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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Senate majority leader denounces planned sale of public properties as illegal

Senate Majority Leader Javier Aponte Dalmau

By The Star Staff

Senate Majority Leader Javier Aponte Dalmau introduced two resolutions Tuesday to investigate what he termed as the illegal sale of public properties belonging to the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority without legislative approval.

Senate Resolution (SR) 913 orders the Senate Strategic Projects and Energy Committee to investigate PREPA’s planned sale of around 36 properties that belong to the bankrupt public corporation without complying with the procedures required by law.

“PREPA has plans to sell some 36 disused properties and the Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory [AAFAF] is in charge of the appraisals and the legal aspects,” Aponte Dalmau said. “They cannot do this secretly. It has to go through the Legislative Assembly, which is the one that authorizes the sale of the assets.”

SR 912, meanwhile, orders the same committee to investigate the irregularities reported by the Financial Oversight and Management Board as part of its ordering the Department of Economic Development and Commerce to cancel several contracts with Loopland Development LLC for the development of luxury tourist projects in the old U.S. naval base in Ceiba.

The lawmaker said the administration of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia is trying to sell the assets of the people of Puerto Rico “in a concealed manner and without obtaining the authorization ordered by Act 508-2004, known as the “Roosevelt Roads Naval Station Land and Facilities Redevelopment Authority Act.”

“Last December, the [oversight board] criticized the government’s lack of transparency when it ordered that the contract to develop a million-dollar tourist complex that included the Loopland Hotel in Roosevelt Roads be voided because they did not request prior approval,” Aponte Dalmau stated.

“We do not know who is behind Loopland and its contracts that propose a development of more than $500 million,” he said. “Another covert and strange project that we have to investigate thoroughly to protect Puerto Rican heritage.”

Aponte Dalmau said Act 508 allows the Roosevelt Roads Redevelopment Authority to dispose of or sell public property as long as it obtains legislative approval.

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