Fri, Nov 30, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Legislators in spat over Taipei gas station accusations

By Jimmy Chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER, WITH CNA

Legislators quarrelled yesterday following an announcement that the Taipei District Prosecutors' Office had started an investigation into an allegation involving a CPC Corp, Taiwan (CPC) franchise gas station in Taipei City after being told that it was selling gasoline blended with methyl alcohol, the office's deputy chief prosecutor said yesterday.

A report in the Chinese-language China Times yesterday alleged that the gas station, located in Wanfang Rd, added Methyl alcohol to the gasoline in its tanks and sold the mix to customers.

State-run CPC, the nation's largest petroleum refinery company, acting on customer complaints, had taken gasoline samples from the gas station and sent them for laboratory tests. The results revealed that the gasoline products sold at the station were impure, containing 10 percent methyl alcohol.

CPC canceled the franchise's contract on Oct. 23, and withdrew an advertising signpost carrying the company's logo, a CPC spokesman said.

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislative caucus whip Wang Tuoh (王拓) yesterday accused Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Alex Fai (費鴻泰) of supporting the gas station in question.

Wang said when his aides contacted CPC for more details, an anonymous employee told his aides that Fai had asked CPC not to terminate its contract with the station.

Wang accused Fai of accepting bribes from the gas station.

"I think Fai should step forward and offer his explanation," Wang said.

In response, Fai told a separate press conference later yesterday that all he did was to help pass on a letter to a contact at CPC.

"Other than that, I did not do anything else," he said. "I did not hold any coordination meetings, send any official documents to CPC Corp, Taiwan or pressure the company in any way."

Calling Wang's accusation a campaign "frame-up" to sabotage his chances in the legislative elections, Fai urged Wang to present evidence to support his accusations.

He said he would file a defamation lawsuit against Wang and any others who made the accusation.

Additional reporting by Flora Wang

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