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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Speech called unrealistic, an exercise in statistical manipulation

Critics weigh in on governor’s state of the commonwealth address

Resident commissioner and gubernatorial candidate Jenniffer González Colón said “the problem is that people on the street feel that there are billions of dollars, but they don’t feel it in their pockets.” (Jenniffer González Colón/Facebook)

By The Star Staff

Opponents of Puerto Rico’s governing administration sharply criticized Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia’s fourth state of the commonwealth address, describing it as unrealistic, devoid of important topics and a political advertisement.

In Tuesday’s speech in the island House of Representatives, Pierluisi recited a long list of his fiscal and infrastructure achievements.

“It’s what we expected, a grocery list, a new slogan to replace ‘Making Things Happen,’” Popular Democratic Party Sen. Juan Zaragoza Gómez said. “It seems that the new one is ‘Because we are doing what had not been done before’ and a message that continuity is needed in the government to complete all this work.”

The chairman of the Senate Treasury Committee said the decline in population growth, the high salaries of trust employees, the opioid crisis and the oversight of LUMA Energy were absent from the message.

However, the senator and former Treasury secretary said the governor engaged in data manipulation because he exaggerated economic growth with the arrival of federal funds.

“When federal funds run out in 2033, we are going down the cliff again in negative growth,” Zaragoza Gómez reiterated, contending that citizens think that the governor “thinks he is living at Disney,” since there seems to be a contrast between what was announced and what the people see on the street.

Juan Dalmau Ramírez, the gubernatorial candidate under the alliance between the Puerto Rican Independence Party and the Citizen Victory Movement, called the message a political campaign tool in which there were many omissions and the manipulation of statistical data.

The former senator reiterated that in these types of messages they have been “avoiding certain topics; for example, the absence of the topic of the University of Puerto Rico in the governor’s message is unforgivable.”

As was the absence of “what has to do with the issue of pensions, retirement, the conditions in which older adults find themselves […],” as well as the health crisis and economic development, which for Dalmau is “framed in federal funds.”

“The country is left, then, without a real survey of our budget, of our collections, of what we can have as medium and long-term projects and, basically, public funds are used for political electoral campaigns,” he added.

Meanwhile, Dignity Project Sen. Joanne Rodríguez Veve pointed out that the message was predictable and disconnected from reality.

She said the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt reduction cannot be highlighted as an achievement since an increase in the electricity bill as part of the negotiations has not been not ruled out.

Likewise, regarding the departure of the Financial Oversight and Management Board, she said there has been delays in the delivery of the financial statements, which could postpone the exit of the fiscal entity from the island. And she, like the rest of the interviewees, did not agree that there is optimal economic development.

“I believe that any Puerto Rican here with half a brain knows that one very different thing is economic growth as a result of a flood of federal funds and another thing is sustainable development as a result of the creation of wealth,” she said.

Gubernatorial candidate Jenniffer González Colón stated that citizens do not feel that there is relief in their pockets due to inflation at a time when billions of dollars in federal funds are flowing to the island.

“Work is always good, but the problem is that people feel on the street that there are billions of dollars, but they don’t feel it in their pockets,” the resident commissioner said. “They do not feel that their quality of life has been improving.”

González Colón, who is challenging the incumbent governor for the New Progressive Party nomination, added that Pierluisi did not present initiatives to improve the electrical system and minimize blackouts.

The governor said he was not surprised by the criticism “because we are in a primary process, and of course, there are times when these criticisms sound as if they came from other parties, but we are going to leave it there.”

Regarding comments indicating that he did not mention a status consultation during the message, he said he has the power to call for such a consultation, but this was not the time.

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1 commentaire

William Rosa
William Rosa
04 avr.

Mrs. González Colón's position regarding Mr. Pierluisi's governing, is simply comical; she denounces Mr. Pierluisi of every crime in the book as if saying that she didn't have to do anything with the current crisis destroying PR. Scenes like this one had been repeated to the point of nausea in the Puerto Rican political discourse of the last 74 years. Mrs. González Colón, like other PPD/PNPs, definitely can't claim that she/they are innocent regarding the country's problems; to even insinuate that are unaware of the problems that Puerto Rican faced every day for everything, is not going to work anymore.

On the other hand, is very sorrowful that a person exposes his/her worse qualities based on selfish political reasons. Mrs.…

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