“All governments have secret costs, including this one,” former President Christiani told a special commission investigating the bonus.

Former President Alfredo Christiani (1989-1994) appeared before a special commission to investigate bonuses paid in previous governments.

Former Salvadorian President Alfredo Cristiani appeared before a special panel this morning to discuss the issue of bonuses from the Presidential Palace’s public funds to officials and individuals and law firms.

After he arrived, the commission was set up at 9:30 a.m. Three minutes later, the former president made his entrance. However, minutes after he took office, the commission’s chairman, George Castro, of News Ideas, said the investigation into technical failures related to problems in recording the session had been suspended.

After more than an hour of investigation, one of the successive responses given by the former president to the commission’s representatives focused on “everything received and provided during his government was done in accordance with the law.”

With this in mind, the delegates asked questions about the implementation of secret spending during Alfredo Christiani’s presidency between 1989 and 1994, in which they questioned whether funds had been taken from that item to give gifts to officials. Then.

Christiani, however, pointed out that they could not be published because the costs were set aside, for which he cited C art. 31 of the Civil Service Act, which establishes that it is the duty of civil servants and civil servants. Even after stopping doing so, they have the balance and wisdom in what they know because of their status or employment ”.

Similarly, the former President pointed out that the representatives of the Commission have advanced criteria, while at the same time they are committed to blaming themselves and are far removed from investigating and restricting themselves to the activities of the Commission. “They need to investigate all governments, not just the past,” he said: “If they really want to solve the country’s problems, they need to look forward, not backward.” “

Arena Romero questioned the presence of a microphone from the Presidential Palace within the first part of Christian’s appearance. Video EDH.

On questions surrounding the allocation of his presidency, the former president pointed out that these expenditures are in all other governments, and in El Salvador they were in past and present governments. “All governments, including this one, have secret costs,” he concluded.

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After a gap of about an hour, the session resumed with the participation of Deputy Rebecca Santos, who repeatedly asked the President if he could “definitively deny whether he had given bonuses to his officers during his tenure.”

Faced with this series of questions, the former president answered similar questions: “All that I have approved or received is legitimate”, for which he later clarified again and again that the delegates should approach the relevant agencies if there is evidence that the purpose of the questions is illegal and shows something illegal. . “I urge you to do so,” he told them.

During Deputy Santos’ question, Deputy Romero intervened and had a brief discussion with the commission’s chairman, Jorge Castro, in which he pointed out that pro-government representatives were “obligated to comply with the script provided”. they. “.

In one of the last questions, Vice President Raul Castillo took into account the record of several checks issued in the name of the former President in the first six months of 1994, he clarified, due to a reform in the accounting of government agencies, carried out in January of that year, the checks were issued in his name, but at the same time, 101 and 102 projects were approved for inclusion in the budgets, which, according to the former president, are the state intelligence agency (OIE) and the Presidential House administrative costs, respectively.

The Special Commission, made up of representatives of the ruling elites, last week announced the summons to former President Sistiani and his private secretary to Arturo Dona, who came to the Commission during his presidency (1989-1994). Afternoon.

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Similarly, the commission called on the former president, now convicted of illegal enrichment offenses, to appear before delegates after Elias Antonio Saga, Alfredo Christiani and Arturo Dona, during his presidency (2004-2009), Elmer Charlix.

Can read: “The delegates who interrogated me reached the brink of torture,” says Lorena Pena

A week before the formation of the inaugural Special Commission, Arena leader Renே Portillo Quadra said, “When they (the government) do not agree to investigate bonus advertising honors, it seems to us that they want revenge, they want to attack the opposition, they are already in government, but they want to attack their corruption. Do not want “.

Similarly, Jaime Guevara, head of the FMLN faction, said the party would not participate in the formation of the special commission because it “does not guarantee impartiality by not including current government officials”.

Also read: Current government officials will not be questioned for bonuses because they have jurisdiction

For his part, PCN vice-president Seraban Orandus said on July 16 that the reason why current government officials were not prosecuted was because they had jurisdiction.

“This is for previous governments. The five-year term of the current president (Naib Bukhale) is not over. It will be a little easier for the people to lose our jurisdiction which will be investigated in the future. As civil servants,” Orandus said. some days.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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