García Padilla challenges governor to eliminate his administration’s laws
SAN JUAN – Former Gov. Alejandro García Padilla challenged the administration of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to eliminate the laws his administration established that were harshly criticized by the New Progressive Party (NPP) minority in both legislative chambers during past four years.
The former governor’s remarks come about only days after the announcement of legislation that would replace his Emergency Moratorium & Financial Rehabilitation Act.
In an ironic tone, García Padilla said the new legislation is basically the same as his.
“It’s the same. You see? They are proving me right, again. Although they voted against it, the law I presented was correct and well-drafted. Now they’ll do the same as I did,” the former governor said.
“The NPP objected to the so-called crudita. Why don’t they lower [the petroleum products tax] now? Why don’t they lower it after criticizing [the law] so much? Because it was the right thing, although criticizable and painful, but it had to be done and they know it. Why don’t they lower the IVU [Spanish acronym for sales and use tax] after criticizing it so much. They have already passed a bunch of laws, why was not that the first one? Nothing was borrowed because of that. There is nothing impeding them, except that it was the right thing to do,” he said emphatically.
The past administration’s Financial Emergency and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which expires Jan. 31, put a halt to more than $2.3 billion in debt service payments since summer.
The former governor also commented on the announcement by Héctor Ferrer, the former resident commissioner hopeful, to preside the Popular Democratic Party (PDP).
“I think that from the outset it casts a vision for the future for PDP supporters. I’m not going to talk about favoring or not favoring, but I think Héctor is doing the right thing if he has that aspiration to appear before PDP supporters openly. I wish him the best,” he said.
He was also sparing in pointing out several sectors that predict an irreparable fracture of the PDP, although he acknowledged it is very unlikely the NPP will include the commonwealth status formula as an alternative.
“I don’t want to comment on the matter. I believe the PDP has overcome all the crises it has experienced and usually comes out of the crisis victorious. In 2008, we had the worst defeat in history and in 2012 we won the elections. I hope the NPP dares and loses its fear and opportunity to present a commonwealth [status] definition, but I don’t think so. The NPP is very afraid of the definition of commonwealth,” he said.