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Thread: DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 17 May 2018

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    Default DR1 Daily News - Thursday, 17 May 2018

    DR1 Daily News next update on 21 May 2018
    President Medina wants to recall Political Parties Bill
    Development or open primaries?
    Dominicans soon to not need visa to travel to Uruguay
    Even Chamber of Accounts says government is taking on too much debt
    Head of Banks’ Association wants promotion of Anti-Money Laundering Law
    China and DR meet to discuss students in Taiwan
    Eduardo Estrella says DR was “ungrateful” to Taiwan
    Piccini calls on Soto Jimenez to testify in Tucano case
    Judges give woman a 30-year sentence for attempted murder
    Police arrest man who allegedly killed medical student
    Carla Massiel’s mom calls for suspending judge
    Radio innovator Teo Veras passes away
    Trump lauds bravery of Dominican policewoman killed on the job
    Mauricio wins National District Superior Basketball Championship
    DR loses game 2 to Korea in Nations League volleyball
    Beatriz Piron stars in Pan Am Weightlifting Championship
    Classic music on Sunday at the Parque Colón in Santiago
    Comedy at MicroTeatro Santo Domingo

    DR1 Daily News next update on 21 May 2018
    The next DR1 Daily News update will be published on Monday, 21 May 2018. The Monday issue will compile headline news for the previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Breaking news can be followed 24/7 in the Forums. See the DR1 Forum at

    President Medina wants to recall Political Parties Bill
    The Political Parties Bill recently was sent to a special commission at the Chamber of Deputies. The deputies are awaiting the recommendations of the commission. The commission has all of this month to render a report.

    The snag in the bill is about whether or not to instate open primaries as the over the board mechanism for political parties to choose their presidential candidates. The two leaders of the PLD – President Danilo Medina and former President Leonel Fernandez – differ on the issue.

    The Senate, where the followers of President Medina are majority, earlier had passed the bill with the open primaries clauses and ordered the Central Electoral Board (JCE) organize these.

    From the Senate, the bill passed to the Chamber of Deputies. But in the Chamber of Deputies neither those in favor of open primaries or those against have enough votes to reach the 2/3 of the quorum needed for the bill to pass or be rejected. This has been demonstrated by the discussions being halted for the lack of quorum.

    Recognizing the stalemate, on Wednesday, 16 May 2018, the legal advisor to the President, Flavio Dario Espinal read to the public the letter President Danilo Medina has sent to the National Congress proposing the discussions start from scratch again and that the Political Parties Bill be discussed by a bicameral (Senate and Chamber of Deputies) commission. The bad news is that the bicameral discussions regarding the same bill have been happening for around 20 years with no results.

    The Wednesday, 16 May 2018 letter is addressed to the president of the Senate, Reinaldo Pared and the president of the Chamber of Deputies Ruben Maldonado. In the letter, Medina acknowledges the open primaries clause has impeded the passing of the bill. He defends the open primaries saying they are more transparent and participative than the present model where political parties use their own voting lists instead of the voting list of the Central Electoral Board. He said that inside the political parties there are not the trustworthy mechanisms that are needed to mediate the internal election conflicts. It is implied that he trusts the JCE would serve this purpose.

    President Medina then acknowledges that while those who oppose the open primaries do not have enough votes to impose their view, they do have enough votes or power to impede its passing.

    Detractors say the presidential proposal is contradictory with the procedures that establish that the bill be discussed in the Chamber of Deputies. If it is amended, it would return to the Senate for review.

    Development or open primaries?
    An editorial in Diario Libre on 16 May 2018, asks whether the RD$5.6 billion estimated cost of the open primaries backed by President Danilo Medina’s followers in Congress would not be better used supporting development. The JCE has estimated that if the Chamber of Deputies gives the green light to simultaneous open primaries to be organized by the Central Electoral Board (JCE) for all political parties, this would put a heavy burden on the country’s finances.

    As ordered, the 2020 general elections requires the holding open primaries on 17 November 2019, municipal elections with preferential vote of city councilors on 16 February 2020 and presidential and congressional elections on 16 May 2020. The cost of these elections is estimated at more than RD$12 billion. The amount for politics climbs to RD$16 billion when the RD$4 billion allotted for the political parties is added in, as reported by the local media.

    The elective positions are broken down in 1 president and vice president, 32 senators, 190 deputies, 20 Latin American Parliament positions, 158 mayors, 1,164 city councilors, 234 district directors, 730 district members, and 1,577 replacements, for 4,106 positions. Multiply this by the average three pre-candidates per position, and 26 political parties and you have the 320,268 participants opting to be elected.

    Diario Libre in an editorial wonders about all that could be built with RD$5.6 billion -- 1,800 school rooms, or 40 hospitals, highways….

    Dominicans soon to not need visas to travel to Uruguay
    Foreign Minister Miguel Vargas was in Montevideo, Uruguay on 16 May 2018 where he signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation of Consular Services with the Ministry of Foreign Relations of Uruguay. The next step is for the Minister of Foreign Relations Rodolfo Nin Novoa of Uruguay to visit the Dominican Republic in the second half of the year for the signing of the agreement that would eliminate the requirement of tourism and business visas for Dominicans and Uruguayans. Vargas says this will mean an increase in the flow of tourists and investors between both countries.

    The agreement also establishes a task group and the training of officers of both ministries, the exchange of information, experiences and documentation, and development of joint projects in consular matters.

    During the meeting in Uruguay, Vargas and the Dominican delegation also focused on the possibility of the Dominican Republic advancing to member status in the Latin American Integration Association (ALADI). At present the DR is an observer nation. Also participating for the Dominican Republic were Alejandro de la Peña and Hugo Rivera.

    Even Chamber of Accounts says government is taking on too much debt
    The Chamber of Accounts, the government auditing office, indicates in its report to the National Congress regarding the execution of the 2017 National Budget, that the Medina administration has showed weakness regarding its accountability and compliance with the financial parameters established in the budget law and above all in regards to taking on debt.

    Diario Libre reports that the Chamber of Accounts acknowledges efforts of the Tax Agency have resulted in an increase in tax receipts without imposing new taxes, but at the same time stresses that indebtedness last year was above the limits defined in Public Credit Law 6-06. Specifically, at the close of the fiscal year the amount of debt borrowed was RD$176.4 which is equivalent to 4.96% of GDP. The Chamber of Accounts says that government rules establish a limit of 3% of GDP for government borrowing.

    The Chamber of Accounts calls for the convening of the Council on Public Debt in order for it to recommend to the Executive Branch, “the adoption of special measures to limit all new increases of the public debt.” This will be in accordance paragraph (A) of article 11 in Public Credit Law 6-06.

    The report to the National Congress also notes this situation regarding the issuing of treasury notes that surpass the level that the National Congress had authorized in 2017 within the framework of the National Budget Law. The Treasury has obtained RD$47.6 billion in funding from borrowing using different instruments, when the Ministry of Hacienda had set a limit of RD$28 billion for the issuing of treasury bonds or contracting of other measures of financing. This means that in 2017 the Treasury issued 70% more than it was legally authorized to do.

    The Chamber of Accounts also noted that there were inconsistencies in the numbers in the financial statements by the leaders of the financial administration and issued a call to continue the efforts to guarantee the proper financial reconciliation of the different accounts in the budget.

    The Chamber of Accounts also called on Customs Agency and Tax Agency to register all of their transactions in the Financial Management Information System.

    Head of Banks’ Association wants promotion of Anti-Money Laundering Law
    The Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Law is requiring more regulations, which implies there will be a need to hire more personnel and invest in technologies for the nation’s banking system, and this all translates to greater operational costs of the financial system. According to José Lopez Valdez, the president of the Banking Association (ABA), speaking at the IX Congress on Money Laundering, sponsored by the Americas Bank (BancAmerica), said that this is a new law that is broader and contains new penalties and is causing uncertainty in the public and therefore, it should be well studied and debated.

    On the positive side, referring to the impact that this law is having on the future of the Dominican Republic, he said that the Association expects a decrease in operations related to criminal activity.

    The ABA president, Juan Carlos Medina, a corporate vice president for compliance at the B.O.D. Financial Group, said he also supports the law, saying that in the future, it will spur healthier economic development in the Dominican Republic. He nevertheless, forecasts a contraction in the economy, as new controls are implemented.

    China and DR meet to discuss students in Taiwan
    Representatives from the governments of the Dominican Republic and the People’s Republic of China met on 15 May 2018 with representatives of the parents of young Dominicans who are studying in Taiwan on scholarships. The recent break in relations between Taiwan and the Dominican Republic created serious concerns for the parents of the students regarding the future of their children.

    According to the Diario Libre and other newspapers the two governments provided guarantees that the scholarships would be honored and the expenses covered.

    The meeting was chaired by the director of the department of Community Affairs of the Administrative Ministry of the President, Greybby Cuello, and the representative of the Chinese Office of Commercial Development, Fu Xinrong. Natalia Perez and Carol Lina’s Jimenez, who work in the departments of International Scholarships and Alumni at the Ministry of Higher Education (MESCyT) were also present together with Raymond Novo from the Ministry of the Presidency. Cuello called on all the parents whose children are studying in Taiwan to contact the Administrative Ministry of the Presidency in order to obtain more information.

    The government of Taiwan had announced a suspension of the scholarship funding once the Dominican government announced it was severing relations with Taiwan.

    Eduardo Estrella says DR was “ungrateful” to Taiwan
    According to the well-known political figure Eduardo Estrella, the founder of the Dominicans for Change (DXC) party, the Dominican government was “ungrateful” towards Taiwan, when it unexpectedly broke relations last week with its former partner.

    Estrella said that the Dominican recognition of the People’s Republic of China was especially unfortunate considering the fact that just a few months ago the country had received 90 SUVs, two helicopters and 100 motorcycles that were donated by Taiwan to the Ministry of Defense.

    Estrella noted that the spokesman for the Presidential Palace (Roberto Rodriguez Marchena announced on 30 April 2018 that they had just informed the ambassador from Taiwan moments before making the public announcement about the break in relations and the forthcoming signing of diplomatic ties with the PRC.

    Estrella said that the Dominican government has been continually referring to the expected arrival of millions of Chinese tourists that, in his opinion, is just never going to happen.

    Estrella said that he is not opposed to the new relationship with the People’s Republic of China. But, he warned that the Dominican Republic needs to prepare itself in order to deal with this new commercial partner because the Dominican Republic is at a very real disadvantage in every aspect.

    Piccini calls on Soto Jimenez to testify in Tucano case
    Dominican Air Force Colonel Carlos Picini Nuñez asked the Fourth Chamber for Instruction of the National District to include as witnesses in the Embraer-Super Tucano case, former Minister of the Armed to Forces, Lieutenant General José Miguel Soto Jimenez as well as a nephew of Senator René Canaan Rojas. Soto Jiménez had served as Dominican ambassador in Taiwan until relations with Taiwan were severed on 30 April 2018.

    Piccini says that if there were bribes for acquiring the Brazilian aircraft, then they were paid through the Presidency of the Republic, the Ministry of Hacienda and the Senate.

    In a deposition filed on 11 May, Piccini who is the only person currently in jail for the US$3.5 million paid in bribes paid by the Brazilian Aeronautical Company (Embraer) for the purchase and sale of eight planes by the Dominican government, it was stated that it was the President of the Republic in 2007 (Leonel Fernández) who authorized then Minister of the Armed Forces, Ramon Antonio Aquino Garcia to sign an addendum to the contract for acquiring the Tucano aircraft.

    With the testimony of Soto Jimenez and Rafael Guillermo Bueno Vasquez, the former Air Force chief of staff, said he will be able to “prove that they were the persons who conceived the project of the Super Tucano aircraft and this was not a project thought up by Mister Carlos Picini Nuñez.”

    The document goes on to list testimony by a series of persons who have been investigated regarding this purchase of over US$90 million.

    Judges give woman a 30-year sentence for attempted murder
    At a time when murderers are receiving 20-year sentences, the judges at the Collegiate Tribunal for Puerto Plata handed down a 30-year prison sentence to a woman who was found guilty of attempted murder of her former lover in July 2017. This is the maximum sentence contained in the Penal Code and was applied to Ramona Montero who tried to kill Thomas Antonio Mejia Martinez.

    A press release by the Attorney General says that the tribunal, headed by magistrate Venezia Rojas, found Montero guilty after reviewing convincing evidence, including documents and testimony from the prosecutors. In the press communiqué, the Attorney General explains that during the development of the trial the Justice Department showed beyond a reasonable doubt that Ramona Montero was the one who threw acid on the victim while he was sleeping and then hit him with a bottle and began striking him with a knife.

    The communiqué said that only the rapid intervention by neighbors and the 911 System made it possible to save the victim’s life. The press release also says that the sentence will be served at the Correctional and Rehabilitation Center For Women in Rafey, Santiago.

    Police arrest man who allegedly killed medical student
    The Police announced the arrest of Air Force captain Narciso Sánchez Jiménez accused of the murder of 24-year old Yulissa Merdely Acosta a medical student. Sanchez Jimenez was arrested in the evening of Tuesday, 15 May 2018. Investigators tracked him down through the bullets found in the deceased woman. The captain is accused of murdering the student during a row on the Malecón.

    Spokesman for the Police, Colonel Frank Durán Mejía, said the captain has admitted shooting at the couple after their vehicles touched on the Malecón. Sánchez is accused of firing the shots that killed the medical student and injured her boyfriend 32-year old Edgar Laito on Monday, 14 May in the evening.

    The captain belonged to the Security Command at the San Isidro Air Base. He was assigned to the Instituto de Desarrollo y Crédito Cooperativo (Idecoop).

    As reported by the spokesman for the Police, Sánchez Jiménez believed that he was being assaulted. The colonel said that after nudging the vehicle, Yulissa and her boyfriend sped off. He said he was not aware that his shots had killed a person.

    Minister of Defense, Mayor General Ruben Dario Paulino Sem announced he requested the decommissioning of the Air Force captain.

    Carla Massiel’s mom calls for suspending judge
    The mother of 10-year old murdered child Carla Massiel has requested that Judge Hilda Sánchez be suspended from her position on the Judicial Power Council (CPJ). Diolandita Cabrera, mother of Carla Massiel, objected to Sanchez’s decision to exclude suspect Liliana Santana from the murder case.

    Moreover, Cabrera’s lawyer, Plutarco Jaquez has filed a motion asking for a disciplinary hearing to the judge for dereliction of duty. He says he has proof, including a CD with the taping of a meeting between representatives of Liliana Santana with another person negotiating for her to be excluded from the judicial case and making available money for the judges.

    While excluding Santana from the case, the judge ordered the hearing to start and accuses Darwin Trinidad and Juan Cabral of the murder.

    Radio innovator Teo Veras passes away
    The man recognized with modernizing radio productions in the Dominican Republic, 67-year old Teo Veras died of a heart attack at dawn of 17 May 2018 in Santo Domingo.

    Founder of the 91.1 FM radio station with its contemporary music in English and morning talk show (El programa matutino de Teo Veras) from 6:30 to 10am and many other ventures, Veras is also recognized for his preparing hundreds of other radio broadcasters.

    Trump lauds bravery of Dominican policewoman killed on the job
    President Donald Trump described Dominican policewoman Miosotis Familia as one of the bravest heroines that he has ever heard of.

    The US President, who pointed out the mother and children of Familia, on Tuesday in Washington, DC during ceremonies marking the National Day of Fallen Police, said that when he was informed that they were in the audience he decided to call them up. He greeted and hugged Familia’s mother Adriana Valoy, to whom he expressed the gratitude and admiration of an entire nation for the sacrifice of her daughter.

    Trump was speaking at the 37th ceremony that honored the fallen peace officers. Speaking of the fallen officer trump noted how she loved to work and how she was respected by everyone and noted for the children of the fallen officers that their parents are among the bravest Americans who had ever lived.

    Trump, who had not planned on calling up the relatives of the fallen Dominican officer, was speaking about the ambushes which killed police, when he saw the family of the Dominican officer and invited them to join him at the microphone on the presidential podium. He went on to say that when people got to know the family, they realized how incredible this officer was. He said “it is a great honor to have you (the family) here today.”

    Officer Familia was promoted to detective grade after her death. She was killed for the simple reason that she was a cop on duty in one of the most violent areas of the Bronx by a criminal with a long history of mental problems.

    Mauricio Báez wins National District Superior Basketball Championship
    With a 78-66 victory over Club Rafael Barrias, the Club Mauricio Baez swept the finals 4-0. This is the team’s 7th championship. Last year, Mauricio Baez had lost to the Club Rafael Barias. Contributing to the win on Tuesday, 15 May 2018, were Zak Irvin with 21 points, Gerardo Suero 20 points, and Juan Miguel Suero 17 points.

    DR loses game 2 to Korea in Nations League volleyball
    Playing in the Nations League tournament in Ningbo, China, the Dominican women’s volleyball team were a tough match against Korea that battled until winning 3-2 in the 5th set (26-24, 25-27, 21-25,25-14, 15-12). Earlier, the DR had lost to China. The best players for the DR were Brayelin Martinez, who scored a game-high 31 points; Gaila Gonzalez who contributed 17 points, while middle blocker Jineiry Martinez chipped in with 14.

    The tournament website highlights that given that the teams were closely ranked (Dominican Republic, 9th and Korea, 10th in the world, the match was always expected to be close, but that the fans were treated to a heart-stopping thriller, with the result in the balance right until the very end.

    The DR is one of 16 teams from across the globe playing in the FIVB Volleyball Nations League. The teams are competing in a preliminary round over five weeks in a total of 20 pools of four teams each. The Dominican Republic is in Pool 2 that is being played in Ningbo, China. The Dominican team is matching teams from China, Belgium, and South Korea from 15-17 May 2018. Pending is the game against Belgium.

    See more details on the game at:

    Beatriz Pirón stars in Pan Am Weightlifting Championship
    Beatriz Pirón, competing in the 53 kg category, won two gold medals in her category at the Panamerican Weightlifting Championships taking place in Santo Domingo at the Mirador del Este sports park installations. Pirón previously had competed in the 48 kg category.

    The championship is taking place from 14-18 May 2018. The tournament is sanctioned as qualifying event to Peru Pan American Games that will take place participate from 26 July to 11 August 2019 in Lima, Peru.

    Classic music on Sunday at the Parque Colón in Santiago
    The Fundación Sinfonietta del Cibao announces a classic music concert at 630pm on Sunday, 20 May 2018 at the Parque Colón in Santiago de los Caballeros. The concert will be directed by Maestro Guillermo Mota Curiel. Arrangements for the concert are made by Eugenio Van der Horst and Juan Colón. The concert is dedicated to mothers. Soprano Janette Marquez will have a stellar role during the concert.

    Comedy at MicroTeatro Santo Domingo
    MicroTeatro Santo Domingo presents “Hora de Jugar” on 17 May 2018. The short comedy stars actors Katyuska Licairac and Diego Vicos. The play takes around 15 minutes and is presented to groups of 15 spectators at a time.

    Shows are at 8:30, 9:30, 10:30 and 11:30pm at the location at Calle José Reyes 107 in the Colonial City. Shows are Thursday to Sunday.
    Last edited by Dolores; 05-17-2018 at 09:58 AM.

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