House leaders to publish data from Jobos Bay probe
By John McPhaul
Speaker of the House of Representatives Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez and House Natural Resources, Environmental Affairs and Recycling Committee Chairman Edgardo Feliciano Sánchez announced Tuesday that they will make public all the information related to the investigation of the Jobos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Salinas on the website of the House of Representatives, www.camara.pr.gov.
“The House of Representatives that I preside over has been characterized by transparency and has promoted direct access to legislative processes for all Puerto Ricans,” Hernández Montañez said. “After evaluating the information provided by the agencies, I will be giving the directive to place all the information provided on our website, except for any information that may contain privileged data.”
Feliciano Sánchez meanwhile rejected the theory of former independent gubernatorial candidate Eliezer Molina that the documents delivered by government agencies are incomplete.
The committee chairman added that he will be expanding the investigation and will summon Víctor Alvarado, the environmental adviser of Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) Sen. María de Lourdes Santiago.
“The technical group of my committee has reviewed the thousands of documents submitted, and we have found that the rumors about some documents being hidden on instructions from La Fortaleza are false,” Feliciano Sánchez said. “These documents were delivered, and all the representatives who requested them in my office have them. However, they will be made public to prevent people from diverting attention from a serious investigation. Likewise, I will be querying Mr. Víctor Alvarado, who is an adviser to the PIP senator, to explain what the Bay Development Initiative organization, of which he is a member, did about this environmental crime. This gentleman and the entity he represents have had a collaborative co-management agreement with the DNER [Department of Natural and Environmental Resources] since 2015, so they have a lot to explain.”