Thu, Jun 07, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Taipei City Government: Taipei ethics officials raided TAPM offices, Ko confirms

CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE:The Taipei mayor said he feels he is being bullied by the pan-blue and pan-green camps, when asked if he worked with the KMT to harass Wu

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing Co general manager Wu Yin-ning, left, watches as Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je, right, and Taipei Deputy Mayor Chen Chin-jun raise their hands in response to a question about buying bottles of wine as gifts with their special allowance funds at the Taipei City Council yesterday.

Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) yesterday confirmed that Taipei Department of Government Ethics officials on Tuesday afternoon visited Taipei Agricultural Products Marketing (TAPM) to examine the company’s accounting records, adding that it was done to clarify the facts and promote transparency.

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chen Chung-wen (陳重文) last week said at the Taipei City Council that TAPM general manager Wu Yin-ning (吳音寧) had used business promotion funds to purchase 60 bottles of wine as a gift for the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) Taipei chapter, as well as to subsidize agricultural activities and to buy gifts for “honorable guests.”

TAPM, Wu and the DPP’s Taipei office denied the claim about sending 60 bottles of wine.

Nevertheless, city officials visited the company to investigate the claims while Ko and Wu were attending a question-and-answer session at the council.

When asked for comment, Ko said that after Chen raised suspicions, he instructed the officials to look into the case and report their findings as soon as possible, given that the city government appoints supervisors to the company.

“Frankly speaking, they [scandals involving Wu] have become a wrestling mat for the pan-blue and pan-green camps, but my attitude is to just be open and transparent, so if we have officials, let them check the facts and publicize them,” he said when responding to the question whether he trusts Wu.

When asked if the move meant he is distancing himself from the pan-green camp, Ko said he is maintaining a fair attitude, and people should not forget that former TAPM general manager Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜) was from the KMT, so what might be found in the investigation is unknown.

When asked about the claim that he is cooperating with the KMT to bully Wu, Ko said: “Truth be told, I am the one who is being bullied by the pan-blue and pan-green camps.”

National Chengchi University land economics professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮) yesterday morning criticized the raid, saying on Facebook that Ko “is reproducing the logic of the White Terror era.”

Chen should provide evidence to back his claim, but Ko did not ask for proof and even asked officials to visit the company to examine the accounting records, which is like when people were arbitrarily accused of being guilty without evidence during the White Terror era, he said.

At the council yesterday afternoon, Wu rejected a claim by KMT Taipei City Councilor Wang Hsin-yi (王欣儀) that scandals involving Wu have been causing social instability and wasting resources.

The handover of TAPM’s management from Han to Wu shows how political wrestling between the two camps is breaking down the nation, Ko said.

“Wu is not that bad,” Ko said, adding that criticisms leveled against Wu were a result of political camps slandering each other.

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