The president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva decided to keep the Minister of Communications, Juscelino Filho (União Brasil), in office, after a meeting at the Planalto Palace, this Monday, 6th. accusations involving the use of public money to pay for the minister’s private commitments during a trip.
On Twitter, Juscelino stated that the meeting with Lula was “very positive”. The minister had to explain himself about the per diem he would have received improperly in January, on a weekend he spent in São Paulo without any official commitment.
“I just left the Planalto Palace, where I had a very positive meeting with the president @LulaOficial. On that occasion, I clarified the unfounded accusations made against me and detailed some of the various projects and actions of the @mincommunicacoes. We have a lot of work ahead of us!”, wrote Juscelino.
What is the situation of Juscelino Filho in the government
The minister is one of the three representatives of União Brasil on the Esplanada. By keeping him in office, the president avoids weariness with the party. The expectation is that, from now on, the party will strive to guarantee votes in Congress for the approval of important matters for the government, such as tax reform and the new fiscal framework.
Juscelino took over the portfolio in January, in the midst of political agreements with parties that helped Lula to be elected in October. At the Ministry of Communications, he has a budget of BRL 3 billion.
Despite Lula’s decision not to fire him after the per diem scandal, Government supporters still question whether Juscelino’s nomination was the best choice, not only because of the controversy involving the use of public money, but also because of the assessment that he does not have the potential to deliver a number of votes in Congress that justifies the command of such an important ministry. .
Juscelino would have participated in race horse auctions and themed parties in the interior of the state on January 28 and 29, with government-funded accommodation and round-trip flights to Brasília operated by the Brazilian Air Force (FAB).
money was returned
The case was exposed by the newspaper O Estado de São Paulo, last week. On Thursday, the 2nd, the Ministry of Communications reported that the figures for the weekend were returned, but denied that the minister had committed any irregularities. The per diem received on the two days in which he participated only in events unrelated to the ministry would add up to around R$ 1,500.
Last Thursday, in an interview with BandNews FM, Lula said that he would hear the minister on Monday and that he would only remain in office if he managed to prove that he is innocent of the accusations. “If he fails to prove his innocence, he cannot stay in government. I guarantee everyone the presumption of innocence,” he said.
Lula said that he tried to speak with Juscelino last week, but the minister was traveling abroad for an event related to telecommunications. The conversation this Monday would have been scheduled, then, by the Minister of the Civil House, Rui Costa.
understand the case
Juscelino traveled to São Paulo on January 26th and returned to Brasília on January 30th, on a FAB plane, which transports ministers to carry out official agendas. On the 26th and 27th, according to the Ministry of Communications, the minister would have met with representatives of Claro, Anatel and Telebrás to discuss matters related to the sector, which would justify the use of public money to remain in SP.
The problem is that Juscelino would also have received amounts to pay for his stay in São Paulo between the 28th and 29th of January, Saturday and Sunday, when he had no work schedule. The last official engagement was on Friday the 27th.
Over the weekend, the minister participated in race horse auctions, a party in honor of the horses and the inauguration of a square dedicated to Roxão, one of his partner’s animals, in Boituva (SP). On Monday, January 30, he returned to Brasília, on a FAB flight.
In a note published on Thursday, the ministry says that Juscelino “enjoyed the right to practice activities of a private nature” in the days following official commitments and maintains that there is nothing immoral or illegal in the fact that a public authority “enjoys his time off to attend any engagement”.
But, despite the fact that participation in the events was outside the official agenda, Juscelino remained in SP with public money and, during the events, presented himself as “a member of the team of the President of the Republic”, according to Estadão. He would even have highlighted commitments, as Minister of State, to “defend the horse more and more”, says the report.
The ministry stated that Juscelino determined the return of the amounts related to the weekend rates after an “investigation in the last few days about what happened with the trip from SP”. The minister would have asked for “immediate verification of the administrative procedures that were adopted related to the trip”.
The use of the FAB jet on the 30th would also be legal, according to the folder. Juscelino would have returned on a shared flight by the Ministry of Labor, which, therefore, would already leave São Paulo for Brasília on that date, even without him. “That is, there is no illegality committed by the Minister of Communications”, says the note.