García Padilla stands by his brother and his Public Affairs secretary
SAN JUAN – Gov. Alejandro García Padilla fiercely rejected remarks against his brother Luis Gerardo “Jerry” García Padilla and Public Affairs Secretary Jesús Manuel Ortiz, after they were mentioned by the convicted former fundraiser of the Popular Democratic Party (PDP), Anaudi Hernández Pérez, in his testimony before the Federal Court in the case against four of his former associates.
García Padilla harshly criticized the media’s coverage, saying his brother and Ortiz were unfairly and incorrectly portrayed.
“I saw in the news online that they asked my Public Affairs secretary if he should resign from his candidacy. That question deserves another question: Why? Because of a witness who has said he sent him an email suggesting an appointment? Can someone come up with the idea that a candidate to a public position must resign because he received an email from a person recommending someone’s appointment to a public position?” the governor asked.
He added that “the number of emails I receive on a daily basis is uncountable, from people recommending other people. Today I received text messages from people asking for transfers because the electoral ban is coming. That isn’t illegal; those people aren’t violating the law.”
García Padilla stressed that “Jesús Manuel Ortiz is a witness, Gerry García Padilla is a witness, he is not accused of a crime. Witnesses to prove some facts. If the attorneys believe he committed a crime, they would accuse him. Telling a person they ought to resign from their candidacy because they are cooperating with the prosecution is unheard of. To those who believe he must present his resignation from his position here in La Fortaleza–if he presents it, I will not accept it. That is my trust in him. And I hope he wins because he will be a great public servant.”
The governor went further and called attention to press members who allegedly participated in the fundraising events in Hernández Pérez’s residence in Aguadilla. García Padilla said many of them approached him to ask for their spouses’ appointment to public positions.
“In some of Anaudi’s activities, there were journalists with their families. Journalists who are criticizing the case today in the media. They didn’t do anything wrong, they didn’t go to a convict’s house. It was impossible for these people to foresee that years later this person would be accused and declare himself guilty of a crime,” he asserted.
“There is nothing wrong with journalists asking me to appoint their wives. Members of the editorial board, who actively criticize that today in the media, did it. It’s not wrong. In fact, they were angry at me because the appointments I gave their wives weren’t the ones they wanted. I am not criticizing them, I’m only saying,” ranted García Padilla, although he refrained from mentioning which journalists he was referring to.
“It was impossible for these people to foresee that years later this person would be accused and declare himself guilty of a crime”
The governor emphasized that people’s recommendations for jobs is an everyday matter both in the private as well as government sectors, and emphasized that Hernández Pérez’s testimony did not include Ortiz approaching García Padilla to discuss some of those recommendations.
“Recommending people isn’t bad. It happens all the time in private business. Telling the person that receives the résumé to guess that that person is sending that résumé with the intention to subsequently bribe the person he’s recommending is impossible. Has it been said that Jesús Manuel talked with me about that designation? Isn’t it true that it hasn’t been brought forward? Has anybody asked if after he received that e-mail he approached me to recommend [Sally López]? Anaudi has testifies that I stayed in his house, right?, but has he testified he talked to me about that subject? No, right? He says he saw me talking with Sally and he left us alone. Nobody has said they talked to me about that,” argued the chief executive.
García Padilla established that even though there’s an allegation that Hernández Pérez paid for a sexual worker’s services for his brother, Jerry, he never stated the fact consummated.