- Presidencia de Panamá
Last Thursday, October 11, the Government of Panama issued a statement adopting a position regarding the publications of the newspaper La Estrella on the role of private lawyers, to act in alleged cases of corruption. The text published on the Twitter account of the Presidency of Panama reads as follows: "The hiring of local and international law firms by the Government was a necessary and indispensable decision to address the serious corruption and complex contractual situations of the last five years".
Later on, it states that for the good of Public Property, "illegally appropriated and to organize the Public Administration professional support from several recognized firms of lawyers was gathered"; in that sense they consider that "the Government, through the different institutions and ministries, had a legal obligation to file complaints and lawsuits, to always ensure the best interests of the State.
The statement also mentions the law firms that were hired by the Administration of Juan Carlos Varela: "Tapia, Linares y Alfaro; Saltarín, Arias y Auditores Jurídicos; Arias, Fábrega y Fábrega; Icaza, González Ruiz y Alemán; Morgan & Morgan, among others. Internationally, the firms hired were Hogan Lovells; Shearman & Sterling; and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, among others."
Faced with the various accusations of power grab by the Executive, the document states that, "The Executive Branch has fulfilled its
constitutional responsibility and at no time have stripped other State agencies of powers. Upon analysis of the cases, and evidences of irregularities, the complaints and respective claims were filed before the competent agencies".
"In the face of such atrocities in the last five years and in the face of disadvantageous conditions for the State," the statement said that this way of hiring national and foreign firms, "has served to solve multiple problems, through judicial proceedings, arbitrations and agreements, inside and outside of the country".
Comunicado. pic.twitter.com/CaGreeSUAU— Presidencia Panamá (@PresidenciaPma) 11 de octubre de 2018