A speech uttered by Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, yesterday, in the state of EspÀrito Santo, is generating heated debate in the Brazilian Congress.
The leader of the opposition party PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) in the Senate, Arthur Virgílio, and the leader of the PFL (Liberal Front Party) in the House, José Carlos Aleluia, said that the President can be sued.
The vice-leader of the PT (Workers Party, the President’s own party) in the House, Luiz Sérgio, was one of the few that stood up in Lula’s defense.
After visiting Petrobras’s Treatment Station Fazenda Alegre, Lula said that, in the beginning of his administration “a high comrade” told him that “the process of corruption” in previous governments had been very big.
“I remember a moment, right at the beginning of my administration, when a high comrade, occupying a very important post, went to render account of how he had found the institution in which he was working ”“ and allow me, here, not to say the name of the institution ”“ and he simply told me the following:
“President, our institution is broken, we are bankrupt. The process of corruption that happened, before us, was very big. Some privatizations that were done in such places took the institution to financial disaster”.
The President said that, when he was told about the situation he conveyed to his subordinate: “Look, if all that you are telling me is true, you’re only allowed to say it to me. Outside, close the mouth and say that our institution is prepared to help in the development of this country “.
The leader of the PSDB in the Senate, Arthur Virgílio Neto, said that his party will sue the President for the declarations. In a note to the press, he affirmed that “the PSDB is taking measures to sue him. It is unacceptable, and even subject to impeachment behavior such as the one presented by the President, who has to always present himself with sobriety and responsibility before the nation “.
For the leader of the Minority in the House, José Carlos Aleluia, the President’s declarations characterize crime of responsibility, foreseen in the article 85 of Brazil’s Federal Constitution.
Aleluia said that, if the circumstances are true, the President acted against the administrative honesty if he did not determine the investigation of the accusations of corruption. According to the legislator, Lula also went against the execution of the laws and of the judicial decisions, when preventing the investigation.
The vice-leader of the PT in the House, Luiz Sérgio, coming in defense of the President said that it “would be irresponsible if he had denounced any corruption, turning it public before it could be investigated .” Luiz Sérgio added that the Lula government “is uncompromising with corruption “.
Luiz Sérgio said that the investigations on the cases mentioned by the President will be made and published. “There are a lot of doubts about the processes of privatizations, phone calls, including from the President (Fernando Henrique Cardoso) to groups that were being formed. President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has to be impartial in this subject and can only publish what is established as a fact”.
Lula didn’t divulge any possible corruption to avoid that the investors escape, the leader concluded.