Sat, Apr 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Military dependent villagers protest eviction lawsuits

By Abraham Gerber  /  Staff reporter

Residents of military dependents’ villages across the nation protested outside the Control Yuan in Taipei yesterday, demanding that the government drop its eviction lawsuits.

Dozens of protesters from the National Alliance of Legal Self-constructed Residences Against Forced Evictions joined in the demonstration, saying that the Ministry of National Defense was illegally seeking to force them out of their homes.

“We have legal ownership of the buildings, even though the underlying land belongs to the government,” Songshan Airport Public Housing Self-help Association head Kuo Tai-sung (郭泰松) said. “If the government decides to take back the land, should it not be responsible for finding another place for us to live?”

The government seized and auctioned the land after suing him for making “illicit profits” by occupying government land, he said.

Lee Chen-hua (李震華), a lawyer, criticized the Act for Rebuilding Old Quarters for Military Dependents (國軍老舊眷村改建條例), which allows the government to evict residents who refuse to agree to urban renewal projects.

The act fails to take into consideration that some of the housing is legally owned by the residents themselves, he said, calling on the Control Yuan to request that the Council of Grand Justices rule on the constitutionality of the act.

The villages were constructed by the government to house military dependents following the retreat to Taiwan after the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) was defeated in the Chinese Civil War.

“If you buy a house and the owner does not own the underlying land, you know something is fishy,” Political Warfare Bureau Military Dependents Service Department Director Kao Shih-huan (高士桓) said.

In many cases the housing was constructed or renovated with partial government funding, including provisions that the buildings be publicly owned, Kao said.

Occupants would be provided with compensation in all cases where they are the owners of the buildings, he said, adding that government would not evict owners as long the buildings are only being used as their residence.

“We have only been suing people who are using the buildings as shops or businesses,” he said.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top