Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Wu denies giving DPP Taipei office 60 bottles of wine

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co general manager Wu Yin-ning speaks at a news conference in Taipei on Thursday.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co yesterday rejected the claim made by a city councilor on Friday that company general manager Wu Yin-ning (吳音寧) had used her “business promotion funds” to purchase 60 bottles of wine as gift for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Taipei office.

Since Wu assumed her position in June last year, the company has set aside a promotion budget of nearly NT$300,000 (US$10,046) per month for Wu to allocate, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Chung-wen (陳重文) said at the city council on Friday.

Out of nearly NT$2.7 million spent on promotion over the past nine months, a portion was spent on 60 bottles of wine for the DPP’s Taipei office, he said.

Moreover, about NT$220,000 was spent to subsidize activities held last year by the administration of Changhua County’s Sijhou Township (溪洲), where Wu’s cousin is mayor, he said, adding that money was also spent on gifts of agricultural products to an “honorable guest.”

Wu did not deny the claim during the council’s question and answer session on Friday, but said that all the expenditures were reasonable and justified according to company rules. However, the company issued a statement yesterday denying the councilor’s claim.

The DPP’s Taipei office also released a statement at midnight on Friday saying that Chen’s claim was untruthful, as the office did not receive wine from Wu, and that it reserves the right to take legal action.

The company said that it is a self-financed private business, so the money it spends is not “public expenses” or “public funding,” adding that it did not give 60 bottles of wine to the DDP.

“Honorable guests” is an expression frequently used by the company when offering gifts paid for with business promotion funds, the company said, adding that it has agricultural connections across the nation, so the money is spent outside of Taipei.

“Please do not continue to distort my words just because I do not respond fast enough at Taipei City Council meetings and do not know when something is a political attack,” Wu wrote on Facebook yesterday. “My intentions are only to do my best to help agriculture, farm villages and farmers.”

When asked about the issue yesterday, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said that even the Taipei mayor’s special allowance fund is not as much as Wu’s business promotion fund.

He said that he considers it to be a semi-governmental agency — not a completely private business — but that such legal issues could be better answered by the Taipei Department of Legal Affairs.

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