Speeches by lawmakers like Benicio Robinson, demanding more benefits for the fathers of the country, are causing a backlash even among fellow party members,
During the support of the budget hearing of the National Assembly, president of the budget commission Benicio Robinson recalled that, in 1984, when he was a substitute "they gave each deputy a car, all 71 of us should have a car."
He claimed that with a rented car, or government car, we who have come to represent our circuit in our area, cannot represent them with dignity. "I can't agree that we look down on ourselves,"
Balbina Herrera, former president of the national assembly, said that times have changed and we cannot make comparisons with realities of more than 15 years, emphasizing that the statements of her partner Benicio Robinson are regrettable and unfortunate.
Herrera emphasized that "if they want a car, they can buy it …you earn more than the common people in this country, and they buy it like all professionals in Panama do."
Some, say that deputies Benicio Robinson and Yanibel Ábrego have touched the most sensitive fibers of the Panamanian people, referring to statements by deputy Yanibel Ábrego, who confirmed that her cousin, the mayor of Capira, Juan Ramos, on the payroll of the National Assembly, and justified it by saying that he is not the only mayor in this country who has paid leave and is appointed in another government institution – double-dipping.
They are speeches that further stoke the hearth of national discontent, warn other voices because they add to the arguments that provoke the series of protests and citizen vigils in recent weeks, not only because of the electoral reforms but also because of the payroll and perks of the deputies.
Hermel Rodríguez, the spokesman for civil society, warns that "there is a great difference between what deputy Benicio Robinson interprets as a dignified representation and what the people really want to be a dignified representation of our deputies", we are not going to the polls every 5 years to elect kings and princes for our country, we are going to elect people who are really thinking about
legislating in favor of the majority and the poorest people in this country, added Rodríguez.
Meanwhile, Freddy Pittí said that“a person like Benicio Robinson, hurts the country and its circuit, and the call is for the people of Boca to make this reflection: is this deputy is really representing us and looking for permanent solutions, or simply he is giving us a bag of food every 15 days to keep us happy ?."