Moises Cal is not going to be the next Chairman of the Public Service Commission. That’s because he has reportedly removed himself from consideration for the post. The Public Service Union (PSU) was among the many voices that criticised the Briceno Government for this choice. And that’s because Cal has a tainted past. He was accused of laundering a million American dollars in Panama back in 2007, accusations that Cal has never addressed in the 15 years ensuing. It was suggested that Panamanian authorities believed he may have smuggled the money, bribed customs in the Central American country and then fled. We asked the union’s president, Dean Flowers for his reaction to the news.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “The news that there is reconsideration of Mr. Cal, whether it is as a result of him pulling out his name or if it is as a result of the Government reconsidering the proposed nomination, either way, it is good news for public officers. Either way it is good news for the public service and definitely good news for the Public Service Union. As I stated in previous interviews, the issue of Mr. Cal is not a personal one. It is one based on principles and one whereby the constitution provides that individuals who are named to these type of commissions be people of good report and of good character.”
So who will be the Commission’s chair? Individuals such as former ambassador David Gibson and career public officers such as Sandra Hall and Marilyn Ordonez are names that the union had suggested. We asked the PSU President if he’s optimistic that a new chair will be named soon. Here’s what he had to say.
Dean Flowers, President, Public Service Union: “In my formal and informal conversations with the CEO, the Government is expected to name a new Chairman sometime during the course of this month or at earliest which should be sometime this month. So it’s important. A lot of people have matters before the commission. What concerns us most, of course, are those cases that deal with people’s or individual’s retirement benefits. Those must be treated with a certain sense of urgency and then there are other matters such as disciplinary matters. Of course and matters of promotion and appointments and like I stated earlier it is our expectation that the Government will make an appointment that is suitable not only to the Public Service Union but more so suitable to the other commission members and suitable more so to all public officers within the public service.”
At the time the reports surfaced about Cal, he had defeated Anthony Chanona in a PUP standard bearer convention in Belmopan in December 2006. The allegations came to light two months later in February 2007 and Cal resigned as Belize’s SICA Ambassador shortly afterwards. We stress that he was never charged with any crimes.