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CRB: Sanchez Delgado’s Plea To Help His Case, NPP Delegation Wants Pereira To Explain Anti-Crime Plan Failure, Rep. Ruiz Accuses Government Of Fascism, Pesquera’s Political Future Questioned

Romero Barcelo: Sanchez Delgado’s Plea To Help His Case

September 5th, 2002.  

SAN JUAN (AP) — Former Resident Commissioner Carlos Romero Barcelo said Thursday that he is hopeful that the federal lawsuit he filed against his successor, Anibal Acevedo Vila, would benefit from Andres Sanchez Delgado’s guilty plea in local court.

Sanchez Delgado pled guilty for 17 perjury charges for issuing sworn statements containing false information against leaders of the Popular Democratic and New Progressive parties.

"I presume that those in charge of the case, the magistrate and the attorneys, will summon Sanchez Delgado, since he cannot allege that he would incriminate himself because he already made a guilty plea," Romero Barcelo said in a radio interview.

According to Romero Barcelo, Sanchez Delgado’s statements would "be very helpful in the federal case" against Acevedo Vila for using false information to file a complaint against him before the Federal Elections Commission (FEC).

Acevedo Vila had requested the FEC to investigate Romero Barcelo for allegedly receiving a $175,000 illegal donation. His petition was based on a sworn statement issued by Sanchez Delgado, who acknowledged afterward to have lied.

After pleading guilty Wednesday, Sanchez Delgado faces a minimum jail sentence of four years and a maximum of 10.

Sanchez Delgado had accused former La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Angel Morey and an assistant of Romero Barcelo of receiving money from the sale of the Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Salinas to Carlos Rodriguez Mateo, who ran for the mayoral post in the Salinas municipality and was not elected.

Sanchez Delgado, who was also Rodriguez Mateo’s chauffer, had alleged to have given $150,000 to Morey for former Gov. Pedro Rossello’s electoral campaign.

Sanchez Delgado also alleged that he gave a certain amount of money to one of Romero’s aides but later retracted and said his first allegations were defamatory.

Former Rep. David Noriega recently said Acevedo Vila consulted with him on whether the allegations were credible before filing the complaint.

NPP Delegation Asks Vizcarrondo To Summon Pereira

By Proviana Colon Diaz of WOW News

September 4th, 2002.  

New Progressive Party (NPP) House minority alternate leader, Rep. Iris Miriam Ruiz, denounced on Wednesday the alleged inaction of the House majority to demand results of Police Superintendent Miguel Pereira’s proposed anti-crime plan, which Ruiz believes has failed given that crime is on the rise on the island.

"Statistics show that in Bayamon alone, a total of 91 killings have occurred, 20% more than the same time last year. How much more patience is needed to admit that crime is cornering us," Ruiz said.

As of Aug. 31, a total of 60,374 crimes have been reported on the island this year, 12,000 more than in the same period last year.

Ruiz demanded that House Speaker Carlos Vizcarrondo summon Pereira to explain why his anti-crime plan has failed.

The legislator failed, however, to suggest ways to improve the plan or to say just what about the plan is not working.

House Minority Leader Anibal Vega Borges proposed that the government go back to former Gov. Pedro Rossello’s "mano dura contra el crimen" (tough hand against crime) plan.

Vega Borges denounced that unlike Pereira’s predecessor, the police superintendent does not believe in prevention or in the Drugs & Narcotics Bureau, the National Guard or police taking over the public housing projects.

"The police have to take over the public housing projects," Vega Borges said.

Sociologists criticized Rossello’s anti crime plan because, among other things, taking over the housing projects failed to put an end to the drug trafficking and killings inside the projects.

Although killings, according to statistics, decreased by more than 50% by the end of Rossello’s four-year term, what the police presence in the project did in many cases was move the drug dealing into places where the crime had never been reported.

Cayey and Comerio, for example, experienced a tremendous rise in crime.

Still, both Vega Borges and delegation secretary Jose Aponte insisted that the tough hand against crime and prevention aspects are key to eliminating crime.

"The cop has to be out in the street patrolling, not waiting in the car in a corner with lights off for a speeding car to pass so he can stop it and issue a ticket. If the police car is patrolling with its lights on, the criminal will think ‘the police are nearby; let’s go somewhere else," Aponte said.

NPP Representative Accuses Government Of Fascism

August 31st, 2002.  

SAN JUAN (AP) - New Progressive Party (NPP) Rep. Iris Miriam Ruiz accused the government of covering up criminal acts of Popular Democratic Party (PDP) leaders while persecuting members of the NPP.

The legislator said Gov. Sila Calderon’s administration is a "fascist government that has established a pattern to criminalize the statehood movement while covering up the scandals related to her government."

Ruiz’s statements followed the ruling of a superior judge who found cause to prosecute NPP President Carlos Pesquera and three other NPP members for rioting.

The NPP leadership said the government has set up the case against Pesquera.

Ruiz mentioned at least 10 PDP members who have allegedly engaged in criminal or irregular conduct without being sanctioned for it.

The NPP representative mentioned PDP Reps. Jose Varela and Ferdinand Mercado as well as PDP Sens. Modesto Agosto Alicea and Roberto Prats as some of those who have been involved in ethically questionable actions.


Opposition Claims Pesquera’s Political Aspirations Are Over

By Proviana Colon Diaz of WOW News

AUGUST 30, 2002

As members of the New Progressive Party (NPP) leadership prepare for trial on rioting charges, for their actions at the Women’s Advocate Office on June 20, opposition leaders said Friday that the effect of a criminal accusation against party President Carlos Pesquera and his three co-participants will be hard to overcome.

Some even say that with the accusation, Pesquera’s chances of running for any political post are virtually over, and that a possible redefining of the party itself is needed.

Others, however such as NPP Senate Minority Leader Kenneth McClintock, have a different opinion, arguing that the ruling, far from having an adverse effect on Pesquera’s aspirations, has "catapulted" the once defeated, but now still running, gubernatorial candidate.

"I can tell you three out of four people who came up to me this morning to comment on the ruling expressed their gratitude to Pesquera for sacrificing himself and his family for this party. Some even told me that now Pesquera has proven himself to be a true NPP member," McClintock said.

Pesquera, along NPP Electoral Commissioner Thomas Rivera Schatz, former House Vice President Edwin Mundo and former NPP President Leo Diaz could face a minimum two-year prison sentence and a maximum of five years if convicted of rioting.

Not all political leaders, however, agree with McClintock.

For Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP)Rep. Victor Garcia San Inocencio, the NPP leadership has committed "treason" against the thousands of "humble" and "good" followers within the party.

San Inocencio added that regardless of the trial’s outcome, scheduled to begin Nov. 13, the people have already spoken and Pesquera is a "political corps", whose lack of leadership was proved by the small number of people who went to the San Juan Judicial Center during the tree-day hearing.

Pesquera’s actions, aimed at gaining him more followers, however are similar to the "blind" defense of some in favor of statehood, San Inocencio said.

"Pesquera resembles statehood so much, that the more you ask for it, the farther it gets, not only his aspirations for governor but, in my opinion, his aspirations to occupy any public post," San Inocencio said.

A veteran legislator from the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Sen. Edualdo Baez Galib, for his part said that even if a non-guilty verdict is issued, the damage to any political aspirations has already been made, this because, in his opinion, no one exercising such attitude can be a true representative of the people.

"The image he portrayed is not of one who can govern this island. It is an image of an insensitive person who fails to take the necessary precautions to protect the people with him, which is the primary function of a leader," Baez Galib stated.

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