Control Yuan President Wang Chien-shien yesterday defended himself against media speculation that he had urged Control Yuan members to focus on high-profile cases and put aside less prominent ones.
Wang said at a press conference in Taipei that he had done nothing more than advising Control Yuan members to establish their own investigation priorities.
“Given the limited manpower [of the Control Yuan], I asked the members to put aside cases of personal interest so that they could investigate cases that are more important,” he said.
Wang added that he did not have the authority to set priorities for every Control Yuan member.
Wang was responding to a report in yesterday’s Chinese-language China Times that said Wang had asked Control Yuan members at internal meetings to probe “big impeachment cases,” dismissing petitions from members of the public as “little farts (小屁屁).”
With a copy of the report in hand, Wang dismissed the claim, saying: “I might have used the term during internal meetings, as it sounds like a phrase I might have used, but I have never described the public’s petitions as ‘little farts.’”
Wang said the Control Yuan needed to amend the Organic Law of the Control Yuan (監察院組織法) to enable the government body to hire more personnel before it could adequately handle people’s complaints about the government.
Wang said the Control Yuan was dealing with 304 impeachment investigations — twice the number of impeachment cases the Control Yuan had dealt with annually over the past 12 years.
Earlier yesterday, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chiu Yi (邱毅) said Wang’s approach was “outdated” and that every public petition should be treated as a high-profile case.
KMT caucus secretary-general Chang Sho-wen (張碩文) urged Wang to apologize to the public for the remark, saying it was the Control Yuan’s responsibility to deal with every single complaint from the public.
Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Pan Meng-an (潘孟安) told a separate press conference that the Control Yuan used a committee system under which members exercise their rights independently, which meant that Wang did not have the power to tell members which cases should be probed.
DPP Legislator William Lai (賴清德) said the Control Yuan existed to resolve people’s problems and complaints, and should threfore take small cases seriously.
Wang’s remark was tantamount to announcing the death of the Control Yuan, Lai said.
He said that under Wang’s leadership the Control Yuan had become focused on probing political cases involving former DPP officials.
DPP Legislator Chen Ting-fei (陳亭妃) said the Control Yuan was neglecting scandals involving KMT officials.
These included the controversial Maokong Gondola, the KMT’s sale of its Institute of Policy Research and Development building to Yuan Lih Construction Corp and KMT Lawmaker Diane Lee’s (李慶安) alleged dual citizenship, Chen said.