Lawsuit Is Filed to Repeal Promesa and Fiscal Control Board
A multi-sector group, composed of around ten thousand citizens, filed a lawsuit at the Federal Court system to challenge the constitutionality of the Fiscal Control Board of Puerto Rico (FCB), established under the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA)
Among the solicited actions is the petition to declare the federal board, in charge of overseeing the public finances of the country, unconstitutional, and for part of Puerto Rico's public debt, which surpasses the $70 billion, be declared illegal.
The document was handed out to the Federal Court today to be evaluated in the Title III of the Puerto Rico bankruptcy case, presided over by judge Laura Taylor Swain.
'This lawsuit is conceived to prove that since the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, those positive rights must be protected. United States owes that to Puerto Rico. After the farse of the Commonwealth, they owe us that. Their Supreme Court has to express that through writing,' pointed out attorney Reynaldo Perez Ramírez.
Perez Ramírez is one of the representatives of the case, alongside Roberto Maldonado Nieves. Together they established as defendants the government of the United States, the FCB, and governor Ricardo Rosselló for accepting determinations taken by the federal board.
The document was handed out by Rene Pinto Lugo, as was informed during a press conferences.
In addition to the arguments that the FCB's decision-taking process is antidemocratic and lacks transparency, the attorneys also argue that they have not even attempted to audit the public debt.
'The Constitution of Puerto Rico, in its article 6, section 2 and subsequents states parameters, that limit the public debt to be emitted. If someone would have followed those parameters we would not be $70 billion in public debt,' Punto Lugo assured.
'It is incomprehensible that we have that level of debt. That did not happen yesterday nor before yesterday. How are we going to lead and reconstruct our nation if we do not know what happened with those $70 billion? The first step is to adjudge what happened,' he added.
Joining the plaintiffs are multiple syndicates and civic organizations, such as the Unión Insular de Trabajadores Industriales y Construcciones Electricas (UITICE), the Asociación de Inspectores de Juegos al Azar de la Compañía de Turismo, and Asociación de Jubilados de la Autoridad de Energía Electrica (PREPA), among others.
If the first petition were to be denied, the collective asked for the removal of the members of the FCB that present a conflict of interests with the debt, such as Carlos García and Jose Ramón González.
'It is imposible that we have those two there, not only because of the positions they occupied in the Governmental Development Bank, but also in Santander [bank]. The appearance of conflict should be enough, only here there is no appearance, there is conflict. It is a real conflict, that is unsustainable and unable to be defended', Pinto Lugo declared.
The resolutions also ask for the citizens right to participate in the decisions of conserving, administrating and disposing of PREPA, considered as an essential service, much like water, to be recognized.
The group assured that, were they to win, the Promesa stay on the payment of the creditors would not be affected. Likewise, if the FCB were to be made unconstitutional, Congress would find itself in the obligation of reforming the debt.
'This is an avenue with hundreds of roads and the judge [Swain] maps them out and resolved them as soon as thinks posible', stated Maldonado Nieves.
The collective inaugurated the web page www.boricuasinfronteras.com, which will have a section dedicated to the lawsuit and the proceedings.