Pierluisi Condemns Debt Moratorium Legislation
SAN JUAN – Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi criticized legislation passed in the Senate early Tuesday that would allow for a public debt repayment moratorium that, as he put it, also gives Gov. Alejandro García Padilla the authority to “enact unilateral moratoriums on the payment of interest and principal of Puerto Rico debt, including constitutional debt and other loans, and suspend the rights and remedies afforded by the Constitution.”
Pierluisi said the institutional position of the New Progressive Party (NPP), which he presides, is to fight the legislative measure and enforce the Constitution.
“Last night, our delegation in the Senate voted against it and I am sure our colleagues in the House will do the same,” the gubernatorial candidate said.
“This legislation will only result in costly litigation against Puerto Rico and will eliminate any opportunity to negotiate in good faith with our creditors,” he stressed.
He explained that ever since the administration of Gov. Alejandro García Padilla and its candidate for governor, David Bernier, suggested “the concept of a moratorium,” he has been clear in his opposition to it.
“It is one thing to negotiate a moratorium in good faith with the affected creditors, and another to impose it unilaterally,” he said at press conference in San Juan.
“I insist, once again, the only way to responsibly address the issue of the public debt and the fiscal and economic crisis is through consensual, transparent negotiations in good faith with our creditors,” the congressman said.
He further said that “legislating into the wee hours of the morning, behind people’s backs, as was done with this measure, has the opposite effect on the financial markets and Congress that is sought,” adding such action could lead to criminal and civil consequences.
“To make matters worse, this legislation puts at risk the negotiations we have been having in good faith with Congress to ensure its proposed legislation [on the creation of a financial oversight board] benefits our people and all parties,” he warned.
Pierluisi concluded his statement by reiterating his appeal to elected officials, candidates for elected office and leaders of all sectors of society to “work together in finding real solutions for Puerto Rico.”