President-elect of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, asked outgoing President Iván Duque to revoke any pending acquisitions of aircraft for public institutions.
In a Twitter post on Wednesday, June 22, Petro wrote that any planes that are acquired before August 7, the day on which he takes office, will be resold.
However, Duque denied that “luxury purchases of aircraft” or purchases of “military equipment from last-minute decisions” were being made.
Last May, the Ecuadorian Legacy EMB-135 BJ presidential plane was sold to the Colombian Air Force, as confirmed by Ecuadorian Minister of Economy and Finance, Simón Cueva, at a cost of about eight million dollars.
Every airplane bought by public agencies in the coming weeks will be resale. I ask president Duque to suspend those procurements. https://t.co/sepa7ESFhC
— Orinoco Tribune (@OrinocoTribune) June 22, 2022
However, Duque denied the purchase, claiming that “no negotiation has been finalized, no plane has been bought, and no plane is going to be bought.”
The outgoing president said that his country “has had an acquisition plan because there is a lot of equipment that is obsolete and has been replaced.” He said that other administrations had the same policy, although he neglected to mention that his administration’s policy occurs while Colombians are suffering cutbacks and austerity measures due to an alleged lack of state income.
“It is a regular process that Colombia has had,” he asserted, quoted by RT.
Duque said that the purchasing processes are budgeted for, and that “there are no expenses that are incurred and that do not have budget support.” He said that this may be subject to review when the transition process between governments begins.
Duque and Petro to meet
The first meeting between Petro and Duque was scheduled to take place today, to discuss the subject of the transition.
Duque indicated that he hopes it will be “an institutional, transparent, harmonious and peaceful process that allows all information to be shared” so that the “next government can begin with total clarity the management in favor of the Colombian people.”
(Últimas Noticias) by Robert Araujo
Translation: Orinoco Tribune