Panama President gets media broadsides

 
1,177Views 17Comments Posted 22/05/2020

Panama President Laurentino got blasts from both of the country’s journalism associations and from La Prensa, on Friday, May 22,  following a taxpayer-funded government advertisement decrying attempts to get answers on profligate spending lining the pockets of a few with “connections”. La Prensa, an erstwhile supporter of many of the president’s actions, published a front page editorial on Friday  May 22. The editorial reads"

IF THERE IS a government victim during this pandemic, that has been transparency. It is not a fact that this newspaper has only discovered since many citizens have investigated on their own account the purchases managed under this tragedy. The findings are multiple and shocking.

With deep concern we are witness to practices that we thought had been overcome, those in which a business was made out of every need. There are too many similarities between the negotiated then and what is now emerging. But what is worse, the authorities, instead of clarifying, have resorted to the script used during the worst looting that Panama suffered since democracy recovered, the one that is marked by the threat to the independent media and the discredit campaigns against the brave citizens who remain vigilant.

Mr President, this message is for you. Those of us who still want to believe in your promises of "Good Government" do not accept that accountability comes this way, with paid notices and vulgar smear campaigns. Clear, complete, and document-backed responses suffice.

Your government today undertook a defense strategy of very sad remembrance: to attack the credibility of this medium and to do so with public funds. On the sidewalk he has applauded the same man who used it mercilessly while looting public coffers. Do not follow his example.

When the first year of management has not yet come to an end, President Cortizo, we want to think that your team has been poorly advised and that the enormous responsibility for this crisis has given rise to an impetuous reaction.

This propaganda, far from clarifying, has raised more questions. Or is it that they believe that alleging, in an announcement, that "the Executive has not spent a single balboa to buy medical equipment from the Covid-19 budget [and that] the Executive has not made any purchase of medical equipment"? closes the investigation?

This medium has a mission to fulfill and will continue to do so. If instead of using the millions allocated to advertising and branding for ads of this nature, it were to give society true, detailed, pertinent and timely information, the Executive would win as much as the country. Using public funds to pretend to deny a journalistic investigation, instead of opening books and being transparent, is an abuse of power.

If you believe so, citizens, a very tortuous path awaits us, because those promises hid an authoritarian government with a renewed zero circle of corruption.

Without transparency, there is no good governance



Comments 17

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Snake Pliskin

Chele. Wrong again. I was invited to Panama by Panamanians. I was actually treated very well by most people there. Only problem really was that most people had their hand out trying to get money from the gringo. If you want to live poor, that is your prerogative, but when there are no more gringos, the whole country is going to feel it. Minimum wage in the city is what? $3 and in Province $1.50 . Have fun feeding your family on that. I am glad that not everyone in Panama is like you. Hateful. By the way, I have been working every day for the last 3 months in the USA. Where have you been? Under house arrest? And yes, I will be in church this Sunday praying for the poor people in Panama that have to put up with the likes of cicero3 and chele.

5 days ago
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Cicero3

Snake: I hope Trump's evangelical supporters all congregate in their churches and take HCQ as their leader recommends. Chele: Panamá offers ex-pats the same discounts their own seniors enjoy I have a 20-year exemption on property taxes under the law. Panama sees economic benefits from having retirees move here and spend.

11 days ago
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catch3467

May I, as a not-so-gringo ( ! am CANADIAN ), correct you about gringos not being invited to Panama. You should investigate what your country is doing to actually invite the gringos. The only problem, is that they make it more expensive than other countries, unfortunately. And you have to go through more loopholes and costs than some neighbors, like Columbia, for example. Check this out. Do your homework before making "false statements".

11 days ago
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catch3467

May I, as a not-so-gringo ( ! am CANADIAN ), correct you about gringos not being invited to Panama. You should investigate what your country is doing to actually invite the gringos. The only problem, is that they make it more expensive than other countries, unfortunately. And you have to go through more loopholes and costs than some neighbors, like Columbia, for example. Check this out. Do your homework before making "false statements".

11 days ago
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Pedro

Chele what are you smoking no Gringos no money. Think about it.

11 days ago
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Chele

First of all, Gringos have no right to complain about anything in Panama....they were never invited to come live here and as the typical dumb ass Gringos that I have seen all over the world...they do not have a clue about the country they live in.....They need to return to the "Trump Evil Empire of the Divided United States" which is now collapsing by the Grace of God..!!!!

11 days ago
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Chele

First of all, Gringos have no right to complain about anything in Panama....they were never invited to come live here and as the typical dumb ass Gringos that I have seen all over the world...they do not have a clue about the country they live in.....They need to return to the "Trump Evil Empire of the Divided United States" which is now collapsing by the Grace of God..!!!!

11 days ago
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Chele

First of all, Gringos have no right to complain about anything in Panama....they were never invited to come live here and as the typical dumb ass Gringos that I have seen all over the world...they do not have a clue about the country they live in.....They need to return to the "Trump Evil Empire of the Divided United States" which is now collapsing by the Grace of God..!!!!

11 days ago
user
Chele

First of all, Gringos have no right to complain about anything in Panama....they were never invited to come live here and as the typical dumb ass Gringos that I have seen all over the world...they do not have a clue about the country they live in.....They need to return to the "Trump Evil Empire of the Divided United States" which is now collapsing by the Grace of God..!!!!

11 days ago
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Pedro

The good thing is that now the eviction of Mr. Cortizo has startet. A process nobody can put on hold anymore.. His one hand is completely unfit to manage the crisis ( jailing people resulting in sick Panamanians due to lack of sunlight plus mass of homicides and killings in Panama) he is responsible for every death Panamanian and he is far away from saving people's life. And his other hand grips in the deep Panamanian money pot. We don't need unfit burglers there were enough in the past. But Martinelli did something good for the Panama economy despite his corrupt behaviors. Cortizo failed in all sectors. So Mr Cattle farmer step back as soon as possible and start saving Panamanians lifes. You never will get it.

11 days ago
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Chele

First of all, Gringos have no right to complain about anything in Panama....they were never invited to come live here and as the typical dumb ass Gringos that I have seen all over the world...they do not have a clue about the country they live in.....They need to return to the "Trump Evil Empire of the Divided United States" which is now collapsing by the Grace of God..!!!!

11 days ago
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Ancon Harpy

The only administration which has not been guilty of massive corruption was that of Guillermo Endara who was the post invasion president. No political party since 1989 has won two consecutive presidential elections. Its as if they all take turns stealing.

11 days ago
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InTheKnowing

S.P. and JB. are you folks being paid to promote your perspective, because this isn’t the forum for it when it’s about our people in Panama. What the U.S. does politically is their business, ours is here to be addressed by us.

12 days ago
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Snake Pliskin

Absolutely hands down, President Trump is the best President the USA has ever had in my opinion. He has done so much for us here. Today he demanded that the churches all be opened back up and threatened the governors against standing in the way. Good for you Donald Trump! It's not about whether you are religious or not, It's about freedom of choice. Trump tied up more loose ends in his first 3 months than Obummer untied in 8 years.

12 days ago
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Jbbrown

The government class of people will never let the private class of people prosper. Thank God for [resident Trump who keeps rolling back regulations of all types. Trump's model should be followed by all.

12 days ago
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CatHair

once people realize that the government and it's workers are only out for themselves is when transparency begins...this we are all in this together quedate en casa and bendover order only emboldens the blob...it is us versus them, not all of us versus the virus

12 days ago
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Rick

The days of "no corruption" are over I believe. Almost every (and maybe every) government in this world are corrupt in one form or fashion. Funny how money and power does that to people.

12 days ago
The comments are the responsibility of each author who freely expresses his opinion and not that of Newsroom Panama.
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