Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Pierluisi Tells UN Panel Consent for Current Status ‘Has Been Revoked | La Fortaleza Says Doping Test Accusations Against Adviser Based on False Rumors | Nationalist Says His Off-Island Travel Is Restricted by U.S. Authorities - The Star

La Fortaleza Says Doping Test Accusations Against Adviser Based on False Rumors - The Star


The chief of staff at La Fortaleza
Ingrid Vila on Monday rejected
what she referred to as malicious accusations issued in various
media and social networks against a
labor affairs adviser to the governor,
Arturo Ríos Escribano, claiming he
might have tested positive for drugs
in recent tests to which La Fortaleza
employees were submitted.
“The rumors are false,” Vila said.
“Ríos Escribano is a professional and
serious attorney, as has been proven
during his tenure. He is a young Puerto Rican with a genuine commitment
to the country and with workers and
labor groups with which he works directly.”
She stated that local laws and
regulations do not allow her to give
specifi c information about the people
who tested positive when doping tests
were conducted at La Fortaleza a few
weeks ago.
“However,” she said, “we cannot
allow the tainting, without reason, of
the reputation of a young professional
like Ríos Escribano. He has my trust,
support and respect. We therefore
soundly reject the attempts made by
those who intend to sully the reputation and credibility of this dedicated
and descent professional.”
Public policy and regulations
mandate all employees of La Fortaleza
to submit to surprise drug screenings
during their term of service. Legally,
all test results are private and help is
offered to those who may have a need
for addiction-related treatment.
La Fortaleza administrator Harold González also stated that consonant with public policy and regulation,
La Fortaleza did conduct doping tests
for all employees working in the executive mansion. He said that in several
cases, the test result was positive for
presence of controlled substances and
that those people were separated from
their posts and relieved of their responsibilities immediately. He added
that nonetheless, in compliance with
the laws applicable to the administration of these tests, the administration
cannot reveal any information leading
to the identity of any person nor can
the results be made available to the public for scrutiny or disclosure.


Pierluisi Tells UN Panel Consent for Current Status ‘Has Been Revoked

10 Tuesday, June 18, 2013 The Star

Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi
spoke at the United Nations
(UN) on Monday declaring that
on Nov. 6, 2012, Puerto Rico withdrew its consent for the current
political status of Puerto Rico as a
commonwealth of the United Sates.
“On November 6, 2012, Puerto Rico exercised its right to selfdetermination by submitting a free
and democratic vote on the status
issue,” Pierluisi, who is also president of the pro-statehood New
Progressive Party (NPP), testifi ed
before the UN’s Decolonization
Committee. Results show that 54
percent of voters do not want to
continue with the current status.”
Pierluisi said the plebiscite
results also show that among the
three options to the current status recognized internationally, 61
percent supported statehood and
for the fi rst time in history, more
people want Puerto Rico to become a state of the United States
than those who want to continue
with the status quo.
The resident commissioner
said he testifi ed “on behalf of all
men and women who proudly
carry the Puerto Rican fl ag in one
hand and the American fl ag in the
other, and they know that their
love for Puerto Rico and their
love for the United States complement rather than contradict each
Pierluisi said the statehood
movement and the independence movement share views on the
fundamental principles of the issue.
“I want to clarify an important point. At fi rst glance, those
who want Puerto Rico to become
a state of the United States and
those who want Puerto Rico to
become a sovereign nation seem
to have little in common, given
our different visions for the future of Puerto Rico,” he said. “But
we actually agree on some fundamental aspects, such as the need
to change the current relationship
with the U.S.”
He said that even if the United States adapted a constitution
for Puerto Rico in 1952 and was
relieved of the requirement to report on it, under Article 73 of the
Charter of the United Nations of
1953, Puerto Rico is still a territory
without real self-government.
“As a resident commissioner,
one regularly suffers fi rsthand the
injustices of our current status,”
Pierluisi said. “Every day, I have
to struggle to ensure that Puerto
Rico is not excluded from all bills
for job creation, health and border
safety, among others, which automatically include the 50 states. As
my colleagues in the House of Representatives vote for legislation
that directly affects life in Puerto Rico, I can only be a spectator,
even though I represent more than
fi ve times the number of constituents represented by some of my
fellow statesmen. I must depend
on the good faith of the U.S. senators who were elected to protect
the interests of their constituents,
not ours, and of course, that good
faith is not always present.
“And I must seek the assistance of a president who, even
with the affi nity that he may show
toward Puerto Rico, is bound to
earn votes in favor of the Democratic party.”
The NPP leader said the territorial status of Puerto Rico is the
root of social and economic problems that affect the quality of life
on the island and that when the
people voted for statehood, “the
current status lost its democratic
He explained that 61 percent
of the people of Puerto Rico support statehood and for the fi rst
time in history, “more people
want Puerto Rico to become a
U.S. state than those who want to
continue with the current status.”
Pierluisi also stated that the U.S.
government is legally and morally bound to respond through
legislation to Puerto Rico and to
therein offer one or more options
for a dignifi ed and democratic
“But my faith is not blind,”
he said. “Substantial action is required in Washington. Short of a
specifi c and appropriate action
plan by the government of the
United States, we will not hesitate to raise this issue in the United
Nations and other relevant international forums. As a leader of a
party that aspires for Puerto Rico
to become an integral part of the
American family, I have no desire to publicly criticize the United
States. Nevertheless, it is more
important to me to ensure a fair
deal for my constituents, which I
fi nd to be the most correct course
of action to take, politically.”
Pierluisi expressed his conviction that the international community, as well as the U.S. government, should respect the will of
the people of the unincorporated
territory of Puerto Rico as it is consistent with the UN Charter and
Resolution 1541, under which the
international community should
support a process of self-determination resulting in a dignifi ed
and fully democratic status for
Puerto Rico, either statehood or
full sovereignty. The principle of
self-determination requires it, he

Nationalist Says His Off-Island Travel Is Restricted by U.S. Authorities

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