Hours before being dismissed by the Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced the former Secretary of Justice Dennise Longo Quiñones had recommended the appointment of an independent special prosecutor (FEI) against the president herself and several figures close to her, according to sources with direct knowledge of the situation.
Those referrals were requested back today by the agency's designated interim secretary, Wandymar Burgos Vargas, according to the people consulted, with the purpose of “returning to evaluate them. ”
Longo Quiñones' recommendation is that an FEI investigate the governor for irregularities in the provision of aid after the earthquakes that hit the southern zone in January this year. It was also recommended that an FEI be appointed against Senator Evelyn Vázquez and her husband, businessman Peter Muller.
It is unknown whether Vázquez Garced knew of the referrals when the secretary of The Governor, Antonio Pabón, called Longo Quiñones on Friday afternoon to tell him that the president was requesting his resignation. Officially, the first executive does not have to be notified of the aforementioned.
La Fortaleza declined to comment yesterday on the departure of Longo Quiñones and referred to the expressions made by the governor on Saturday, when she said that she respects the autonomy of the Heads of agency, before the versions regarding that he tried to stop some investigations that Longo Quiñones wanted to advance. He further denied that there were differences with the former Secretary of Justice.
The president of the Panel on the Independent Special Prosecutor (PFEI), former judge Nydia Cotto Vives, confirmed to El Nuevo Día that shortly after noon today an employee of the The Justice Department arrived at the PFEI headquarters in Hato Rey with six referrals. While there, and before the referrals were struck out by the panel secretary, the clerk of Justice received a call from the agency instructing him to return without delivering the referrals.
Since they had not been struck out, the PFEI could not oppose their return. Cotto Vives preferred not to comment on who the referrals involved.
The new secretary of Justice was not available this afternoon to comment on this issue.
“If the new secretary dares to change the recommendation of an FEI for the Governor, that would be a big scandal, "said a source.
El Nuevo Día knew that the relationship between Longo Quiñones and La Fortaleza had been tense for some time, especially due to the course of the investigation by the failed one. purchase of evidence from the government in the midst of the pandemic of COVID-19 a highly irregular transaction that has had a weak reaction from La Fortaleza.
Longo Quiñones is inhibited from this investigation because it involves his mother, the former Secretary of Health Concepción Quiñones. But he is in charge of the investigation to the public prosecutor Phoebe Isales, who is entirely trustworthy and directs the Division of Public Integrity.
In the past few weeks, Isales caused discomfort in La Fortaleza by citing as part of the investigation to people around the governor, including Marisol Blasco, Vázquez Garced's closest assistant. Blasco appeared at the meeting, he learned El Nuevo Día.
“The target, at the end of the day, is not Dennise Longo, it is Phoebe Isales. In the coming weeks, you have to see what they do with Isales "said one of the sources.
Another source pointed out that Isales has found multiple obstacles in the investigation.
Meanwhile, El Nuevo Día also learned that one of the triggers for the dismissal was that Longo Quiñones was asked not to drop the results of the pending investigations before the primaries on August 9 due to the impact that these possible indications could have on the political future of Vázquez Garced.
Although the governor did not offer statements to this media, during the morning, she denied in a radio interview (La-X – 100.7 FM) that Longo Quiñones' departure was after the intervention of La Fortaleza or of an official in one of the investigations carried out by the agency.
"On the contrary, my request to Secretary Wandymar Burgos is that all investigations be reached and carried out to their ultimate consequences. s and make the appropriate recommendations, "he said.
El Nuevo Día tried to contact Longo Quiñones for a reaction, but the efforts were unsuccessful.