• The San Juan Daily Star

Measure filed to ensure ill-gotten gains are being returned public coffers

Rep. Lisie Burgos Muñiz

By John McPhaul

Rep. Lisie Burgos Muñiz, the minority leader from the Dignity Project in the island House of Representatives, filed HR 360 on Monday to order the Anti-Corruption and Public Integrity Committee to investigate the effectiveness of the Justice Department in filing claims for triple compensation under Article 5.2 of the Anti-Corruption Code.

“Many citizens are unaware that this code provides that corrupt people have to pay the state three times the amount that they illegally appropriated,” Burgos Muñiz said. “For this reason, we must join forces to supervise the Department of Justice in fulfilling its ministerial duty to collect that compensation.”

Burgos Muñiz said that given the acts of corruption that are being covered widely in the media, it is legitimate to question whether the Department of Justice files claims for triple compensation under Law 2-2018.

“The most recent cases of corruption are causing an institutional crisis … in the context of the fiscal crisis facing Puerto Rico,” the at-large lawmaker said. “Despite the efforts to adopt the Anti-Corruption Code and what has been done by government agencies, corrupt people still grotesquely scoff at public oversight. We must question whether our Justice Department is using this law, and all the resources at its disposal, to achieve the return to the treasury of that which has been illicitly obtained.”

Burgos Muñiz, who chairs the Social Welfare, People with Disabilities and Older Adults Committee in the House, said corruption is an evil that constantly plagues healthy public administration, and it is the duty of each member of the Legislative Assembly to effectively combat public corruption in order to ensure the best future for all on the island.

“We cannot allow cases of public corruption to continue to increase while the people suffer the consequences of these acts without the illegally appropriated money returning to public coffers,” she said. “I reiterate my commitment to legislating against impunity to promote integrity in governance, in which accountability has top priority in public administration.”

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