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Santo Domingo.- The use and destination of taxpayers’ money in the Social Assistance Fund received by the 32 senators in 2009 reveal several irregularities, and the lawmakers handle it at their discretion.

The senators’ report notes that in 2009 they spent RD$359.0 million from the Fund known as the Barrilito (little barrel), the monthly budget for their senatorial office and to pay their personnel.

Some senators spent the money to project their image by paying people and advertising companies for ads and hosted activities in hotels and restaurants, including some paid with high figure personal checks and to close friends.

In many cases the senators reveal discretionary use and lack of transparency in the handling of the public’s money assigned through the Senate.

Former ruling PLD party senator Francisco Radhamés Peña, from Valverde, spent RD$10.6 million from January to December 2009.

He paid RD$43,000 for a vehicle insurance; tabs in the restaurants El Meson and El Rancho from RD$8,000 to RD$23,900, and several checks in his name: one for RD$51,772 and another for RD$111,519. He also wrote several checks to Joel Lopez to allegedly help several people with cash.

Newspaper Hoy reports that it obtained the data from the Senate Free Access to Public Information Office in PDF and CDs, but don’t specify the beneficiaries’ ID numbers or addresses.

The report notes that the checks for high sums also went to individuals close to former ruling PLD party senator from San Pedro province Alejandro Williams, who paid a Mr. Leonardo Sanchez more than RD$2 million in less than two months, in separate disbursements of RD$150,000 to RD$250,000. A Mr. Rudy A. Peguero was also paid RD$250,000 and more than RD$3 million.

The opposition PRSC party senator Felix Vásquez (designated to form part of the Council to choose the Supreme Court’s justices) reports monthly fixed payments as high as RD$40,000 for several people and three personal checks for RD$100,000 .

San Cristóbal senator Tommy Galan paid RD$1,000, RD$2,000 and RD$3,000 to hundreds of people and sums of RD$300 to moto-taxi drivers and RD$500 to a shoeshine boy.

Puerto Plata senator Francis Vargas wrote several checks to Agripino Francisco of from RD$194,000 and paid for ads, including one on May 28, 2009 for RD$425,000.

Pedernales senator Dionis Sanchez paid to several restaurant tab and several checks for RD$150,000 and RD$314,000 to Gervacio Antonio González, and occasional aid for more than RD$50,000.

Espaillat Senator Luis René Canaán paid Marien Almánzar RD$178,551 on December 17, 2009, while his Peravia province colleague Wilton Guerrero paid incentives to his aides and security personnel, and made several payments for ads, a tendency also revealed by Monseñor Noel senator Felix Nova and Vásquez.

Jesus (Chu) Vásquez, ex senator of the opposition PRD party for Maria Trinidad Sanchez, wrote several checks in his name and also several monthly checks for RD$221,000 as fixed aid to John Rivas, who handled the then senator’s account

Former PRD senator from Espaillat province, Andres Batista, despite making many contributions to social organizations in his province, gave RD$250,000 to Cecilia Hiciano, as well as RD$270,000 to Frank Tereza.

Elías Piña province senator Adriano Sanchez Roa wrote several checks of RD$350,000, RD$250,000 and RD$115,000 to Jose Maria Lara, while his El Seibo colleague Roberto Rodriguez, did the same for Claudio Herrera, with monthly checks of RD$420,000 and RD$10,000.

Lots of gas money

In almost all cases a fixed monthly aid as high as RD$40,000 to one person is common, to be handed out to dozens of beneficiaries in amounts of RD$1,000 and RD$2,000 as fixed aid and to pay for fuel.

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7 comment(s)
Written by: juanb, 5 Oct 2010 11:13 AM
From: Dominican Republic
Thieves, crooks, and liars almost every one of them. But they sure are rich.

The highest paid, most worthless legislators in the world. We got 'em
Written by: JimHarrington This user is banned, 5 Oct 2010 11:16 AM
From: United States
The Dominican people got what they voted for in the last election.
So stop all this crying and get over it. You will get screwed again and again.
Unless you become a Honduras or Ecuador and start taking charge.
Where is Pablo Duarte when you need him.
Written by: JimHarrington This user is banned, 5 Oct 2010 1:11 PM
From: United States
Anything but spend money on education and health care.
A corrupt society with only one way to go and that is down into the gehttos.
No more aid from christian groups and other outside agencies.
Why allow these bastards to live a life of luxury and the population to live in squaller.
Written by: juanb, 5 Oct 2010 1:21 PM
From: Dominican Republic

Just imagine that you had a large barrel filled with money and you could reach in and take out as much as you wanted whenever you wanted.
That is what we allow these thieves to do. What a joke on us.the only problem is that the only ones laughiing are these criminals.
Written by: gmiller261, 5 Oct 2010 2:08 PM
From: United States

"lawmakers handle it at their discretion. " discretion implies that these people have a sense of morals, which they do not.

The DR must have the highest majority of stupid people if these political minorities can transparently get away with this.
Written by: hellborn25, 6 Oct 2010 1:33 AM
From: United States, United states, homes of taxes and every foul philosophy on the planet.
this is typical dominican behavior , i seen it a millón times in the washinton heights area, borrow some to keep you above water there and borrow from the next person here and the Pay some debt it now , but still owe the loan shark a ton of money You can Pay back! its a never ending saga of irresponsible people who cannot manage a country with there stupid temptations and greed .
Written by: PeterPaul, 18 Nov 2011 8:28 AM
From: United Kingdom
These taxpayer must be cheked to know how must money these senators managed to save by this.I like it that you share this greatly helpful post with us.
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