Thu, May 10, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Veterans groups say no to retroactive reform

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

A coalition of veterans’ groups yesterday urged the government to not retroactively apply planned pension reform to retirees at a demonstration outside the Legislative Yuan in Taipei while a review of the reform bill was ongoing.

Hours before the demonstration, police erected barricades around the legislature and the Executive Yuan, and dispatched 1,120 officers to the area.

Meanwhile, members of veterans’ group 800 Heroes handed out “reporter passes” that they had made for journalists and promised to try to protect them.

The group on April 25 drew widespread criticism after several protesters attacked journalists and vandalized their filming equipment during a demonstration that it had organized.

The injured journalists said that the protesters had targeted them to prevent them from filming or photographing protesters attempting to break into the legislature.

“To prevent reporters from being attacked again, possibly by people pretending to be reporters, the 800 Heroes have prepared journalist passes, set up a reception center for journalists and put together a team to protect reporters and maintain order,” said retired army lieutenant general Wu Chi-liang (吳其樑), the group’s commander-in-chief.

At 1pm, more than 1,000 people rallied on Jinan Road, waving banners and sounding air horns.

Many academics and experts have identified potential problems in the bill, but the government has refused to consider them, Wu said.

“We find that unacceptable. The government can implement its planned pension reform for active military personnel, but it should not apply it retroactively,” he said.

Before reviewing the bill at the legislature, the government should respond to the questions that veterans have asked at public hearings, 800 Heroes chief executive Luo Jui-ta (羅睿達) said.

“Except for the first hearing, hosted by Democratic Progressive Party [DPP] Legislator Wang Ding-yu (王定宇), the other three [hosted by the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT)] were not attended by a single DPP legislator,” he said.

If the bill passes the third reading, the group would request a constitutional interpretation from the Council of Grand Justices, said group spokesman Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷), a retired lieutenant general.

“A petition for a constitutional interpretation on pension reform for public-school teachers and civil servants has already obtained 35 signatures from KMT and People First Party legislators, as well as Non-Partisan Solidarity Union Legislator May Chin (高金素梅),” he said.

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