The hearings are live on TV. They begin at 10 am and sometimes they last as much as twelve hours. Everybody has seen at least a few minutes of Brazil’s new combined reality show and soap opera.
Welcome to the Parliamentary Investigation Commission (CPI) hearings on corruption in the Post Office; aka “The Post Office CPI.”
It is the popular name for the hearings (“The Post Office CPI”) that has upset the director of the Federation of Postal Workers (Federação Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Empresa de Correios e Telégrafos) (Fentect), Roberto Prado.
He is threatening to sue TV networks that have associated images of mailmen with the corruption. According to Prado, pictures are shown of mailmen carrying sacks of money.
“This is terrible for the mailman’s image. It looks like the mailman is making millions through corruption. In reality the mailman is a person who brings people happiness,” said Prado.
The president of the Post Office, Jânio Pohren, seconds Prado’s complaints saying that the company’s 108,000 employees have been uncomfortable with the use of the corporate name in such a general sense. Pohren reports that he has sent a message to Congress requesting a name change.
The Post Office CPI is investigating charges that a kickback scheme existed in the Post Office commanded by deputy Roberto Jefferson from the PTB party of Rio de Janeiro.
Jefferson, while never claiming to be innocent, made charges of his own about a payoff scheme in Congress where the PT was buying votes by paying some congressmen a kind of monthly allowance (“mensalão”).