Dapu development case closed after charges dropped

By Peng Chien-li, Hsiang Cheng-chen and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporters, with staff writer

Sun, Aug 13, 2017 - Page 3

The Dapu development case was officially closed last week when the plaintiffs dropped charges against the central government, although the details of the settlement have yet to be implemented, the Supreme Administrative Court said on Friday.

Minister of the Interior Yeh Jiunn-rong (葉俊榮) in May reached an accord with the families of Huang Fu-chi (黃福記), Chu Shu (朱樹) and the widow of Chang Sen-wen (張森文), the court said.

In 2013, then-Miaoli County commissioner Liu Cheng-hung (劉政鴻) ordered the forced demolition of four houses in Dapu Borough (大埔) opposed to the development of a planned Hsinchu Science Park branch in Jhunan Township (竹南).

The families’ protests were backed by students and litigation has continued.

In July 2013, Chang committed suicide over the demolition of his family pharmacy.

The government agreed that the Chang family would have their land returned and that the county government and the ministry would shoulder the costs of rebuilding their house, estimated to cost NT$2 million (US$65,880), the ministry said.

The house would be completed and ready for occupation by June next year, it added.

The Miaoli County Government is to work with the central government to handle subsequent matters, county Secretary-General Chen Pin-shan (陳斌山) said.

The Huang and Chu families settled with the ministry for the exchange and purchase of the land, the court said.

The Huang family’s land was in the intended park zone, so the ministry agreed to purchase a plot of equal size nearby, the court said.

Chu’s daughter-in-law, Cheng Ching-lien (鄭景蓮), said that the family had to accept the government’s settlement and that the incident has dragged on for too long.

The government cannot bring the two deceased members of our family back, Cheng said, adding that she hoped the government would work toward ameliorating the Land Expropriation Act (土地徵收條例) so other residents would not have to suffer such pain and loss.

Chang’s widow, Peng Hsiu-chun (彭秀春), on Friday said that the incident had not only led her husband to commit suicide and destroyed her family, but also changed her life, forcing her to face everything on her own.

The Miaoli District Court and the Taichung branch of the Taiwan High Court have become as familiar to her as her own kitchen, Peng said, adding that she wished to thank many people for their help, including her lawyer Thomas Chan (詹順貴) and professor Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮).

She said they hope the government would review its regulations on land expropriation and hopefully prevent another Chang Pharmacy incident from occurring.

“The people have very simple expectations, and that is to live in peace,” she said.

Peng said she has put the incident behind her and her life would return to normal once the pharmacy is rebuilt.