The High Administrative Court in Greater Taichung yesterday rejected a request by four house owners in Dapu (大埔) in Miaoli County’s Jhunan Township (竹南) to halt the pending demolition of their homes by the county government. The court ruled that the demolition would not constitute “irreparable damage” as the residents claimed.
The four families said their forced relocation would not only infringe on their rights of property and residence, but also degrade their dignity as well as infringe on their rights of family, privacy and living.
However, the court said that if the families were forcibly removed and relocated, only the houses and other material things would be damaged.
The families could be compensated financially for this damage, the court said, adding that the families’ views, attachment and sentiments regarding the houses and land did not comply with the legal definition of “irreparable damage.”
In accordance with the Administrative Appeals Act (行政訴訟法), reasons for appeals to stop forcible relocation and demolition must meet the definitions of “irreparable damage” or “matters of emergency,” it said.
In response to the court ruling, Thomas Chan (詹順貴), a Taiwan Rural Front member and an attorney who represents the four families, said that although the ruling did not surprise him, he was surprised that it seemed to be based on the belief that “money is everything.”
“The court ruling is telling people that human rights have a monetary value and taxpayers’ money can make up for government mistakes,” Chan said. “I wonder if the judges would rule the same way if it were their own houses that were to be demolished.”
Separately yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers said the central government should not evade its legal responsibility for the controversial demolition plans by delegating the decision to a local government.
The Ministry of the Interior is the responsible agency for state-authorized land expropriation, and the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) and the Urban Planning Act (都市計畫法) stipulate that all urban planning plans require approval from the Executive Yuan, DPP Legislator Yu Mei-nu (尤美女) told a press conference in support of the four Dapu families’ rights to keep their houses.
“That was why the central government, including officials such as President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺), should shoulder the responsibility for this controversial case,” she said.
The demolition order for July 5, issued by the Miaoli County Government, was briefly suspended three years ago by Wu, who, as premier at the time, pledged to keep the houses intact. However, the central government still left the decision to the county government after a meeting convened by Wu last week.
Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) insisted the houses would be demolished to make way for a science park.
“To some extent, the central government’s indifference has encouraged Liu’s act of inciting division between residents of the village as well as the Miaoli County Council’s plan to mobilize those residents in favor of the demolition to protest in Taipei,” Dapu Farmers’ Self-Help Association spokeswoman Yeh Hsiu-tao (葉秀桃) said.
DPP Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) said Liu asked the farmers to “cooperate” with the county government because it has been under tremendous financial pressure over a NT$4.5 billion (US$151 million) loan from the central government.
“The county government is trying to legitimize its real-estate speculation by demolishing people’s houses for government gains,” she said.
Additional reporting by Loa Iok-sin
SECURITY CONCERNS: The Telecom Technology Center ran black-box tests for the Executive Yuan on devices and software from Chinese, US and South Korean firms Network devices from several Chinese manufacturers are insecure and allow personal information to be leaked, testing commissioned by the Executive Yuan has shown. A variety of devices and software, including apps, from Chinese, US and South Korean manufacturers that are used by government agencies at the central and local level were subjected to black-box testing — in which the functionality of an application is examined without knowing about its internal structure, an information-security official said yesterday on condition of anonymity. The Telecom Technology Center conducted the tests, which simulated cyberattacks, to determine their resilience to the attacks, the official said. The center
Americans awoke yesterday to charred and glass-strewn streets in dozens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police, who responded to the violence with tear gas and rubber bullets. Tens of thousands marched peacefully through streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died on Monday last week after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. However, many demonstrations sank into chaos as night fell: Vehicles and businesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were
China would attack Taiwan if there is no other way of stopping it from becoming independent, Chinese General Li Zuocheng (李作成) said yesterday. Speaking at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on the 15th anniversary of China’s “Anti-Secession” Law, Li, who is chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Central Military Commission, left the door open to using force. The 2005 law is China’s legislative basis for military action against Taiwan. “If the possibility for peaceful reunification is lost, the people’s armed forces will, with the whole nation, including the people of Taiwan, take all necessary steps to
EXTRA INVITATIONS: Russia, Australia, South Korea and India would be asked to a later summit dedicated to countering China, Donald Trump said US President Donald Trump has been forced to cancel a planned face-to-face summit of G7 leaders this month and now wants to host an expanded meeting in September dedicated to countering China to which Russian President Vladimir Putin would be invited. Trump on Saturday announced that he had canceled the June meeting, which he had billed as a symbol of the US “transitioning back to greatness,” after German Chancellor Angela Merkel told him in a telephone call that she saw the summit in Washington as a health risk. Hundreds of security staff, journalists and officials also attend the two-day summits. Reports suggest