The struggle began when Panameñista Deputy Gabriel Soto informed PRD Deputy Raúl Pineda that the proposal was not going to be approved in the "unilateral" way when the Assembly passed the original law, which amended the way taxes were collected on alcoholic beverages. It was called the "anti-Varela" law because current President Juan Carlos Varela's family business is alcohol production.
When Pineda replied, it began a series of accusations. PRD Deputy Crispiano Adames said that he would not vote for the initiative, despite the fact that it was presented by PRD Deputy León Rubén.
When the original law was passed, it was widely seen as a direct attack on Varela, who at the time was a leader of the opposition.