Local November 3, 2014 | 5:03 pm

Industrialists back Justice Minister in fight against corruption

Santo Domingo.- Dominican Republic’s biggest industrial association on Monday urged support for the Justice Ministry’s and the Judiciary’s actions to investigate and prosecute alleged government corruption, under due process.

Santo Domingo Province and Herrera Industries Association (AEIH) president Victor Castro agreed with the National Business Council’s (Conep) proposal on the topic, and said processes should be carried out under strict compliance of the law, respect for the principle of presume innocence and the right to defense.

He said there’re must be no exceptions in prosecuting corruption and should punish the corrupt as well as the corruptor, many which are out of government or administrative areas and are sheltered under corporate umbrellas.

Castro said society must push for the fight against corruption, not as stakeholders which tolerate loopholes and technicalities that “seek to redeem those who pillage the Treasury" and at the same time try to undermine the Justice Ministry.

"It is painful to see how in different circumstances in which allegations of corruption arise, there’s the intent to state the excuse of political persecution to circumvent the courts and prevent processes from being heard under the reign of the law," the industrialist said.

Castro added that corruption has meant a high price for the country, since it’s linked to the fact that the high economic growth of recent years isn’t shared by all Dominicans, most of whom live in poverty. "The budget is one of the government’s way to redistribute wealth and if one part is left in the hands of corrupt politicians, it will always be difficult to undertake the tasks of development."

"To steal taxpayers’ money is equivalent to hinder medicines and care in hospitals, social spending to surmount poverty, the supply of funds to have better services and quality of life," he said, and called on Dominicans to close ranks against cronyism in government because, in his view, thist’s the largest breeding ground for corruption.

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