LIVE: Special Assembly Committee turns off microphone to Lorena Peña while discussing funds for NGOs
Peña was threatened by the chairman of the “contempt” commission, when the former legislator criticized that the current government is passing laws without further discussion.
Former MP Lorena Peña, of the FMLN, was interrupted several times while speaking at the association’s special committee that investigates state funds given to NGOs.
Alexia Rivas, head of the New Ideas Committee, pulled it off when Peña hinted at the explicit approval of the Bitcoin law by New Ideas lawmakers and the public funds handed over to former Agriculture Minister Pablo Anliker during the pandemic, in which the Court of Accounts found an anomaly.
Rivas warned him that the microphone would turn off as many times as he deemed necessary, and that if he continued to allude to other issues that were not from NGO funds, he would be declared in contempt, although Peña was present at the special committee at 2 pm, the time when It was called in, but received until about 7 pm.
Congressman Caleb Navarro, of New Ideas, made a misogynistic comment against former Congresswoman Lorena Peña. That was the moment when Navarro asked him about a procedure in which Peña argued about how to allocate funds to NGOs.
“Where was this law formation conducted?” Navarro asked. , replied Peña, ‘He asked me where this thing went, well, I didn’t pass it across the Arc de Triomphe…’ And then for a moment, the commissioner, Alexia Rivas, closed the microphone. “He should measure his words too,” Peña said, adding, “Just because I am a woman, don’t make such vulgar metaphors.”
Caleb Navarro and Alexia Rivas insisted on threatening me with contempt, when I try to answer their questions and they don’t like the answer.
– Lorena Peña (@lorenagpeam) 17 July 2021
The former representative of ARENA, Melina de Escalon, reiterated to deputies of the special legislative committee investigating the transfer of resources from the state to NGOs, that the delivery of said funds was always authorized by the Ministry of Finance depending on availability. It was.
“We consulted with the Ministry of Finance before allocating funds to NGOs,” de Escalon said.
He added that the authority of the Council to allocate resources to these entities is stipulated in Article 131 Nos. 8 and 11 of the Constitution to be able to issue a decree in general with benefits or tax incentives or any kind of promotion of the activities of any country. social nature.
In addition, they ensured that the petitioner was legally registered with the Ministry of Interior, so they had to attach to their application the document acknowledging them as a legal NGO.
De Escalon explained that the resources were not determined at the discretion of the deputies and that they should be audited not only by the Court of Accounts of the Republic, but also by the ministry to which they were given, since some NGOs were directly connected with some areas of health or education, on the For example, these ministries are responsible for ensuring proper implementation of funds.
“The money that the Minister of Finance gave to the concerned ministry, if it is the Ministry of Health, and therefore, that ministry is obligated to audit, not only the Accounts Office of the Republic, but the ministry that gave the money,” the former deputy said, “The organization had to audit if these projects were implemented.”
Representatives of the Special Legislative Committee investigating the handling of funds provided by the association to various NGOs summoned four former congressional officials on Friday to explain the procedures they must follow to allocate state resources to NGOs.
In the afternoon, it was the turn of the former MP and former President of the Assembly, Lorena Peña, of the FMLN. and former ARENA deputy, Melina de Escalon. In the morning, legislators heard from the former head of the Legislative Technical Consultation, Jorge Estrada, and the former president of the Supreme Court of Justice and the former director of operations of the assembly, Armando Pineda Navas.
The two former officials agreed that there was no regulation in the assembly regulating the transfer of funds to NGOs, although it is a mechanism that parliamentarians have always implemented when approving state budgets.
The New Ideas platform seeks to find more than $279 million that has been delivered by the association to various NGOs over the past 11 years.
Previously, the Special Committee also interviewed two former Legislative Technicians, Alejandro Solano, and the current Justice of the Supreme Electoral Court, Noel Orellana.
The association’s former director of operations, Armando Pineda Navas, told MPs that there are no criteria for handing over money to NGOs.
According to New Ideas MPs, from the information provided by the interviewees, it can be concluded that the transfer of funds to the organizations was a mechanism without any control and at the discretion of the chairmen of the Finance Committee of the Council.
So names like Lorena Peña, from FMLN; Melina de Escalon from ARENA. Norman Quijano from ARENA. Cerro Cruz Zepeda, from PCN; Mario Pons, also from PCN; Yancy Urbina, from FMLN; Rodolfo Parker of PDC; even the party allied with the government, Guadalupe Vázquez, from Ghana; Julio Gameiro and Gerson Martinez, from FMLN.
The foregoing emerges from a document presented by the former Assembly technician, Jorge Estrada, dated November 4, 2019, in which it was agreed to appoint former Congressman Ponce, and former Congressman Norman Quijano, as responsible for the budget and finances of the Legislative Assembly. To former Congresswoman Urbina and former Congressman Parker.
Representative Alexia Rivas, of New Ideas, asked, “Are they the people who saw those opinions that were sent to the Finance Committee?” “Yes,” said attorney Jorge Estrada, a former technician at the association.