Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義) and Premier Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺) have betrayed pledges made three years ago to farmers of Dapu (大埔) in Jhunan Township (竹南), Miaoli County, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) said yesterday.
DPP officials told a press conference in Taipei that the party supports the farmers of Dapu, who began a new round of protests outside of the Executive Yuan yesterday morning over a renewed order to demolish their homes.
In 2010, then-premier Wu and then-interior minister Jiang responded to public outrage over the Miaoli County Government’s seizure of land in Dapu to make way for a science park by promising to preserve the remaining four houses, and to find land where the affected families could relocate both their homes and their farms.
Miaoli County Commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) also apologized to the farmers for ordering the demolition.
However, the Ministry of the Interior later decided to destroy the houses.
Even though the Dapu residents’ lawsuit against the county government and the ministry is still ongoing, they received a renewed demolition order last week. They were told they had until Friday to tear down their homes or the county would do it.
Showing a two-and-a-half-minute video clip at the press conference yesterday, DPP spokesperson Wang Min-sheng (王閔生) said the farmers and their supporters had protested against the demolition order on July 22, 2010, and on Aug. 7 last year.
The video also showed Wu telling reporters that he had not broken his promise.
However, the minutes of a meeting filed by the Executive Yuan’s Secretariat on Aug. 17, 2010, and shown to the press conference, indicated that Wu had promised the farmers that they could keep the remaining houses.
“This administration has completely lost its credibility,” Wang said. “The DPP demands Wu and Jiang keep their promises and protect the farmers’ right to reside where they are.”
The Executive Yuan said yesterday that the 2010 pledges were made on the precondition that the buildings do not violate the needs of transportation, public safety, fairness and urban planning. It also referred the case to the Miaoli County Government.
Hundreds of protesters, led by the Taiwan Rural Front and farmers from Dapu, last night rejected the Executive Yuan’s response, saying the promises were made without preconditions. They also said the decision to refer the case to the county government is absurd, considering its determination to move ahead with the demolitions.
The protesters submitted three demands to the Executive Yuan: that the demolition order be withdrawn, the urban planning process be relaunched and all land seizures nationwide be immediately suspended.