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NPP Lawmaker Calls for Perelló’s Resignation

By on July 20, 2016

SAN JUAN– New Progressive Party (NPP) representative Gabriel Rodríguez Aguiló called for House Speaker Jaime Perello Borras’s resignation on Wednesday, this after Víctor Burgos Cotto, a former director of technology in the legislative chamber, pled guilty of corruption charges in a US federal case.

House Speaker Jaime Perelló

House Speaker Jaime Perelló

The NPP lawmaker also demanded that Popular Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial candidate David Bernier disclose if there is anyone in his campaign team who “has direct links” with convicted businessman and PDP campaign fund collector Anaudi Hernández Pérez.

Shortly after, Bernier’s camp denied any involvement with Hernández. The PDP candidate also said that the Perelló situation must be looked at on a “day-to-day” basis.

Bernier also said in a TV interview that the PDP has removed candidates who have been charged with a criminal offense from its ballots, “unlike other parties who have nominated convicted people to public office.”

In his guilty plea, Burgos Cotto said that he received pressure from Perelló Borras to grant a contract to replace the House’s telephone switchboard to 3 Comm Global, a company owned by Hernandez Perez.

“This is the biggest case of corruption in Puerto Rico, as it has reached the executive and the legislative branches of the commonwealth,” said Rodríguez Aguiló during a press conference at the NPP headquarters in Hato Rey.

“More than $400,000 in contracts were awarded without complying with the proposal’s requirements; instead, the Speaker made a call to keep Anaudi Hernandez under consideration, according to Mr. Burgos,” said the legislator.

He added the PDP president and gubernatorial candidate cannot remain indifferent to the situation and only “touch upon trivial issues.”

“Why is Bernier so quiet about the issues that involve Perelló?”, insisted Rodriguez Aguilo, while inquiring if the House speaker will be sitting next to him during a PDP activity planned for next Sunday in San Lorenzo.

Although Bernier has no jurisdiction in this regard, the NPP legislator questioned the PDP leader if he would “allow the system of corruption that is linked to Perelló to continue smearing the House of Representatives”.

Bernier, meanwhile, said that Rodríguez Aguiló was “forced” to carry out the press conference because, “he was a supporter of [Resident Commissioner] Pedro Pierluisi,” who lost the NPP gubernatorial primaries against Ricardo Rosselló in early June.

He recalled that all of the contracts granted in the House were signed by Perello Borras or someone delegated by him, suggesting a direct link.Rodriguez Aguiló added that Perello Borras “must evaluate whether he can continue leading the House of Representatives” after the accusations.

Perelló Borras, meanwhile recently denied having any links with the corruption scheme currently investigated by federal authorities.

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