By John McPhaul
Dr. Margarita Ostolaza Bey, the spokesperson for the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in the San Juan Municipal Legislature, announced on Monday her resignation from the position she has held since January 2021.
“The new governance demanded by the citizens of San Juan at the polls makes unacceptable the abuse of power that I have witnessed and experienced in the San Juan Municipal Legislature by the speaker, Gloria Escudero Morales, with the consent of Mayor Miguel Romero,” Ostolaza Bey said in a written statement. “Her alienating behavior, the continuous use of verbal violence, harassment and insults with those whom she considers weaker, takes on a mimicry of the alpha male, degrading the body over which she presides at the lowest level. From woman to woman, I have never seen anything like it in my life!”
Ostolaza Bey also made several specific observations that she said denote serious irregularities in Escudero Morales’ exercise of the speakership. She said Escudero Morales exceeds her plenary powers in the municipal legislature and seeks to control majority and minority legislators in their oversight function and to intercede for the constituents.
“Escudero Morales dared to prohibit legislators from requesting services from the directors of the administrative units of the municipality,” she said. “With this measure, she restricts the right and duty of the municipal legislator to advocate directly with the municipal executive and, if necessary, with the executive and the state legislative bodies.”
In addition, Ostolaza Bey said, the code fosters a simulation of democracy and the avoidance of accountability for the work carried out.
“One year after my inauguration, it is with deep regret that I have been able to verify the inefficiency of the separation of powers between the legislature and the municipal executive,” she said. “This reality is the breeding ground for the corruption that seems to arise by spontaneous combustion in the municipal sphere in these times and that turns anyone who is running for elective office into a suspect who comes to serve himself, into a useful fool who does not see beyond his own nose or into an accomplice of corruption, thus degrading the political task before the citizens,” Ostolaza Bey said in her resignation letter.