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Friday, September 20 2019 @ 02:30 pm EDT

Balbina Herrera - First To Be Interrogated in CEMIS Case

Corruption Balbina Herrera, a prominent figure of the PRD, will be one of the first people the Public Ministry will interrogate, as a result of the turn of events in the CEMIS case, as confirmed by sources in the Attorney Genera's office to La Estrella. Herrera was a PRD Deputy in the National Assembly in 2002 who denounced the alleged payment of bribes to several of her colleagues for their votes to ratify the nomination of Supreme Court Justices Winston Spadafora and Alberto Cigarruista. When the Supreme Court decided to reopen the case - which had been closed in 2003 - they mandated that the file be divided into two parts. The part of the file focusing on the allegations of bribes supposedly paid to members of the National Assembly for their favorable votes on the CEMIS initiative would be investigated by the Attorney General. The other part of the allegations, those made by Balbina Herrera over the supposed payment of bribes for votes to ratify the nominations of the Supreme Court justices, was sent by the Supreme Court to the National Assembly for them to investigate. In this regard, Herrera told La Estrella yesterday that today she would go to the offices of the Attorney General Giuseppe Bonissi, to deliver a letter, whose contents she did not reveal, and to talk about reopening the case and her future appearance. The Public Ministry is working to create a Special Prosecutor who will be devoted exclusively to the investigation of this scandalous case. Meanwhile, a couple of weeks ago the Credentials Committee of the National Assembly decided to close the investigations into the allegations made by Balbina Herrera over the supposed payment of bribes for the votes regarding the nomination of the Supreme Court justices. (La Estrella)

Editor's Comment: The CEMIS case is Balbina Herrera's Achilles Heal. She's already been defeated and humiliated in the last national election and she has lost most of her position and power within the PRD. She has since turned completely on Martin Torrijos and others in the party. She made these allegations (about the bribes paid to secure the votes for the nominations of the Supreme Court justices) basically as a smoke screen and to create a distraction from the real issue - the payments of bribes to primarily PRD lawmakers and politicians in order to ram through the CEMIS deal. Back them Mireya Moscoso was president but she did not have a majority in the National Assembly. They wanted to get this CEMIS deal done, and the person who was allegedly making all of the back room deals and dolling out the money was none other than Balbina Herrera. When the whole thing blew up, she came up with her "counter allegations" in order to muddy the waters enough to make sure that none of it ever got investigated. The whole thing sat on the back burner for the five years that Martin Torrijos and the PRD was in power, but now with Ricardo Martinelli at the helm and with his people in political control of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of power, as well as the Attorney General's office, the CEMIS case is once again moving forward. To put it in a nutshell, Balbina Herrera is going to be slow roasted over a revolving BBQ spit. Martinelli's grand strategy of prosecuting every corrupt PRD politician he can get his hands on has not changed. In November 2010 Panama will be out of the Central America Parliament (PARLACEN) which means that Martin Torrijos himself - who supposedly received payments as part of the CEMIS deal as well - will have lost his immunity from prosecution. We will be hearing a lot more about the CEMIS case in the future, not less.

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