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PDP Denies Involvement In Rodriguez’s Illegal Transactions

Governor Defends Correa

Doubts Surround PDP Political Donations

PDP Denies Involvement In Rodriguez’s Illegal Transactions

By Proviana Colon Diaz

March 11, 2002
Copyright © 2002
WOW News. All Rights Reserved. 

Following an interview with Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Finance Director Ricardo Colon, PDP Secretary General Jorge Colberg Toro concluded that party funds were never transferred from their accounts to the campaign of former Arecibo district Sen. Maribel Rodriguez.

"What allegedly had occurred, a transferring of funds from the Popular Democratic Party to her [Rodriguez] or to any other candidate, has not occurred," Colberg Toro said, adding that no illegal activities have taken place.

For his part, La Fortaleza Administrator Fulgencio Correa confirmed during a radio interview Monday that as party administrator he did give $3,000 to help the senator in her campaign.

"The money was from an activity to help the former senator in her campaign and we help candidates in their fund-raising activities on a regular basis at the headquarters, because it is important to know that it was at headquarters and never at La Fortaleza," Correa said.

The controversy followed allegations of unidentified sources who revealed that during his testimony before the Senate Ethics Committee, Rodriguez’s son Manuel Cruzado Rodriguez said he had received $10,000 from Correa at La Fortaleza to pay for an advertising account through the now former senator campaign committee.

Despite the allegations, neither Correa, Colberg Toro nor the PDP electoral commissioner will ask the Senate Ethics Committee to disclose Cruzado Rodriguez’s testimony.

"It is up to the committee and to the proper forums to solve the matter," Correa said.

Colberg Toro said Cruzado Rodriguez should come forward with his testimony.

Meanwhile, the New Progressive Party (NPP) delegation at the Legislature urged Gov. Sila Calderon to destitute the administrator from his post.

Arguing that Calderon based her political campaign on a "clean government" strategy, NPP Alternate Minority Leader at the Senate Orlando Parga wondered why the former party administrator is still in his post following the allegations against him and his acknowledgment of having granted $3,000 for Rodriguez’s campaign.

"It’s a shame that we have to find out about these issues through the press, when Gov. Calderon has said her administration does not allow officials to act as Fulgencio Correa has done, handing in money from side to side without keeping clear records of where the funds come from," said NPP Rep. Albita Rivera.

Governor Defends La Fortaleza Administrator

By Proviana Colon Diaz

March 11, 2002
Copyright © 2002
WOW News. All Rights Reserved. 

ARECIBO - In the midst of allegations regarding a possible money-laundering scheme within Popular Democratic Party (PDP) headquarters and senatorial district campaign committees, Gov. Sila Calderon defended Tuesday the alleged author of such a scheme for the northern district, La Fortaleza Administrator Fulgencio Correa.

"(Correa) still has my confidence. . .we all know him as a very serious, disciplined person," Calderon said.

Calderon’s statements were made in the district in question during a visit to announce the development of the urban centers.

The governor’s declaration in regards to Correa was her first public statement since the PDP former administrator made headlines over the weekend, as it is alleged that he gave money to Juan Cruzado Rodriguez for him to deposit in his mother’s, now former Sen. Maribel Rodriguez, campaign account in order to pay for an advertising campaign that did not belong to her.

Calderon said she did not know the reasons for Cruzado Rodriguez’s statements, but she regrets that it has reached "this point" and affirmed that her administration will not allow any corruption scheme, regardless of where it might come from.

It is said that Cruzado Rodriguez testified during the Senate Ethics Committee’s hearing against his mother that Correa gave him $10,000 at La Fortaleza.

Correa has partly denied the allegation, affirming that he never gave money to Cruzado Rodriguez at La Fortaleza, but acknowledging that the party used to help the campaigns of people running for office, and as such, he did give the senator’s son $3,000 profits from tickets to a fundraising activity for Rodriguez.

Calderon not only defended Correa’s integrity but also the prompt over the weekend investigation made by PDP General Secretary Jorge Colberg Toro over the controversial funds.

Since the allegations were made based on the testimony of Cruzado Rodriguez during the Ethics Committee’s hearing, which by law can’t be revealed now that the senator quit her post and the Legislature lost jurisdiction, Colberg Toro has asked the senator’s son to come forward with the allegations.

Calderon did issue a letter late Monday to Senate President Antonio Fas Alzamora to make the record of the hearings public. On Tuesday, however, she acknowledged that the executive and the legislative branches were separate branches of the Commonwealth, and as such she would respect their regulations.

Many Doubts Surround PDP Political Donations

March 13, 2002
Copyright © 2002
The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – La Fortaleza Administrator Fulgencio Correa and former Gov. Sila Calderon’s aide in San Juan Eduardo Rivero raised money through the party committees of several aspiring legislators to pay for advertising ads.

This means former Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Maribel Rodriguez was not the only one who received money through the PDP campaign committee to place ads in favor of Calderon, during her run for governor.

According to published reports, several sources said some of those ads cost $70,000, and Correa was the administrator of the PDP at that time.

It was revealed that Correa and Rivero kept in contact with PDP donors to whom economic aid was requested and whose most donations were never reported.

The candidates who placed TV ads for Calderon were today PDP legislators Roberto Prats, Ferdinand Perez, Cirilo Tirado, Jose Luis Dalmau, and Roberto Vigoreaux.

The existence of that money for advertising purposes of certain candidates was revealed during the testimony offered by Manuel Cruzado Rodriguez, during the investigation that the Senate Ethics Committee carried out against his mother, Maribel Rodriguez.

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