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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Lawmaker urges Senate to deny Torres Montalvo confirmation as DACO chief

Hiram Torres Montalvo, secretary-designate of the Department of Consumer Affairs

By The Star Staff

Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Ángel Matos García said Monday that the island Senate should not confirm Hiram Torres Montalvo as secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs (DACO by its Spanish acronym) because he is using the position for political gain.

Matos García said Torres Montalvo is merely defending the interests of companies and wants to procure an elective position on the New Progressive Party (NPP) ballot.

“It is not the first time that he has aspired to at-large [legislative] positions, both for the House and for the Senate,” Matos García said. “So you better say so and leave and find a job elsewhere. He has had the golden opportunity to maintain the inspection tradition in favor of the Puerto Rican consumer, but since Black Friday until today, he has found nothing.”

The lawmaker accused the designated DACO secretary of ignoring issues related to consumers.

“At the most … vulnerable time for the consumer, well, DACO is blind, because it does not see anything,” Matos García said in a radio interview.

Compared to the previous secretary, Edan Rivera Rodríguez, who Matos García said was fired by La Fortaleza because of his oversight actions, including going after solar panel companies and contractors that lie to consumers, the current secretary might as well be blind when it comes to protecting the interests of island consumers, the legislator said.

“Mister Magoo sees more than this nominee,” the Carolina representative said, referring to a cartoon character who had vision problems.

Former Gov. Alejandro García Padilla was appointed secretary of DACO in 2005 by then-governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá of the PDP. From that platform, he went on to the Senate in 2009 as a member of the PDP, and in 2013 he became governor.

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