Tue, Apr 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Lawmakers fear for president’s safety following incidents

By Lu Yi-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Legislators across party lines yesterday demanded that the National Security Bureau provide a comprehensive report on planned actions and policies to address a perceived laxness of presidential security.

At a meeting of the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee yesterday, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Lo Chih-cheng (羅致政) asked whether presidential security has been compromised, citing several incidents that took place last year, and asked whether the bureau considered the possibility of internal leaks.

The incidents included a pension reform protest group attempting to scale the walls of the presidential residence; the presidential motorcade being intercepted on its way to the Political Warfare Cadres Academy in Taipei’s Beitou District (北投) on June 30 and the interception of an unannounced inspection of the Information and Electronic Warfare Command on June 29.

Other scandals included allegations in May last year that the first female guard at the Presidential Office Building, Colonel Chen Yueh-fang (陳月芳), was sexually harassed by Major Yang Chih-wen (楊志文); the expulsion of Chan Tsung-han (詹宗漢) from the guard unit for drinking before duty; and a presidential guard accidentally discharging their service weapon while in the grounds of the building.

An internal investigation is underway, Deputy Bureau Director Chou Mei-wu (周美伍) said, adding that he could not comment further, as he is not in charge.

No agent or staff member is being investigated for leaking classified information and no legal procedure has been started, Chou said, adding that the bureau is taking measures to ensure that classified information is kept safe.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) and Lin Li-chan (林麗蟬) also expressed concerns, saying that with the amount of scandals surrounding the president’s security detail, “the screws have not come loose, they have disappeared altogether.”

Meanwhile, the bureau yesterday reported that it has executed more than 3,000 missions and mobilized about 160,000 individuals in the first months of the year.

Asked whether the 3,000 missions for President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) could be interpreted as increased need for security under her administration, Chou said that each “mission” is defined as a location visited by people with a security detail.

If the president visits three places, including the residence, it would be counted as three separate missions, Chou said.

When asked whether former president Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) “road trips” were counted as missions, Chou said the total amount of personnel mobilized to date includes staff assigned to the president, as well as former presidents and vice presidents.

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