The Ministry of National Defense yesterday denied a media report that alleged improper conduct and breach of regulation by a group of army officers.
The Chinese-language Liberty Times (the Taipei Times’ sister paper) yesterday reported that an army general surnamed Wu (吳), along with a colonel, allegedly led a group of lower-ranked officers and subordinates in a late-night drinking and singing session at a KTV last week in Pingtung County.
The report alleged that the officers were partying in a private lounge at the KTV while military exercises were taking place and that they were allegedly entertained by three prostitutes in various states of undress.
The ministry yesterday issued a statement denying the report, saying that Army Command Headquarters had conducted a preliminary investigation and found no evidence of the general having gone out on the town.
“The general in question, Wu, was questioned about the case. He categorically denied the incident had taken place and has declared his right to pursue legal action [against the newspaper],” the statement said.
Despite disputing the report, Army Command Headquarters announced that a special panel had been established to investigate the case.
The ministry’s statement added that all troops has been notified that they should strictly adhere to military codes of conduct and disciplinary rules, and to observe curfew regulations to ensure no violations of regulations at military garrisons.
According to the Liberty Times report, it was the girlfriend of an army captain who reported the incident to the garrison office.
She reportedly made a telephone call to the army captain late on the night of Nov. 13 and discovered that he was with senior officers drinking and singing at the KTV.
She was angry about the presence of the three prostitutes.
“My boyfriend is with senior army officers and they are playing drinking and undressing games with call girls in a KTV lounge. Go and catch them right now,” the report quoted her as saying to the garrison office.
Military officials said regulations at most garrisons do allow service personnel to visit restaurants and KTVs to conduct business and socialize with civilians, but entertainment by female hostesses or prostitutes is strictly forbidden.
Engaging in drinking games with female escorts is a serious violation of the Punishment Act of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍懲罰法) and violators receive at least a major demerit, which adversely affects their chances of promotion, their year-end assessment and may even lead to forced retirement.
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