Pan-green and pan-blue lawmakers reacted differently yesterday to news that members of the military’s honor guard had taken semi-naked photographs of themselves that were then posted on a blog.
“Honor guards represent the military and the country. It seems to me that a screw is loose and needs to be tightened,” Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator David Huang (黃偉哲) said.
DPP Legislator Tsai Huang-liang (蔡煌瑯) said he was worried about the state of the nation’s defense.
“When we have ridiculous soldiers like this, I think our national defenses are going to fall apart even without enemy attacks. We have defeated ourselves already,” he said.
Huang’s and Tsai’s remarks came after the Chinese-language Apple Daily yesterday published three of the photos of Air Force, Navy and Army honor guards who are stationed at Taipei Martyrs’ Shrine.
One picture showed half-naked men with their faces covered, while another showed an off-duty guard teasing an on-duty guard, which is prohibited by military regulations.
The newspaper reported that most of the guards in the pictures had completed their compulsory military service before the Ministry of National Defense discovered the photos. The only one who had yet to finish was being detained at a military facility. He is scheduled to finish his military service this month.
The newspaper said the honor guards had invited relatives and friends to visit them at the shrine and taken photos for fun. One of the visitors then posted the photos on a blog, where they were discovered by Web surfers who forwarded them to the ministry.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Shuai Hua-ming (帥化民) said that as long as the men had not made fun of military symbols, it was not a serious matter.
“Young men like to do lot of stupid things. That’s not new,” he said.
KMT Legislator Lin Yu-fang (林郁方) said: “It is possible these guards were doing this for fun because they were about to leave the military. I think a minor punishment would suffice.