Say WHAT? A noteworthy denial from on high

Deputy Arquesio Arias (PRD-Guna Yala), on the left, receives his credentials as a member of the legislature’s Population, Environment and Development Committee from the National Assembly’s president, Marcos Castillero (PRD-Herrera). Arias is under house arrest pending proceedings against him in the Supreme Court on several counts of rape, including one against a minor. National Assembly photo.

“No deputy has lacked ethics”

by Eric Jackson

Thus pronounced National Assembly president Marcos Castillero in a remarkable interview published in La Prensa

What with several deputies facing accusations of one criminal sort or another and many who were in the last legislature still refusing to account for how they spent money that went through their offices, an awful lot of Panamanians find Castillero’s statement ridiculous.

There will be claims that it’s criminal to suggest anything contrary to Castillero’s claim, but it’s not likely that there will be any court cases arising from that, given that he’s an elected official. But when the legislature seeks public approval of constitutional changes, this claim will be a hot-button issue, taken to mean very different things by the opposing sides.


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