The National Assembly seeks to shake off the scandal over the reported charge of ‘tithes’ to servers that would involve several assembly members.
It will be considered in the Plenary to go to an internal depuration. If this were to happen, it would be the second purge in 21 years, after Congress deposed 17 deputies involved in the so-called Red Peñaranda in 1997.
Another path is the judicial one as raised by Assemblyman Fabricio Villamar (CREO), who received complaints of charges of a percentage of the salary to personnel under contract under the mantle of “voluntary contributions”.
A third way is the reform of the Public Service Law presented by Jorge Yunda (AP), which gives job stability to those who denounce these practices in all institutions.
The Assembly already approved on September 6 a resolution that for Villamar is lukewarm, because in the middle of an investigation it asks “to preserve the good name of the assembly members and nothing is said about the eradication of corruption, inside”.
In view of this, today he will ask to include in the agenda of the Plenary the theme, and to integrate a commission that establishes who could be involved in the collection of ‘tithes’, which could lead to the dismissal of assembly members.
In the complaints received by Villamar there are three ex legislators: Ángel Vilema, formerly AP denounced by Luis Salgado and José Garzón, a process that is in the Office of the Prosecutor; Vanessa Fajardo (AP) by complaint of Vicente Torres, and Leandro Cadena (IND), accused by Viviana de la Cadena, court case.
Johana Cedeño (AP), denounced by Vanesa Guerra, is present in the list of current assembly members, and as evidence there were deposits and messages from WhatsApp in which they are asked to “catch up” and that the contributions included the tenths, more than messages where the purchase of fabrics is requested and details of the characteristics and the address of the warehouse.
Andrea Utreras denounced Karina Arteaga (AP), has WhatsApp messages. The assemblywoman maintains that her complainant worked since January 1, 2018 for two months that she asked for her separation because she did not meet her job expectations, and that she never received a penny; but she found out that someone was passing through the offices demanding payment for the movement.
Norma Vallejo (AP) is accused by Doris Vaca and Carlos Robles, they presented bank transfers, photos and chats. Vallejo is willing to have her accounts reviewed and ensures that she does not know of a complaint and if there is, she will respond.
The complainant María José Carrión (AP) does not want her name exposed.
Raúl Auquilla, formerly CREO and now PSC, is denounced by Elizabeth Guachilema.
Fernando Flores (CREO), by Becker Miño, this week the legislator will give his version; and Tito Puanchir (PK) is signaled by Martha Campoverde, who says he asked for $ 6 thousand in advance for a charge he never gave him. Puanchir affirms that the complainant is her friend, and that she loaned him $ 6,000, that there is a commitment to pay and she has a judicial summons, which has paid her $ 4 thousand so far.
There is another complaint against Sebastián Palacios (SUMA), but of course influence peddling; the process was presented at the Washington Añasco Prosecutor’s Office. The legislator announces judicial actions because he assures that he never received a penny, and that Añasco asked for charges, pressures that he never agreed to.
For Gabriela Rivadeneira (formerly AP), she is looking for a media show, and recalls that in 2015 the Comptroller General already carried out a general examination of the Assembly.
Esteban Bernal (CREO) believes that the control of the personnel area should be strengthened towards the advisors and the production of the assembly members should be monitored.
María Mercedes Cuesta (FE) is in favor of an investigation with the Prosecutor’s Office of the last three periods. For Henry Cucalón (PSC), the most logical thing is that the Controlaría would investigate all the legislators, and be prosecuted by the Prosecutor’s Office.
Raúl Tello (BIN) also considers that the investigation is made by the Prosecutor’s Office and not the Assembly, so that it does not act as judge and party, and if there are criminal responsibilities go to the dismissal of the assembly members.
Contributions to movement
Alianza PAIS coordinator, Ximena Peña, says there is concern about the allegations, but that the so-called “tithes” of voluntary contributions should be differentiated as adherents to that political movement, and that this is enshrined in the Code of Democracy and in internal regulations; and that if there are accusations they must be heard in the Office of the Prosecutor.
CREO Assemblyman Fabricio Villamar warns that what must be verified is whether voluntary contributions on behalf of political organizations entered the corresponding coffers, otherwise it would be a scam.
Andrea Utreras: We had to cover the legislator’s lunches
“I came to work with Assemblywoman Karina Arteaga as an administrative assistant with a monthly salary of $ 1,300. I was asked to collaborate voluntarily with a fee for the Alianza PAIS movement, to which the legislator owes; when I spoke with the assembly member who was not going to pay what I was asked, she terminated my contract twelve weeks after entering the position. We had to cover, among the co-workers of the office, the lunches and mobilizations of the legislator, for which they even began to talk about a kind of background. I have the testimony of two people who work in the Assembly since the Gabriela Rivadeneira period, where they in a social meeting revealed that the collection of fees for PA is a common practice, and that the husband of the former president demanded 4% of the salary, of obligatory way and they were near 50 collaborators like president of the Assembly “.
Elizabeth Guachilema: I asked for $ 6.000, $ 1.000 and purchases
Before being my boss, Raul Auquilla was my partner because we worked with Rafael Dávila. When he became an Assemblyman in 2013, he asked me to accompany him and before taking office he asked me to lend him $ 6,000, and for this I made a loan at the bank and gave him $ 1,000 in cash and $ 5,000 in bank deposit and I have the document. Then he asked me to contribute $ 1,000 in cash to pay the salary of a person with a disability; then he asked me to buy him medical prescriptions, to have his car washed, and once he asked me to buy a perfume for his wife. Then he asked me for $ 1,000 more and for that I went back to ask for a loan from the bank, which I was discounting month by month. Later he fired me and I started a criminal action and labor lawsuit, and the whole case was met by the former presidential candidate Guillermo Lasso (CREO) and later César Monge intervened and proceeded to pay what was owed. ” (I)