongoing.”

Pierluisi noted that it will be the Senate that ultimately decides how to handle Raíces Vega’s appointment, but so far, the information he has received is positive.

Earlier on Monday, Puerto Rico Mayors Association President Luis Javier Hernández Ortiz welcomed a proposal by the speaker of the island House of Representatives, Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, who sent a letter last week to former Education Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés inquiring about the concrete reasons why he left office so hastily.

“All of Puerto Rico has witnessed the irregular process with which this case was handled,” Hernández Ortiz, who is also the mayor of Villalba, said in a press release. “Ramos Parés, in the midst of preparations for the return to school, resigns and immediately already has a replacement. I agree with what the House speaker and the chairwoman of the [House] Education Committee, Rep. Deborah Soto said: ‘the country deserves answers.’”

The House speaker granted Ramos Parés 15 days to gather the necessary information in order to clarify the specific circumstances that led to his departure, and that after a dialogue, a public hearing led by the Education Committee be held so that its members can analyze each of the recent events in the Education Department.

Ramos Parés said in a statement last week that he had his reasons for stepping down as secretary of Education and that it is not in his nature to discuss those reasons publicly. He said he remained in support of the Education Department and its mission going forward.

Regarding amendments to the Electoral Code passed recently by the island Legislature, the governor stated that the matter “is being evaluated in La Fortaleza.”

“So in due course, the decision will be known,” he said. “There is a 30-day term that is running, so if that term arrives and the measure is not signed, then what is called a pocket veto occurs.”

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