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"I hope you do the same with the Comptroller's Office"

“I hope you do the same with the Comptroller’s Office”

Former Vice President and former Colombian Ambassador to the United States Francisco Santos has come out in defense of President-elect Gustavo Petro’s proposal to abolish the attorney general’s office. The former diplomat’s support is surprising, considering that he was critical of the Petro administration as a former mayor of Bogotá, as a senator and as a candidate. Now that he’s president of Colombians, he’s issued this unexpected endorsement.

“actually yes Tweet embed He wants to end the attorney general’s office, and I accompany him in this decision. It only serves politicians who fill it with friends. Hopefully you will do the same with the Controller. There, 3 billion or more are saved for social spending,” Francisco Santos said. The former diplomat thus referred to the controversy arising from the apparent intentions of President-elect Gustavo Petro, to abolish the Public Prosecution Office as soon as he took power..

In an interview with La W, president-elect Gustavo Petro announced that within the package of projects that his new government brings, there will be the presentation of a bill to abolish the Public Prosecutor’s Office.. As he emphasized, it would be a gradual issue and would comply with the decision of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. “What we will do is pay attention to the court’s ruling and, in the meantime, respect the American agreement,” he emphasized.

Those who agree with the decision to abolish the attorney general’s office are based on facts such as those argued by Francisco Santos, meaning that they are institutions used for political purposes that end up recommending and friends to leaders today for action. In turn, there are those who doubt that this is the way to begin to abolish institutions and seek a National Constituent Assembly that, by the way, would allow Petro to remain in power for more than four years. In addition, Petro was one of those affected by the decisions of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, when he was temporarily excluded and removed from the office of the Mayor of Bogota, and therefore his intention to eliminate the Public Prosecution Office provokes all kinds of reactions.

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The announcement sparked fear in the entity, which today employs more than four thousand officials and has hundreds of contractors. And the president-elect warned that “we will not throw the thousands of employees in the Attorney General’s office into the streets and who are connected to the legal axes and the disciplinary law.” He confirmed, as he said in his electoral proposal, and in accordance with the American agreement, that the Attorney General’s office will be referred to the judiciary. “The attorney general’s office will go to court and the attorney general’s office will become the largest anti-corruption office,” the president-elect said. But he stressed that this is not something that will happen overnight because it is a constitutional reform that has legislative rounds.

Former Supervisor Jorge Enrique Robledo He emphasized that in order to eliminate the entity a constitutional reform would be needed, as well “A few more changes he intends to make.” And he added a warning: “Beware that in some of those reforms, Pietro puts us a little article allowing him to be re-elected.” Now, how will abolishing the attorney general’s office open the door to a presidential re-election? A reform like the one proposed by Gustavo Petro, which eliminates the attorney general’s office, changes an aspect that was structural in the 1991 constitution. Therefore, it clearly needs a legislative act to approve it. That means a qualified majority and eight rounds of Congress, where today the president-elect has a majority.

In this scenario of the new government’s political control, the president-elect is unlikely to go the Constituent Assembly’s path on the matter. The first reason is that you won’t need it. Various political forces have joined the historic charter government in recent days. Even Uribismo assured that she would not oppose the constructive projects of the country.

Second, because there are not a few experts who agree that reform is necessary. “It is a strange institution in the world. It limits rather than protects fundamental rights. Disciplinary function can be exercised by internal oversight offices. Former judge Alberto Yepes told SEMANA that its officials will be able to provide a better service in the judicial branch and in the ombudsman’s office, without affecting their careers.

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Now, if the Magna Carta is modified, the door that the previous supervisor warned about will open. A “small article” opens the door to a period of more than four years and the reason why the national debate has not stopped. As for the financial control entity, the Comptroller General of the Republic, the elected president did not comment. It’s just an initiative of former Vice President Francisco Santos.