Dominican Republic officials linked to Menendez resign posts
Santo Domingo.- Government Ethics Commission director Marino Vinicio (Vincho) Castillo and his son Energy and Mines minister Pelegrin Castillo on Wednesday announced their resignation from their posts, just one week after their relative Dr. Salomon Melgen was indicted in the U.S. along with Sen. Robert Menendez.
The Castillo’s resignations come in the heels of president Danilo Medina’s stunning win in a battle to seek reelection waged against ruling PLD party leader and former president Leonel Fernandez.
The resignations of the Castillos, top leaders of the pro-government FNP party, also include senior leader Jose Ricardo Taveras, who steps down as director of the Immigration Agency and Nolberto Rondon, as president of the National Border Council.
The Castillo’s announcement also comes one week after FNP deputy Vinicio Castillo Seman voiced support for his cousin, Melgen, but distanced his family from any of activities listed in the indictments, including the controversial contract to install X-ray scanners in the country’s ports.
Marino Vinicio Castillo had warned against the push by Medina’s supporters to amend the Constitution and pave the way for the president’s reelection.
Strained political bloc
In a statement the FNP said the alliance with the PLD in effect since December 19, 1993, would be reviewed, and notes its opposition to the bill allowing a president to seek reelection, which in its view, “violates the Constitution of the Republic."
"We’ve endured with great patience"
Last month presidency spokesman Roberto Rodriguez Marchena had demanded respect for Medina, when Vinicio Castillo Seman he accused of the head of state through social networks.
"We’ve endured with great patience because we’re focused on governing," said Marchena, in response to the lawmaker’s rant that Medina was a "softie, puppet, lacking in character, impressionable, manageable, lawbreaker, weakling, lacking pants, traitor to the Motherland."