The resignation of yet another top level government insider has rocked the ruling administration at a time when it is mobilizing a team of propaganda “gladiators” to circle the country to respond to opposition “lies.”
The latest to exit from the corridors of power is, Giacomo Tamburrelli who on Wednesday October 10 resigned as manager of the National Mortgage Bank (BHN), amid strong objections to his work as head of the National Assistance Program (PAN), which he left in August. Reports of his activities as head of PAN were featured by an investigative team from La Prensa.
Tamborelli is also Secretary General of the Ricardo Martinell led Democratic Change(CD) Party.
His departure from PAN came in the midst of revelations. of expenditures of $366.2 million wasted on poor work and it use to encourage officials to switch to the ruling party,. PAN’s role in the El Bebedero election in December 2010, when “incentives” were distributed to local voters, ranging from bicycles to bags of cement. Tamborelli played an active role in the campaign in which a CD candidate was chosen, But the result was overturned by the Electoral Commission.
.Official sources told La Prensa that the president, Ricardo Martinelli, has not yet accepted the resignation of Tamburrelli.
One source told La Prensa that there was an exchange of words between Tamburrelli and Martinelli during their meeting on Wednesday.
Att the BHN told the manager would not go to work for a week, because he was "disabled".. The last high profile resignee, Minister of the Presidency Dimitrio Papadimitriu checked into Paitilla Hospital when his resignation was announced, and earlier former Panama Mayor Bosco Vaillarino headed for The National Hospital.
Asked about the issue, the president’s communication’s spokesman, Luis Eduardo Camacho said he knew nothing about it, the same reply he gave while with the president when news broke of the Papadimitriu resignation.
The Tamburelli news came one day after lawyer Hernán García Aparicio was appointed as new deputy manager of BHN.
In July 2011, when it was obvious that the political alliance between the Panameñista and CD, parties was breaking up, and the CD needed to gain a majority in the Assembly, Tamburrelli was known as "the man with the briefcase," following his private meetings with opposition party members who jumped ship says La Prensa
While Tamburelli headed PAN the entity did important work in the constituencies of the deputies who jumped. The body also distributed food bags, bicycles, sports equipment, among ad other items, for defectors.
In September, La Prensa published reports of an investigation showing that Tamburrelli directly selected, Civil Construction Management Corp. to fix 42 rural roads.. Subsequently the roads rapidly deteriorated..A year before leaving the PAN leadership and moving to the bank, Tamburrelli, rehabilitated two kilometers of rough road wih double sealed asphalt.. The cost was half a million dollars , The tpad is The Palmitas-Los Perales, where there are no houses for the first 1.9 km, but only ranches. One of them belongs to Sergio Amaya, father of Tamburrelli
The work performed in this road contrasts with other roads across the country, where only select material used (crushed stone) to rehabilitate the roads, many of which are already showing serious deterioration.
The Panameñista opposition party's national executive has planned to lodge a criminal complaint with the Public Ministry (MP) against Tamburrelli for alleged involvement in the irregularities during his tenure at PAN, and published by La Prensa,
Opposition groups have called on the authorities to investigate all the items that "have been reported as using contracts through the National Assistance Program, that wasted 'the money' on poor quality work overruns, and expenditures intended to benefit families of high government officials”. "
The party accusation says- "taking advantage of the high cost of basic goods, we see representatives of government handing out bags of food whose actual cost is $10 and are purchased for $25 by the government." The bags are distributed by the PAN.