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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate candidate: Ponce ‘scandals’ necessitate full fiscal review

Javier Molina Pagán

By The Star Staff

Javier Molina Pagán, the New Progressive Party (NPP) candidate for the island Senate for the Ponce district, proposed Monday that, given the fines imposed last week by the Office of the Electoral Comptroller on the campaign committee of Ponce Mayor Luis Irizarry Pabón and on the municipal committee of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) in that town, that government entities should begin an exhaustive inspection process of the municipal council.

“The constant scandals with the management of funds by Mayor Irizarry Pabón once again give us something to talk about,” Molina Pagán said. “The fact that it’s all about the campaign funds, which are registered in the municipal committee and his own [campaign committee] as candidate, doesn’t mean it’s a superficial thing. It’s about the violation of Law 222 from 2011, the Law for the Control of Political Campaigns in Puerto Rico, as amended. These actions show that Mayor Irizarry Pabón failed in one of the most basic elements of administration -- supervision.”

The schoolteacher from Utuado added that “the mayor has demonstrated at the moment that he is not capable of administering, supervising and enforcing the law this way, which means he doesn’t have the minimal capabilities, nor does he have the competencies to administer La Perla del Sur, one of the most important cities of the island and its southern region.”

“These constant actions of continuous irregularity should compel the offices of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico and Government Ethics to react immediately and begin an exhaustive process that allows overseeing the use and management of city council funds, contracts, transactions, executive orders and other actions of a fiscal nature,” Molina Pagán said.

It would be imperative to know what actions the PDP-led municipal assembly of Ponce is taking with regard to the aforementioned affairs, the Senate candidate said. What investigative resolutions have been presented? What processes have the Ethics Committee of the municipal assembly begun in regard to the issues?

“It would also be good to know the origins [of the irregularities] so that they can be debated by the legislative leaders of the House and the Senate, at the level of district representatives and senators,” Molina Pagán added. “What does the leadership of the PDP, including its president, Jesús Manuel Ortiz, have to say? Answers to these questions have yet to be provided.”

“We have always been very emphatic about the fact that nobody can go above the law. I am angry as a Puerto Rican, as a citizen and as a politician amid these actions, because they harm the credibility of people whom we believe we can trust, and we are confident that we can make a difference,” the candidate continued. “Our people deserve that their elected officials be clean and transparent when it comes to public affairs, and that we have the capability to recognize and amend our faults and do our best not to make the same mistakes.”

“The constant repetition of crimes or offenses against society whereby the good name of government institutions is harmed, such as those demonstrated by the mayor of Ponce, cannot have a place in governance for those of us who intend to assume responsibility before the people and through the people,” Molina Pagán said.

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