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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

PDP lawmakers demand reversal of education secretary appointment

Sen. Migdalia González Arroyo

By The Star Staff

Popular Democratic Party Rep. Héctor Ferrer Santago and Senator Migdalia González Arroyo expressed their outrage on Monday at the appointment of Ángel Toledo López as secretary of education by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia.

They also demanded that the appointment be withdrawn.

After the resignation of former Secretary Eliezer Ramos Parés, it was revealed, the lawmakers said in a written statement, that the nominee for the post, Toledo López, made questionable statements of a “politicking, offensive and degrading nature through his Twitter account.”

Under the governorship of Alejandro García Padilla (2013-2016), the PDP legislators said, Toledo Lopéz posted derogatory remarks on Twitter aimed at the then-governor, which the lawmakers said were in poor taste.

One of the posts said that “I have concluded that AGP is on drugs in addition to common idiocy. [He says] the economy is better than a year ago.”

Another post said: “The only difference between McDonald’s and the govt. of PR is that McDonald’s has only one clown running the show.”

“These statements, which have recently come to light, reveal a character incompatible with the integrity required to occupy a position in the constitutional cabinet,” Ferrer Santiago said. “This appointment is far from achieving the goal of depoliticization that the country aspires to within the system and generates concern about the approach that will be taken toward educational policies.”

González Arroyo added that “it is unacceptable that Gov. Pedro Pierluisi has ignored these previous statements and has appointed Mr. Toledo López as Secretary of Education.”

“These actions highlight the Governor’s lack of judgment and deficiencies in evaluating appointments that directly impact the quality and future of our education,” she said.

The legislators pointed out that Puerto Rico has already witnessed the dire consequences of similar statements in the past, which led to a citizen uprising against the sitting governor in the summer of 2019.

“It is incomprehensible that we have not learned from that experience and that the repetition of disrespectful and offensive behavior is allowed,” González Arroyo said. “We are deeply disappointed by the lack of judgment in appointing someone with this kind of track record as Secretary of Education. Given that this is a key position for the formation and example that is given to Puerto Rican children and youth, this appointment raises serious questions about the quality of leadership and the Government’s commitment to the education of our sons and daughters.”

Both legislators called on Pierluisi to take immediate action and rescind the appointment.

“The people of Puerto Rico deserve responsible, ethical leadership, committed to the formation of our students and the future of our society,” they said.

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