PANAMA CITY.- During the first quarter of the year, the National Assembly debated a series of proposals and projects that seek to correct the image of the isthmus not only in the national territory but also on a global scale after the scandalous case of bribery of the Brazilian company Odebrecht and the alleged involvement of more than 10 officials.
Panamanians broke the silence due to this situation and at the beginning of the year began a series of protests of great magnitude demanding the authorities to investigate those involved.
The Parliament set up an "Investigating Commission for cases of corruption", in which eleven Members will be in charge of knowing the circumstances of public procurement in infrastructure works during the last three constitutional periods (2004 – 2009), (2009 – 2014) and (2014 – 2019).
"The Commission of Inquiry shall meet in its own right and shall adopt the necessary measures to carry out its functions and shall report to the plenary of the National Assembly within a period not exceeding 90 days, which may be extended for a further 90 days," stated a press release issued by Parliament.
Not only has this case shocked the Panamanian people and the international community, but also Project 245 which contemplates the application of an agreement in the inquisitorial system as it exists in the Accusatory Criminal System. The discussion has moved on to several phases of Parliament in which its approval or disapproval is expected.
According to deputies of an opposing nature, they argue that the award is aimed at people who are involved in a punishable act, such as the accused, a person who has already been formally charged with linking to a punishable act, collaborate in a way effective with the Public Ministry, specifically in clarifying the crime by giving certain data and information that contribute to various aspects. However, the agreement is still under discussion.
Similarly, the discussion of draft Law 292 amending the Electoral Code has also been questioned. Issues such as the awarding of seats, nominations to various positions of popular choice, among other issues, have been debated by the deputies.
The President of the Legislative Branch, Rubén De León, said that, within a maximum period of two weeks, before the end of March, the bill is expected to have been approved in its entirety, as stated in a local newspaper.
The original text of the proposal, which has not yet been approved, keeps the deputies from the different benches against each other.
Economic projects and agreements have also been part of the opposing talks in the National Assembly. The agricultural sector, agri-national, energy production and works of the presidency are issues involved in the Parliament's debates.
Among the economic areas discussed in the Assembly are:
- - Approve second bill of payment projects of arrears
- - Approve transfers of items for $ 97.7 million
- - Approve $ 21.7 million for works of the Presidency
- - Approve project on political-administrative division
- - Promote legislative initiatives that will benefit the agricultural sector
- - First draft debate on basic compulsory insurance approved
- - Approve bill that will boost the agricultural sector
- - Receive the thirteenth month bill
- - Artisanal fishermen receive tools to survive
- - Approve bills to strengthen national agriculture
- - Improve energy production project
- - Draft bill to coin coins
- - Create a separate fund for survival of livestock farmers
- - Prohibit ten initiatives for the support of the primary sector
- - Negotiations on fiscal matters approved in third debate
Among other topics covered by the Assembly this first quarter of the year has also been cultural, educational, bilateral relations, presentation of management balances of public institutions, sanctions for those who attack women, reelection of university authorities, election of the magistrate of the Electoral Tribunal.