Collazo: "Conscience Is At Ease"
PDP Status Report Due In 2002
Bill To Scrap Daylight-Saving Time
Bombing Respite Not Good Enough
Cancer Study Allocation Sought
Navy Giving Jobs To Viequenses
Collazo: "My Conscience Is At Ease"
By Proviana Colon Diaz
March 6, 2001
Despite his confessed participation in the unconstitutional practice of keeping intelligence dossiers against people based solely on their beliefs, designated Director of the, yet to be created, Office for Drug Control Col. Collazo, said on Monday that his conscience "is at ease" because "he has never fabricated a case against anyone."
In recent days former Special Independent Prosecutor Edgardo Perez Viera has denounced that Collazo is not fit to fill the post not only because of his involvement in keeping the so called "carpetas" but because he also covered up criminals. The former prosecutor has said he would testify to that effect during Collazo's confirmation hearings at the Senate. Asked whether he was worried about what Perez Viera had to say, Collazo said no.
Despite the increasing number of people publicly opposing his nomination and demanding that it be withdrawn, Collazo said he is not considering such possibility.
Status Resolution Mechanism Report To Be Ready In 2002
March 5, 2001
SAN JUAN - Senate Majority Leader Jose Luis Dalmau said the commission that will seek a mechanism to solve the island's status issue will be created this year and should have a report by summer 2002.
Dalmau said the Commonwealth "must be improved; first, so that its opponents can see it can be improved. Commonwealth was not created to stay as it is. It was created to evolve."
The nine-member commission, which is included in the Popular Democratic Party's platform, would be comprised of the presidents of the three political parties, the resident commissioner, two renowned law experts and three private citizens who are not leaders in any party, Dalmau said.
Island Bill Aims To Scrap Daylight-Saving Time
March 4, 2001
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Calling it a move long on politics and short on science, Senate President Antonio Fas Alzamora filed a bill last week to repeal a law establishing daylight-saving time in Puerto Rico, starting next month.
Unlike most of the United States, clocks on the island have never been set back and forth an hour. So in the winter, the island is on Atlantic Standard Time and is an hour ahead of the East Coast. In the summer, East Coast and Puerto Rican clocks are on the same schedule.
The bill approved last year by the pro-statehood New Progressive Party-controlled legislature called for following the U.S. system.
Opponents said the pro-statehood NPP pushed the bill to nudge the island closer to U.S. tradition and to statehood.
Now that anti-statehood Popular Democratic Party lawmakers are in charge, they're trying to get rid of any laws that smack of those political motives.
Bombing Respite Good, But Not Good Enough, Calderon Says
March 3, 2001
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Gov. Sila Calderon said Friday that she is pleased with the U.S. government's decision to call off planned military training this month on Vieques , but that she will still seek a permanent halt to combat exercises on the Puerto Rican island.
"It has been a very positive decision, about which I'm glad," Calderon said. "I think that it will leave the opportunity for us to continue some discussions, which I hope will be productive and positive for the people of Puerto Rico ."
Calderon has cited health and environmental concerns in lobbying for an end to military exercises on the island, which has been used by the Navy for more than a half-century. The Navy has vehemently denied that its activities have caused any harm.
Calderon denied accusations that U.S. officials had tried to pressure her to accept economic incentives in exchange for the resumption of live-fire training.
"No one, absolutely no one, has made me an offer of anything," Calderon said.
Health Secretary Asks For Cancer Study Allocation
March 3, 2001
SAN JUAN - Health Secretary Johnny Rullan asked the Legislature Friday to assign $500,000 to his department for the development of an epidemiological study on the incidence of cancer in Vieques.
In a letter sent to House Treasury Committee Chairman Francisco Zayas Seijo, who is holding hearings on the allocation of these funds, Rullan favored the allocation but asked that his department be the one to lead the study.
The Health secretary said he will hire the services of the University of Puerto Rico Graduate School of Public Health or any other institution the department thinks is suitable.
The House Treasury Committee is evaluating the allocations of $500,000 and $600,000 to the graduate school, which has stated it lacks the necessary resources to finish such a study in a year.
Navy Giving Jobs To Viequenses To Win Referendum
March 2, 2001
SAN JUAN - U.S. Navy spokesman Jeff Gordon said the Navy wants to improve the quality of life of Viequenses and has been hiring island municipality residents to work at the Roosevelt Roads Navy Base in Ceiba and other military installations in Vieques.
"The Navy wants to improve the quality of life in Vieques. Therefore, the Navy is going to keep doing that," said Gordon, adding that they will also continue campaigning in favor of staying in Vieques in light of the Nov. 6 referendum.
He said the Navy's campaign to win the referendum includes offering jobs to Viequenses. "Of course, providing jobs is super important," Gordon said.