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PIP Denies PDP’s Accusation Of NPP Alliance… Governor Signs DOJ Organic Law… Garcia Leads Win Over Greensboro… SJ Gets New Mobile Health Units… Treasury: $77m In Savings At Risk… $3m Allocated To The PRMA… Rossello Still Has No Reply From Feds, He Files Income Tax Forms… Prats Opposes U.S. Enterprise Zones’ Bill Favored By Fortuno

PIP Rejects PDP’s Accusation Of NPP Alliance

August 9, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – A day after unleashing strong criticism of his Popular Democratic Party (PDP) opponent, the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) gubernatorial candidate, Ruben Berrios, denied that there is alliance between the PIP and the New Progressive Party (NPP).

Berrios classified Acevedo Vila’s attitude as "anti-independence" due to his challenge of a PIP ad campaign, prompting the PDP to accuse opposition parties of having an alliance.

"I do not understand why the PDP is crying…in Puerto Rico there has been one historical alliance: The PDP and the NPP against independence," said Berrios.

PIP executive president, Fernando Martin, said it is common for rumors of alliances to arise within three party political systems.

Berrios also criticized Acevedo Vila’s support of new Electoral Laws, which allegedly favor the two mayor parties to receive funding.

Governor Signs New Organic Law Regarding Department Of Justice

August 9, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – For the first time in Puerto Rico’s history, the Department of Justice will have an organic law, which will reorganize its structure and will integrate all of the duties associated with the post of Secretary of Justice.

Gov. Sila Calderon signed the Department of Justice organic law on Monday, at the same time that she announced that William Vazquez Irizarry would become that agency’s new head.

Under the new law, the Department of Justice will have the following departments: the Attorney General’s Office, General Prosecutor’s Office, The Comptroller Affairs Office, the Office Family and Children Affairs, the General Litigation Office, the Office of Antitrust Affairs, the Internal Auditors Office, and the Legal Archives.

The new law also stipulates that the Special Investigation Bureau, the Requisition Board, the Victim Compensation Office, Criminal Justice Information System, and the Property Registry will continue to be annexed to the Department of Justice.

The law signed by Calderon also creates the Judicial Thought Development and Training Institute, which offer continuing education to attorneys, prosecutors, district attorneys, property registrars, and all those who determined by the Secretary of Justice.

Garcia Leads Puerto Rico's Win Over Greensboro

August 7, 2004
Copyright © 2004
Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company. All rights reserved. 

Greensboro News & Record

Third baseman Manuel Garcia went 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs, leading Puerto Rico to a 9-4 victory over Greensboro Green at the Colt Baseball World Series at Loeb Stadium in West Lafayette, Ind., on Friday.

Losing pitcher Nick Rogers went 2-for-4 with two home runs and three RBIs to lead Greensboro, which fell to 0-2 in pool play. Greensboro plays powerhouse Chino, Calif., at 5 p.m. Sunday in the final game of round-robin play. Greensboro could still qualify for the medal round if it wins by a large enough run differential.

Fernando Abadia went 4-for-4 with a home run for Puerto Rico, which improved to 2-0 in pool play.

Jeremy Barbour, who pitched five innings of shutout ball Wednesday for Greensboro, went 1-for-1 Friday as a pinch-hitter. He is the third generation of his family to be involved in the World Series .

Puerto Rico 9, Greensboro 4

W: Orvil Aviles (1-0). L: Nick Rogers (0-1). Sv: Sebastian Castrodad (1). Leaders: Puerto Rico - Manuel Garcia 3-for-3, HR, 2 RBIs; Fernando Abadia 4-for-4, HR; Castrodad 1-for-1, HR, 2 RBIs. Greensboro - Nick Rogers 2-for-4, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs.

San Juan Gets New Mobile Health Units

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The municipality of San Juan announced on Friday the purchase two mobile dental and optometric testing units, at a cost of $1.5 million.

While making the announcement, San Juan Mayor Jorge Santini promised to acquire two additional health units, one for auditory testing and another for urology, to be added to an existing mammogram and general-health units purchased by the city last year.

"Now we will have four mobile health units for direct medical services to the community and hopefully we will have two more for the next term," said Santini in a prepared statement.

The mammogram unit was purchased for $410,000 and the general-health unit for $230,000.

Regarding the units to be purchased, Santini explained that they would be equipped to give prostate exams, while the other would test for hearing deficiencies.

Treasury Department: $77 Million In Savings At Risk

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) –Treasury Secretary, Juan Flores Galarza, maintained that the government could stand to loose some $77 million if the Court of Appeals does not allow the Treasury Department to choose service providers for sale locations of the Electronic Lottery.

Galarza said that the Treasury Department has filed a motion with Court of Appeals calling for the dismissal of a court order which paralyzed all negotiations between the agency and Scientific Games, company selected to provide network support for the 2,000 outlets of the Electronic Lottery.

According to published reports, the proposal submitted by Scientific Games a 6.5% in cost for the Treasury Department, which roughly translates to savings of $11 million annually.

The freeze order was a result from a motion filed by Gtech Latin America Corporation, present provider of Electronic Lottery service but whose proposal was not favored.

House Assigns $3 Million To The PRMA

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – The House of Representatives will probably conclude the current extraordinary session on Friday, this after it approved the bill that grants a $3 million assignment to the non-profit corporation of the Puerto Rico Museum of Art.

Senate majority leader, Roberto 'Junior' Maldonado, said he expects to that all bills will be approved on Friday.

However the Puerto Rican Independence Party Sen. Fernando Martin had already anticipated he would lobby with the New Progressive Party minority against the assignment of funds.

The bill according to Martin tries to perpetuate the privatization of the Museum because it is giving funds to a private corporation that does not respond to the people’s best interest.

"The bill about the Museum of Art of Puerto Rico that has just been send by Gov. Sila M. Calderon to the current extraordinary session is a blank check for the corporation that is operating it and an abdication to the defense and protection of the public interest," said Martin.

In the House a bill eliminating the jurisdiction of the Human Resources Central Office and personnel from the Government Ethics Office.

In addition lawmakers also approved a bill aimed at outlining the responsibilities of the Coliseum Jose Miguel Agrelot board of directors.

Rossello Still Has No Reply From Federal Authorities

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

FAJARDO (AP) –The United States Department of Justice has not answered Pedro Rossello’s request to clarify if there is an investigation of alleged ideological discrimination by representatives of the federal agency on the island, verified the former governor.

Rossello maintains that federal authorities still have time to answer his request, prompting him to dismiss any though that this is a personal vendetta.

"I have not received a reply, but the matter is on the table," said the New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate.

When ask whether the silence from federal authorities was a new stage in the alleged persecution, he replied, "No, they still have time to answer."

Rossello Files Income Tax Form Before The Treasury Dept

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – New Progressive Party gubernatorial candidate Pedro Rossello on Friday filed a questionnaire on his tax return forms from 2001 and 2002 a before the Treasury Department.

Judge Oscar Davila Suliveres had ordered Rossello to submit the questionnaire that was handed in by Rossello’s attorney Luis Berrios Amadeo and his public accountant Miguel Carbonell.

In the questionnaire Rossello answered for both 2001 and 2002 that he had plans to eventually return to Puerto Rico.

Rossello admits that both years he said he was a resident of Puerto Rico but only for tax purposes.

He added that for 2001 he only came to the island for the month of December and for 2003 he only visited Puerto Rico for father’s day and several days for his father’s funeral.

Rossello was also asked if had belonged to any clubs or organizations in the United States and Puerto Rico, to which he replied that he was a member of the NPP.

Prats Opposes Enterprise Zones Bill Favored By Fortuno

August 6, 2004
Copyright © 2004
ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

San Juan (AP) - Popular candidate for Resident Commissioner Roberto Prats insited Friday that a bill favored by Luis Fortuño, Prats' New Progressive Party opponent, would involve payment of federal income taxes for certain businesses and individuals in Puerto Rico.

Prats argued against the bill which would create enterprise zones in poor areas and in areas in which incentives would be granted for business development.

"The only way this bill would make any sense is if Puerto Ricans were forced to pay federal taxes -- something which would only happen if Puerto Rico were to become an incorporated territory or a state," Prats asserted in a press conference.

The Popular candidate asserted confidently that the measure, made public in the US Congress on July 22, could count on the support of only two out of 435 congressmen.

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