PDP Rep. Hernández opens the books, makes payroll info from his office public
By The Star Staff
Rep. Rafael “Tatito” Hernández Montañez, the spokesman for the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in the Puerto Rico House of Representatives, announced on Thursday that he had made his legislative office’s payroll information public.
“Contrary to the procedure that House Speaker Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez has demonstrated during all these weeks by delaying processes and placing obstacles before citizens’ access to public information, I have no problem in disclosing the data referring to the payroll and contracts of my legislative office,” Hernández Montañez and fellow PDP Rep. Ángel Matos said in a joint written statement.
The legislator announced that “yesterday [Wednesday], at 3:43 in the afternoon, a citizen made a request for information about our personnel similar to those that our delegation has been making since the beginning of the year, and recently, citizens across the entire island [have been making].”
“Quickly, without delay and with nothing to hide, we authorized by letter [House] Speaker Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez to supply the information requested by the applicant,” Hernández Montañez said.
“I have always been in favor of the most absolute accessibility to public documents,” he continued. “To prevent the public policy of non-transparency of the NPP [New Progressive Party] in the House and Senate led by Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez and Thomas Rivera Schatz from delaying the citizen’s claim, I publicly disclosed the information requested about our office.”
“It was Johnny Méndez who signed an administrative order that establishes a bureaucratic, burdensome and difficult process, which instead of facilitating access to information, discourages citizens who wish to exercise their right to access it,” Hernández Montañez said. “Today I am calling on the House speaker, Carlos ‘Johnny’ Méndez, to disclose the requested information from the entire legislative body, without delay and without excuses. Likewise, I urge the president of the NPP legislative conference, [gubernatorial candidate] Pedro Pierluisi, to request transparency from his delegations in the House and Senate and to comply with the law. The people want to know their position on this matter; if they remain silent, with their silence they will become an accomplice in the schemes of corruption and irregularity of the NPP Legislative Assembly.”
A copy of the citizen request and a letter was sent to Méndez. LIkewise, evidence of the process was sent to the citizen.