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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Monday, 5 June 2017

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Monday, 5 June 2017

    President Medina signs Anti-Money Laundering
    President Danilo Medina appoints National Sports Games organizing committee
    Tax Agency announces collection highs
    Nuria urges investigation of more government officials’ wealth statements
    Odebrecht creates major internal crisis in ruling PLD party
    Former President Leonel Fernandez focuses on legality of proofs in Odebrecht scandal cases
    Temístocles Montas points out officers responsible for Odebrecht loans
    Thousands attend Green March Movement marches
    Rain and heat forecast for Monday
    Edwin Volquez pitches a no-hitter against Diamondbacks
    Albert Pujols reaches 600 home run milestone
    Eddy Herrera sings merengue at JetSet Club



    President Medina signs Anti-Money Laundering
    President Danilo Medina signed the Anti-Money Laundering/Combating the Financing of Terrorism Bill on Wednesday, 31 May 2017. The bill will replace Anti-Money Laundering Law 72-02. 

    The law establishes a minimum 10 years in jail for asset laundering, in addition to doubling of the economic fines and authorizing the seizing of the assets purchased with illicit funds.

    The law expands the scope of crimes to be penalized, adding those of forgery of pharmaceuticals, environmental crimes, child pornography, contract killing, piracy, violation of intellectual property. 

    http://dgii.gov.do/noticias/Paginas/...e-activos.aspx
    http://dgii.gov.do/legislacion/preve...ojunio2017.pdf


    President Danilo Medina appoints National Sports Games organizing committee
    President Danilo Medina announced that businessman Edi Medina Marte will preside over the organization of the Hermanas Mirabal 2018 National Sports Games. Medina Marte is the owner of the Opal Jeans manufacturing company. 

    These are the first National Sports Games to be organized during a Medina administration. The celebration of national sports games had been suspended after evidence showed that the large public works that were built for the games were abandoned afterwards. Former Sports Minister Jaime David Fernandez preferred to invest the funds in sports facility maintenance and school sports. Nevertheless, the new Minister of Sports Danilo Diaz is giving priority to the games. 

    Other members of the organizing committee are Minister of Sports Danilo Díaz and the president of the Dominican Olympic Committee Luisín Mejia. The games are set to be held in March 2018, preceded by nine months of qualifying rounds. 


    Tax Agency announces collection highs
    The director general of the Tax Agency (DGII) Magin Diaz, announced that new measures taken have provided a steady increase in tax revenues without the government having to implement another tax reform. 

    “In the past 11 months, tax collections have been increasing above what was budgeted and revenues are up at double the growth rate of the economy,” he stated. 

    http://www.listindiario.com/economia...an-crecimiento
    http://www.elcaribe.com.do/2017/06/0...en-crecimiento


    Nuria urges investigation of more government officials’ wealth statements
    The pressure continues for the Medina administration to put a stop to widespread corruption and impunity in government. For the past two weeks, TV journalist Nuria Piera has focused on the story of the general manager of the La Vega division of the central and northern region electricity distributor, EdeNorte, and how he has used his position to amass an extraordinary fortune. 

    Piera highlights that the EdeNorte’s La Vega manager Julio Cesar Correa Mena has accumulated known assets that he has not declared as part of his obligatory statement of wealth. Correa Mena was appointed director of La Vega region for EdeNorte in 2008. In 2012, he was named general manager of EdeNorte La Vega by President Danilo Medina. 

    The wealth accumulated of Correa Mena is so noteworthy that the investigative journalist dedicated a second program to highlight new findings of properties belonging to Correa Mena, after the first program prompted people to call in to tell about other properties belonging to the EdeNorte manager. 

    Nuria Piera concludes that an investigation of all wealth statements of government officers should be undertaken, given the extraordinary wealth that the EdeNorte manager has apparently accumulated.  Piera speculates that others in the government may also have hidden assets. 

    For example, the wealth statement of Diandino Peña, the director of the Metro construction, did not include a number of properties known to be owned by him.  Peña was subsequently removed from his position by President Medina. This was denounced in a TV investigative journalism report presented by Alicia Ortega also on Color Vision, Channel 9. 

    Piera claims that the Chamber of Accounts protects government officers when it does not provide information requested to the press or general public.  She says that when providing information to the press, the Chamber of Accounts has blotched out details, making inquiries by journalists difficult.  This apparent barrier gives the impression of complicity of the Chamber of Accounts to hide the assets of government officials.

    http://nuria.com.do/portfolio/los-bi...racion-jurada/


    Odebrecht creates major internal crisis in ruling PLD party
    A report in El Caribe newspaper looks into the commotion caused by the publication of the list of government officers, legislators and high-ranking members of the Political Committee of the PLD accused of receiving bribes as part of the Odebrecht scandal. The incriminating documents were generated abroad, suggesting that the claims of overpricing of public works and bribes to secure government issued contracts were not sufficient to motivate the local judiciary to start the investigation earlier. 

    So far the government has ordered the arrest of members of the Political Committee Temistocles Montas, senator Julio Cesar Valentin and Radhames Segura and of the Central Committee senator Tommy Galan and Victor Diaz Rua. 

    After his arrest, Montas, Minister of Industry and Commerce in the Medina administration, admitted that he received funds from the commercial representatives of Odebrecht Angel Rondon for the political campaigns of the PLD in 2008 (Leonel Fernández), 2012 and 2017 (Danilo Medina). Political committee member of the PLD, and Minister of Labor, Jose Ramon Fadul (Monchi) highlighted that private company contributions to political campaigns in the Dominican Republic are legal. 

    The Presidency has consistently denied receiving funds from Odebrecht for the electoral campaigns of President Danilo Medina. Montas in a paid advertisement insists that when he received the funds for the campaigns he was not informed that Odebrecht was the source of the funds.

    In a paid advertisement, Montas said he used the money for the campaigns in 2008 in San Cristobal, in 2012 in San Juan de la Maguana and in 2016 in the eastern region. He stated he was not told it was Odebrecht money that was provided in exchange for some service or product. Montas argued that he had absolutely zero interactions with or benefits from the operations of that multinational company. 

    A PLD Political Committee is expected to be held this week. Another key issue on the agenda of the upcoming meeting is the discussion involving Lucia Medina, sister to President Medina, as president of the Chamber of Deputies. A Political Committee agreement had nominated Ruben Maldonado to be the next president of the Chamber of Deputies. The president of the Chamber of Deputies sets the agenda for the day. 

    Another potential saga unfolding is the possibility that President Danilo Medina may seek to again change the Constitution to allow for a possible run for the presidency in 2020. In 2012, former President Leonel Fernández sought to be the presidential candidate of the PLD and opposed the change of the Constitution that allowed for Medina to seek reelection. In 2012, Medina finagled to change the Constitution by securing the support of the previously opposition PRD legislators. The PRD eventually became an ally to the current PLD-led government.

    The hearings of the Odebrecht case include several high-ranking officers of the PRM, the break off party of the PRD, and today the largest opposition party. 

    In a contribution piece, political analyst Rosario Espinal highlighted that the system of political parties in the Dominican Republic is at its lowest point. It never had been so close to collapse.  She says the time is right for a third political force to come forward to take advantage of the situation. 

    http://noticiassin.com/2017/05/parti...-peor-momento/


    Former President Leonel Fernandez focuses on legality of proofs in Odebrecht scandal cases
    Former President Leonel Fernandez (1996-2000, 2004-2008, 2008-2012) writes today in the Listin Diario on the Odebrecht case. In the extensive contribution to the Listín Diario, the president of the ruling PLD political party highlights the many instruments created by the PLD governments to combat administrative corruption. The feature also looks into cases of corruption abroad. 

    In his concluding paragraph, Fernández calls for the judiciary to adhere to the penal procedures code and act with absolute impartiality. He calls for the judiciary to adhere to the penal procedures code and act with absolute impartiality and independence, based on the principle of presumption of innocence and subject to the criteria of the legality of the proofs. 

    Past cases of corruption pressed against Fernandez or key officers in his government, including former Minister of Public Works Victor Díaz Rua and director of the Office of Supervisory Public Works of the State (OISOE) Felix Bautista, have not been able to advance in the judiciary after defense lawyers have successfully used loopholes found regarding incorrect instrumentation and legality of the proofs. 

    http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...-la-corrupcion


    Temístocles Montas points out officers responsible for Odebrecht loans
    In an open letter to the nation published on Friday, 2 June 2017, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Juan Temístocles Montas, has sought to clear himself of responsibility from the Odebrecht projects.  In turn, Montas provides names of those he says were responsible for the contract of the public works in question and the financial terms of the funding. 

    Of those on his list, Mariano Germán, Gonzalo Castillo, Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Daniel Toribio, Simon Lizardo have not been included in the Odebrecht accusations. 

    On his list are:

    Palomino Hydroelectric: 
    Public work contract:
    Radhames Segura, executive vice president of the CDEEE
    Public work financing contract
    Juan Temístocles Montas (2005) US$15,000,000.
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Secretary of Hacienda, (2006-2010), US$3,149,877.56

    Samana/Hermanas Mirabal Aqueduct: 
    Public work contract: 
    Victor Díaz Rúa, director INAPA (2006-2007)
    Mariano Germán, director INAPA (2009-2011)
    Public work financing contract:
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Secretary of Finance (2006), US$45,100,000.
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Secretary of Finance (2009), US$71,258,178, US$50,286,572
    Daniel Toribio, Secretary of Hacienda (2011), US$50,000,000

    Autopista del Coral/Circunvalación La Romana:
    Public work contract: 
    Victor Diaz Rua, Minister of Public Works (2010-2012)
    Gonzalo Castillo, Minister of Public Works (2013)
    Public work financing contract:
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Minister of Hacienda (2010) US$54,000,000
    Daniel Toribio, Minister of Hacienda (2011) US$70,000,000, US$38,557,200
    Simón Lizardo, Minister of Hacienda (2013) US$80,200,000

    Corredor Duarte I:
    Public work contract: 
    Victor Díaz Rua, Minister of Public Works (2009-2010)
    Public work financing contract:
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu, Secretary of Hacienda (2009-2010), US$40,743,918, US$52,785,122

    Constanza road:
    Public work contract: 
    Victor Diaz Rua, Secretary of Public Works (2009)
    Public work financing contract:
    Vicente Bengoa Albizu (2009), US$20,000,000

    Jarabacoa-Río road
    Public work contract:
    Victor Diaz Rua, Minister of Public Works (2011)
    Public work financing contract:
    Daniel Toribio, Minister of Hacienda (2009) US$50,000,000

    Former Hacienda Minister Vicente Bengoa called the statements by Montas “maliciously perverse.” 

    Also on the same subject, award-winning writer Juan Bolivar Diaz reiterates the weaknesses of the case laid out by the Attorney General and predicts the likelihood of many more individuals to be implicated in the scandal. 

    However, Diaz is not optimistic the case against those accepting Odebrecht bribes will get far. “Most of the 14 accused could go free if the case against them lacks tangible evidence beyond noting an increase in the wealth of the individuals over the years…” Diaz speculates that those implicated in the scandal could be convicted of falsifying their wealth statements, but he admits that thousands of government officers have done the same.

    http://hoy.com.do/bengoa-califica-de...nes-de-montas/
    http://hoy.com.do/ni-estan-todos-los...los-que-estan/


    Thousands attend Green March Movement marches
    News reports are that thousands of persons participated in the Green March Movement activities in Cristo Rey, National District and Navarrete in Santiago on Sunday, 4 June 2017. The protesters marched attired in green for an end to impunity and corruption in government. 

    Spokespeople at the events called for an investigation into the financing of the electoral campaigns of President Danilo Medina and the Punta Catalina thermoelectric power central under construction in Peravia province by Odebrecht. 

    The next protest activity of the Green March Movement is scheduled for San Pedro de Macorís on Sunday, 11 June 2017. 

    http://www.listindiario.com/la-repub...a-marcha-verde
    https://www.diariolibre.com/noticias...-rey-FF7263887


    Rain and heat forecast for Monday
    The National Weather Service (Onamet) says that a tropical wave moving to the Dominican Republic from Puerto Rico will bring light rain showers on Monday. The forecast for rains will affect from Samana, La Altagracia, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, La Romana, San Pedro de Macorís, Monte Plata, La Vega, Monseñor Nouel (Bonao), San Cristóbal, Azua, Barahona, Peravia (Baní), San José de Ocoa and Greater Santo Domingo. Onamet forecasts that the present humidity and hot weather will likewise continue as summer weather makes its way in. 


    Edinson Volquez pitches a no-hitter against Diamondbacks
    In what sport writers wrote up as a unique moment in baseball history, 33-year old Dominican Edinson Volquez pitched a no-hitter and a “Maddux,” having tossed less than 100 pitches (98) to complete the no-hitter defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-0 on Saturday, 3 June 2017 in Marlins Park. 

    Volquez became only the sixth Marlins player to do so. The media highlighted the irony of the no-hitter coming from the pitcher with the most losses so far this season (4.44 ERA and a 1–7 record) and after a collision during the game almost knocked him out of the game right from the start. 

    But what made the postgame celebration most moving was when Volquez dedicated his no-hitter to two of his fallen friends and former teammates, the late Royals’ Yordano Ventura and Miami’s José Fernández, who died tragically last year. Saturday would have been Ventura’s 26th birthday. 

    The game was the first no-hitter of the 2017 Major League Baseball Season. 
    Other Dominicans that have pitched no-hitters are Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, Ubaldo Jiménez, Ramón Martínez, José Jiménez and Juan Marichal. A Dominican hadn’t pitched a no-hitter since 2011. 

    https://theringer.com/2017-mlb-miami...ks-be46bcc225a
    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2...ordano-ventura
    http://www.listindiario.com/el-depor...artido-sin-hit


    Albert Pujols reaches 600 home run milestone
    Dominican ballplayer Albert Pujols became only the 9th batter in Major League Baseball to reach the 600 homerun plateau. The Los Angeles Angels slugger hit a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins helping the Angels take a 7-2 decision on Saturday, at the Anaheim, California ballpark.  The home run was served up by countryman Ervin Santana. 

    No player had reached the 600 homerun mark since 2011. USA Today also highlights that Pujols became the first player to hit a grand slam for No. 600.

    Others with 600 home runs are: Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714), Alex Rodriguez (696), Willie Mays (660), Ken Griffey Jr. (630), Jim Thome (612), Sammy Sosa (609). Of the three Dominicans, Alex Rodriguez and Sammy Sosa and 37-year old Albert Pujols still has time to become the leading Dominican slugger of all times. 

    https://www.usatoday.com/story/sport...run/102350584/


    Eddy Herrera sings merengue at JetSet Club
    Merengue fans should head this Monday, 5 June 2017 evening to the JetSet Club to dance the night away to the catchy merengues of Eddy Herrera and his band. Performing with him will be salsa singer David Kada. Performances start at 10pm. 
    Last edited by Dolores; 06-05-2017 at 11:48 AM.

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