28/12/2012 - The Panama Chamber of Commerce said that the case of Financial Pacific should be investigated by the Panama Superintendency of Securities.
The chamber said that the Superintendency is the entity that has the authority to investigate such situations, and that it must have the full support of the other authorities of the country, including the Public Ministry and the Supreme Court of Justice, in order to maintain public confidence and to safeguard the national interests of the financial center.
"This case undermines the international image of our country, since its effects are counterproductive in the attraction of investments and has a bearing on the value of shares that are quoted on the stock exchange, which ends up creating insecurity for current and future investors in Panama," the chamber said. "We join the pronouncements made by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama, the Panama Stock Market and the Panama Chambe of Capital Markets for due transparency and a quick, complete investigation that clarifies what happened with Financial Pacific."
Panama Stock Market Manager Roberto Brenes today called on the Supreme Court to resolve as soon as possible the Financial Pacific case.
Brenes questioned why the court failed to allow an external auditor handle the case, which is what he said is needed to resolve it.
Brenes said that the court's involvement has increased suspicion and raised concerns about the destruction of the assets of investors.
For Brenes, this case gives a bad example, because on the one hand Panama has promoted its reputation as a good financial center and, on the other hand, "we have a judicial system that does not understand this case."
"The country deserves a better handling of transparency with respect to this case," he said.
VICE MINISTER SPEAKS OUT
Vice Minister of Social Development Niurka Palacios lashed out today at La Prensa for publishing allegations by Financial Pacific employee Mayte Pellegrini about President Ricardo Martienlli.
Palacios accused La Prensa of wanting to misinform the population and "distort average news." According to the official, the newspaper "misrepresents things that are not true."
The official added that such actions will affect the country and its growth. Palacios said that people might come to think that Panama is a sea of problems when
- according to The New York Times - it is one of the best countries to live.
Palacios inadvertently said that Martinelli has shares in petaquilla Minerals, as La prensa has alleged, but later amended her statement to say that she did not know if this is the case.
Ventura Vega, director of transit agency ATTT, said that "we have to be careful" with these publications, because they can affect the image of the country.
"Making publications of this type do not help the image of the country," stressed the official. The head of the ATTT said that it is necessary that "we care for freedom of expression, but it must be handled with care and caution."
'IT IS A SHAME'
On the other hand, Vice President of the Partido Popular Carlos Ernesto Gonzalez De La Lastra stated that "we are really filled with shame" by the scandal of Financial Pacific, which allegedly involves the Panamanian president.
"The country's national wealth is what is at stake," warned the politician.
"We have a president and a presidential family with unlimited greed. They have a great amount of business because they paralyze the competitors using the law," he added.
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