The Ministry of Justice’s Investigation Bureau (MJIB) has conducted illegal monitoring to spy on the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), despite President Ma Ying-jeou’s (馬英九) pledge that no spying on political parties would occur under his watch, the DPP said yesterday.
In a press conference, the DPP’s Department of Youth Development and DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) accused MJIB agent Chen Chun-cheng (陳俊成) of collecting a list of the participants at a youth camp organized by the DPP in Greater Kaohsiung.
According to department director Chang Chi-chang (張基長), the party was informed by the Kaohsiung Hotel, where about 40 young campers would stay tomorrow and on Sunday for the two-day camp, on Wednesday night that local police, under Chen’s instructions, asked the hotel to provide a list of the campers.
Chen admitted to the practice in a telephone conversation with the DPP yesterday morning and said the bureau needed the list to protect campers from a scheduled protest at the Executive Yuan’s Southern Taiwan Joint Services Center on Sunday, the DPP’s Department of Youth Development deputy director Chou Yu-shiu (周榆修) said.
Reached by Chou by telephone during the press conference, Chen acknowledged he had contacted local police and the hotel, but said the incident was a “complete misunderstanding” and that he had never asked for the camper list.
Kuan, who represents the Kaohsiung constituency, said Chen’s comments did not make sense because the hotel and the joint service center are a 20 minute ride apart and she could not understand how the bureau was going to protect the campers.
The lawmaker said she was not sure if the practice was related to DPP Chairman Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), who is scheduled to attend the camp tomorrow.
“If the MJIB is involved in illegal monitoring, it means that Ma has betrayed his pledge, because the Presidential Office said on July 14 that the president would never allow illegal spying on politicians during his term,” Kuan said.
Coincidentally, the office of former DPP chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday that Chen was also involved in an assignment to gather information on Tsai’s scheduled visit to Kaohsiung on Sunday for a book-signing activity, citing local sources.
The National Security Council reportedly asked the MJIB in May last year to deploy 28 agents to monitor Tsai.