Public Prosecutor’s Office to investigate Matheu’s corruption Allegations

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By Marco Echevarria

A new line of inquiry against the Sesal will be open from next Monday. José Manuel Matheu would be summoned to support the complaints he made

The Public Prosecutor’s Office will open a line of investigation in the Ministry of Health after former Minister José Manuel Matheu denounced a series of irregularities and alleged

From the inside of the Prosecutor’s Office, EL HERALDO was confirmed that they already have the versions of Matheu (denunciator) and those of the government through the Minister of the Presidency, Rodolfo Pastor, in the alleged corruption in the Sesal.

However, investigations cannot be immediately started because this justice operator is on a holiday, but they return on Monday, January 8.

However, Luis Javier Santos explained to this newspaper that from Monday this case will have to be turned to some unit, if not, the Specialized Unit against the Corruption Networks (Uferco), ex officio would take the case.

We have to wait Monday. From there we’ll see if the Uferco is given this case or we act ex officio. We have to analyze the public complaint made by the former minister and see if he meets the requirements of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Santos said.

He also said that it is very likely that the Prosecutor’s Office will quote José Manuel Matheu for an interrogation in accordance with the accusations he externed after Honduran President Xiomara Castro on January 1 formalized her separation as secretary of the Sesal.

The former staff member – who will now return as an independent deputy to the National Congress – will have to show the technical support of what he publicly denounced through one of his social networks.

It was through a 12-page letter that Matheu denounced that “for two decades, in the health system, a penny was not invested in new constructions, repair, new equipment or simple maintenance of what was already there, human equipment capable of making purchases of medicines was dismantled, administrative claims continued to be paid without tender in the sight and patience of all.

This is irregularities of past governments, however, the former secretary also denounced anomalies from the current government.

Matheu, among his revelations, found that the government acquired a Chinese angiographer for 50 million lempiras and in comparison argued that he himself had delivered one to the School Hospital for 12.5 million lempiras, acquired through the World Bank.

He also accused the Ministry of Finance that part of the budget that the Sesal had at its disposal could not be implemented because the Selp hides them in so-called pockets or fiscal spaces.

Government rejects complaint

This was published on January 1 by Matheu, but yesterday the government distorted its complaints and classified it as a desperate act to be the only dismissal of the government.

It was the Minister of the Presidency, Rodolfo Pastor, who pointed out the reasons for Matheu’s dismissal.

The president’s decision to remove the Secretary of Health from office is due to the need to accelerate the fulfilment of the goals set to address the critical public health situation in our country. There is an urgent need to improve our population’s access to health, Pastor said.

In relation to the irregularities reported by Matheu, Pastor went in the opposite direction and stated that he lacked the truth in that writing.

“The farewell letter of former Secretary Matheu lacks the truth, seeks to confuse and evade his own responsibilities in the matter,” Pastor said.

As for the angiographer, Pastor disagreed that Matheu refers to a project profile for the purchase of angiographer, omitting to clarify that they are two angiographers, whose total market value is approximately L50 million. Compare that amount to the previous purchase of an Arc in C Vascular for the Hospital Escuela, whose value is lower.

In this regard, the president of the Medical College of Honduras (CMH), Helga Codina, said that the State Procurement Law mentions that it is not the most expensive product, not even the best to buy, but the cheapest, so acquiring it at that price can be assumed to be an act of corruption.

No more than having an angiographer at that price can’t do that to the people to choose the most expensive, when you can choose four of lower prices and favor several Hondurans from different areas of the country.

He called on Matheu to present evidence to the MP: He is obliged to do so from the moment he found out that this was being done. If he has proof, he should do it. The Public Prosecutor ' s Office can proceed ex officio with these complaints it is making, because it has to take care of the rights of citizens ex officio, he said.

The galena indicated that the decisions that were made from the Legislative Power and that, according to Matheu’s statements, were made without consulting them are isolated that seek to favor a minority, as they did by bringing Cuban doctors to the country, without the opinion of experts, where the aim was to favor the government of Cuba.

This article has been translated from the original which first appeared in El Heraldo