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Bernier, Bhatia demand Sen. Mari Tere González’s resignation

By on November 1, 2016

SAN JUAN – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President and gubernatorial candidate David Bernier and Senate President Eduardo Bhatia both demanded Tuesday Sen. Mari Tere González’s resignation after the emergence of an alleged illegal scheme involving her.

The request comes about after the Justice Department referred González to the Special Independent Prosecutor Panel’s Office (OPFEI by its Spanish acronym) so the entity decides whether to charge the senator.

Sen. Mari Tere González

Sen. Mari Tere González / File

“I have been firm and assertive when it comes to acting on this type of situation,” reaffirmed Bernier during a WKAQ 580 radio interview. “I think that type of decision [to resign] is correct.”

Justice Secretary César Miranda said the PDP senator used her political post to “benefit third parties,” as well as to receive benefits in exchange for favors.

“I have also told authorities, both local and federal, that they must proceed as soon as possible. I think the Justice Secretary does well,” the gubernatorial candidate added.

Senate President Bhatia echoed Bernier’s statements.

“[She] must resign at some point,” Bhatia said in a Radio Isla interview. “I believe we must give her some room for her to see [what the allegations are about], but she must make the determination [to resign] this very week.”

Bhatia also said that González shouldn’t be present if Gov. Alejandro García Padilla convokes a special legislative session sometime in the next few weeks, specifically after the Nov. 8 elections.

“She must discuss the matter with her lawyers. I haven’t spoken to her. I believe this situation has reached a point that’s not good for her or for the country,” the PDP senator said.

González’s legislative career began to decline after her name was mentioned in a corruption scheme trial against four people and former PDP fundraiser Anaudi Hernández.

González decided to rely on the privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment during her testimony in the trial against former Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa) Vice President Ivonne Falcón and her sister, Marielis Falcón; former Workforce Development Agency (ADL by its Spanish initials) Director Sally López; and former House Assistant Administrator Glenn Rivera Pizarro, all of whom were found guilty.

Although she stopped running for reelection in September, González still occupies her seat in the Senate.

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