President peter castle appears today before Congress to give his message to the nation by National Holidays and account for a first year of government overwhelmed by alleged cases of corruption involving him, his family and people from his closest environment.
The foundations of his management have been shaken again after the delivery of Bruno Pacheco, former Secretary General of the Presidency. This has committed the president in illicit acts related, for example, to the payment of bribes for promotions in the police.
LOOK: Lady Camones will preside over Congress at a key stage of political crisis [CRÓNICA]
In addition, five tax investigations weigh on Castillo Terrones. Four are due to events that occurred during his duties: the Puente Tarata cases, promotions in the Armed Forces and Petro-Perú, as well as the abrupt changes in the Ministry of the Interior, for which he is charged with the alleged crimes of criminal organization, collusion , influence peddling and personal concealment. A fifth investigation is for the alleged plagiarism of his master’s thesis, investigating the commission of the crimes of aggravated plagiarism, generic falsehood and undue payment.
Throughout his administration, Castillo has had four Cabinets with seriously questioned members. At the moment, seven ministers maintain tax investigations in process. Meanwhile, there are still people close to him involved in acts of corruption who are at large: his nephew Fray Vásquez and the former Minister of Transportation Juan Silva.
It is that part of the stage that Castillo has to make announcements. Yesterday, in his office, the president received from his advisers and reviewed a project referring to the advancement of general elections, according to a source from Trade.
The fact does not sound unreasonable considering that Prime Minister Aníbal Torres himself stated that, for the message he gave to Congress on March 15, Castillo had prepared to present an initiative for the advancement of elections. However, he backed off “at the last minute” to make “one last attempt at agreement.”
The issue, as has been known, has been on the table again in the government, although at the moment with divided positions and without a final decision. “We are going with the spirit of consensus, not with the intention of hitting the country. The country needs peace. Bringing up elections is disrupting democratic processes and that is not correct,” said another government source.
Despite all the questioning of the head of state and the corruption investigations against him, another palace source asserted: “The message is one of strengthening democracy, balance of powers, relentless against citizen insecurity and the fight against corruption.”
Other official sources commented that, among the topics to be mentioned in the message, are the reform of the pension system and the process of joining the police. In June, during a speech in Yauyos, Castillo announced that his message “will bring more than a surprise.” Meanwhile, the president maintains the intention of making at least five changes in the Cabinet culminating the commemorations for National Holidays.
“We are going to listen to him, we will see what he has to tell us specifically about corruption issues,” declared the president of Congress, Lady Camones. Thus, she marked the center of the expectation around the message of the head of state. For his part, Guillermo Bermejo, a legislator from Democratic Peru who has held several meetings with Castillo, said he hoped “it will be a call for peace, a call for a truce between the powers of the State.”
In dialogue with TradeHernando Guerra García, spokesman for Fuerza Popular, indicated that his caucus has few expectations because Castillo has little credibility. “Hopefully we can hear that he resigns from the presidency. We do not understand how he could talk to us about the fight against corruption when, based on Pacheco’s statements and the investigations, he is involved, it would be a contradiction. It will be very difficult to disassociate from that, ”he said. He noted that “we are in days that can be definitive for this government.”
For Jorge Montoya, spokesman for Renovación Popular, the president should refer centrally to the cases of corruption that involve him. “More than that, it should be his commitment to telling the truth, his commitment to justice. If he is not directly involved in corruption cases, state so; and if he has it, announce his resignation,” he noted.
José Williams, spokesman for Avanza País, agreed that a central theme in the message would have to be the fight against corruption, “but I think it is not going to do so, because it is getting more and more involved.” He limited that other axes of the speech should be economic reactivation and social inclusion.
In the opinion of Eduardo Salhuana, spokesman for the Alliance for Progress, it is difficult to expect anything substantial from President Castillo considering his “rather poor management.” “The issue of corruption must be central, it is very complicated for him. Bruno Pacheco is very close to his person, his statements can complicate the stability of the president. We will see if he demarcates himself forcefully from Pacheco. And we will see what he tells us about his government management, ”he said.
In the reading of Karol Paredes, from Acción Popular, other issues to be addressed –in addition to measures against corruption– are citizen security, economic reactivation, unemployment, education and health. “I hope that the statements made by Mr. Pacheco, Karelim López and Zamir Villaverde send evidence that has to do with all the accused persons. And once and for all the issue is clarified so as not to be in this dilemma, because we are doing a lot of damage to our country, ”he stressed.
Ungrouped legislator Carlos Anderson said he didn’t expect anything good from Castillo. “Right now, he is in a panic because of what he knows is coming,” he asserted.
It is precisely Anderson who, as a protest against Castillo, proposed that the legislators withdraw from their seats when the president enters the chamber to give his message.
“I am going to wait for the president to reach Congress. The moment he has to give his speech, I am going to withdraw from Congress as a gesture of citizen indignation. The president cannot come to Congress and pretend that nothing is happening. He has to understand that there is citizen outrage. Is he going to come to us to talk about everything that has really happened? No,” he explained to Trade.
Consulted by this newspaper, legislators from other benches disagreed with this initiative, but they did not rule out any measure of protest against the president. Guerra García indicated that Popular Force does not rule out any action, because “there are several ways to demonstrate without being spoiled and respecting the moment.”
“We are going to evaluate, but I consider that the investiture is different from the character. The character is something else,” she opined. On her part, her colleague Patricia Chirinos declared to the press: “I would like to retire. We haven’t discussed it in the bench, but we have to take some action”.
Karol Paredes said she preferred to listen to the president and take note of what he mentioned, although she admitted: “A year into his administration, I don’t know what his evaluation will be, his balance, because we haven’t seen anything.”
Jorge Montoya also pointed out that congressmen should listen to the president whether they like it or not, since there are other ways of expressing rejection of the president’s attitude. “I think that you have to keep a level of respect, there are other ways to exercise political control,” said Eduardo Salhuana.
“It is an act that can be quite conflictive, confrontational. But I think we must respect his investiture as president and he must come to the Palace to give his report, ”Enrique Wong, from Podemos Peru, told the press.
Finally, the legislators consulted expressed themselves in favor of evaluating the presidential vacancy based on the signs of corruption that continue to appear against Castillo Terrones.