ANTAI says that it does not have the power to investigate whether Carrizo used State funds for political propaganda

After yesterday the Vice President and Foreign Minister of the Republic, José Gabriel Carrizo, appeared on the state television channel Sertv broadcasting a political message addressed to the members of the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), the director of the National Authority for Transparency and Access Information (ANTAI), Elsa Fernández, assured that she does not have the competence to open a process against her.

Carrizo appeared on a national network thanking “the virgin” for the opportunity to serve the country.

He also thanked his political training, the accompaniment in the current administration and affirmed that they still have pending challenges, such as the shortage of medicines and consolidating the financing of the Panama Solidario plan; but without making any reference to the registered candidates or the applicants.

“In life you have to make decisions. I will always do the right thing… not the easy thing. My responsibilities with the country and with all Panamanians cannot be supplanted. They are above any aspiration. Everything has its time and its moment”, Carrizo mentioned.

Fernández said that the 260,000 public officials must be clear that what only one person does affects the rest, so it is necessary to act with transparency and ethics.

“We have to take into account that ANTAI has legislation related to all public servants; but each public servant has its own competence, that is important for us to clarify. The ANTAI does not have direct power over appointing authorities, which are contemplated in the judicial code,” he said, recalling that this type of investigation is cross-investigation, meaning that one state body can investigate and prosecute another and vice versa, for example, the deputies who do not judge the president or do not judge those of the Court, because they are related to the person who appoints them

He argued that if Carrizo’s actions were classified as an administrative fault, it would be up to the attorney for the Administration Rigoberto González to carry out the investigation. Although ANTAI could also investigate administrative offenses, ANTAI’s jurisdiction does not extend to the vice president.

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