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NPP Substantiates Rossello’s Pension, OKs 1006 Campaign Promises…Calderon Denies Favoring Private Sector, Says Island’s Economy Expanding …J.Lo Warned Over Marc’s Fidelity…Bill Separating Senate & House Ballots Filed…Osvaldo Rios Arrested In Miami …Rossello’s Candidacy Dispute Reaches Supreme Court

Rossello Insists On The Legitimacy Of His Pension

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News

June 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

A day prior to the second deadline for submitting evidence to prove the legitimacy of his pension, former governor Pedro Rossello insisted on his position that the controversy surrounding him is part of a conspiracy against him and his gubernatorial run.

"I trust that one by one we will be able to refute all the malicious accusations and that the people will be able to put them into perspective," Rossello said following a meeting from the New Progressive Party (NPP) directorate.

On Tuesday, NPP Electoral Commissioner and attorney Luis Berrios-Amadeo submitted a 17-page document to Retirement System Administrator Marisol Marchand that includes a sworn testimony of clinical psychologist Carlos Vazquez Rodriguez who claimed to have seen Rossello working at the Administration of Mental Health and Anti-drug Services (ASSMCA by its Spanish acronym) during the summers of 1962 to 1966.

Rivera Schatz also presented pictures showing piles of deteriorated records and documents that allegedly belonged to the Health Department and included papers from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s.

The electoral commissioner said the pictures prove the conspiracy theory blaming Gov. Sila Calderon’s government of deliberately destroying documents to prevent Rossello from proving the legitimacy of his pension.

However, Health Secretary Johnny Rullan immediately denied the allegation by saying that the pictures don’t show the actual archives of the agency–located at the Ruiz Soler Hospital in Bayamon–but an old building at the Bayamon Regional Hospital.

"If he doesn’t have any proof, he should keep his mouth shut," said Rullan who was visibly upset during an improvised press conference.

Rivera Schatz’s response was that he had nothing to say except that Rullan still needs to answer several questions.

Rivera Schatz and Berrios insisted that the sworn statement of Carmen Haddock, the ASSMCA Human Resources executive director who certified Rossello’s time worked at the agency, states that she did see the documents that proved the legitimacy of Rossello’s allegations regarding his pension.

Berrios added that once the government certifies a pension to a retired employee, the certification is considered valid and irrevocable. He also said that given the fact that there is reason to believe Rossello’s documents may have been destroyed, the logical conclusion should be to drop the controversy regarding Rossello’s pension.

Rivera Schatz and Berrios said they are ready to take the case to court if necessary.

NPP Directorate Approves Government Platform

By Melissa B. Gonzalez Valentin of WOW News

June 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rossello announced that on Tuesday the party directorate ratified the government plan that he intends to implement if he wins the general elections.

The platform includes 1,006 campaign promises which Rossello hopes to fulfill in the next four-year term, unless it concerns specific infrastructure projects that are set to take longer than that, for example, the proposed urban train that would go around the island.

"Now we will work on the time schedule for each proposal," Rossello said.

Rossello added that the platform has four main areas of interest: economic development, social development, social justice, as well as government & political status.

The former governor said his primary goals are to provide a universal healthcare coverage to all Puerto Ricans, modern infrastructure for public schools, programs to fight crime and violence, and solve for once the political status issue of the island.

The party will vote on the platform during the general assembly to be held June 27.

The platform was approved by the directorate with the participation of 33 of its 42 members.

Calderon Denies That She Favors Private Sector

June 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Gov. Sila Calderon denied on Tuesday that she is favoring the private sector when declining to approve several bills aimed at granting more benefits to employees.

Calderon said that if all the bills that are before the legislature are approved the cost of doing business in Puerto Rico would increase, but she failed to offer a figure as to the economic impact such increase would represent.

"I want to reiterate my commitment to the workers, that is why I want to keep the jobs and continue creating jobs which is why I have made economic development and job creation our administration priority," said Calderon following the presentation of a report detailing the economic development in recent months.

"We are not talking about favoring the private sector over workers, we are trying to strike a balance," Calderon.

Among the laws that Calderon is opposing is the granting of marginal benefits to part time employees, the increase in salaries to nurses and an amendment to the monopoly law.

Puerto Rico In Midst Of Moderate Economic Expansion

By Marialba Martinez of Caribbean Business

June 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Caribbean Business. All rights reserved. 

Gov. Sila Calderon said the island’s economic recovery has been in expansion mode during the past 10 months. The governor made the comments during her last discourse on the state of Puerto Rico’s economy at the administration’s final forum before the November elections.

Economic Development & Commerce Department (EDCD) Secretary Milton Segarra pointed to key indicators such as employment and trade figures, which are on the upswing; while manufacturing employment has leveled off.

Anthony's Ex-Fiancee Warns Lopez Over His Fidelity

World Entertainment News Network


June 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004
World Entertainment News Network. All rights reserved. 

(WENN via COMTEX) -- DEBBIE ROSADO - the mother of Anthony's eldest child ARIANNA - claims the Latin singer's past makes her question whether he can be faithful to the Latina superstar.

Rosado - who dated the singer for three-and-a-half years - says, "He was unfaithful to me and I know he was unfaithful to other girlfriends. Marc is a complete dirt bag.

"And although I do believe he feels he has found his soulmate in Jennifer, Marc's past makes me wonder if he is capable of being faithful."

Rosado ended her relationship with Anthony back in 1996 - and claims he failed to show up for the birth of their daughter in America as he was in Puerto Rico with his then-mistress.

She adds, "He has no control when it comes to women. If he sees a woman who gives an inkling she is attracted to him, then he goes for it. Women are just notches on his belt."

Bill Filed To Separate Senate And House Ballots

June 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Charlie Hernandez filed a bill on Monday to place senatorial and House candidates on separate ballots in the general elections.

Just days away from the June 25th deadline to approve legislative bills during this administration, Hernandez said he had faith in that his bill would pass. If the Legislature approves the bill, voters would have to fill out four instead of three ballots on Nov. 2.

"This bill completes a democratization process of our electoral system to provide voters with a more direct way of choosing their candidates," Hernandez said in a prepared statement.

Right now, the Electoral Law establishes that every voter must receive three ballots: one to vote for the governor and resident commissioner, another one to vote for municipal representatives, and a third one that includes all candidates for the House and Senate.

Hernandez said the bill has the support of the PDP majority.

Authorities Arrest Osvaldo Rios In Miami

June 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Puerto Rican actor Osvaldo Rios was arrested Monday morning at his place of work at Univision Television Network in Miami and was immediately taken to prison, said Police Department Extradition Division Agent Luis Ayala.

On Friday Puerto Rico Supreme Court revoked a ruling of the Circuit Court of Appeals that allowed Rios to be free following his conviction for domestic violence.

Ayala said the transfer to Puerto Rico could take from one to two weeks but he is schedule to appear before the court Wednesday.

In June 2003, a jury found the actor guilty of one count of domestic violence for beating his former girlfriend Daisy Annette Santiago in 1996 at the couple’s former home in Isla Verde.

A pre-sentence report recommended that Rios be sent to prison instead of a half way house because he allegedly was a menace to society. The defense filed a motion to request that he be released from prison until a hearing to appeal the pre-sentence report was held.

The Circuit Court of Appeal granted the right of habeas corpus.

Rios could face a maximum prison sentence of 18 months.

Rossello’s Candidacy Dispute Reaches Supreme Court

June 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) — Without much hope of prevailing, private citizen Jose Emilio Perez Guzman filed a legal petition at the Supreme Court on Monday to challenge the gubernatorial candidacy of New Progressive Party (NPP) President Pedro Rossello.

Anticipating an unfavorable ruling, Perez Guzman said he would take the case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

"I honestly expect the Supreme Court to dismiss my case because [former Gov. Rafael Hernandez Colon] wants Pedro Rossello to win and the justices won’t dare go against the political system that brought them to where they are," Perez Guzman said.

The private citizen was referring to the statements that Hernandez Colon had issued against Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila.

Perez Guzman reminded the people that Hernandez Colon has appointed the majority of the Supreme Court justices.

The 52 year-old has claimed that Rossello’s candidacy is unconstitutional because he didn’t live on the island during the past five years in order to qualify for the gubernatorial run.

From 2001 to 2003, Rossello lived in Vienna, Virginia, while he worked as a professor at the George Washington University. He also lived in Boston.

Rossello has insisted that he always maintained Puerto Rico as his official place of residence.

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