‘Heroes’ plan 19 rallies today, call off Taipei march

PLAN B::Funds for a march on the Presidential Office Building are to be donated to people affected by floods, with members to march on the Judicial Yuan instead

By Ann Maxon  /  Staff reporter

Mon, Sep 03, 2018 - Page 3

The 800 Heroes for the Republic of China Association is to hold rallies at 19 locations across the nation today to mark Armed Forces Day and show respect to the nation’s military personnel, but it canceled an afternoon march planned for Ketagalan Boulevard in Taipei, association president Wu Sz-huai (吳斯懷) said yesterday.

The march was canceled after the veterans’ group decided to “donate funds raised for the march to disaster relief efforts,” Wu said in a statement.

The 19 rallies, scheduled to begin at 9:30am, would also protest efforts toward Taiwanese independence, military pension reforms, air pollution, food imports from five Japanese prefectures that were banned following the 2011 Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear disaster, planned curriculum changes and what they believe is the Democratic Progressive Party administration’s “authoritarian approach,” he said.

Instead of a march, after a gathering at Taipei’s Zhongshan Hall, association members, accompanied by Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators, will go to the Judicial Yuan to request a constitutional interpretation of the pension reform for military personnel bill that was passed on June 20, he said.

The association began drafting its request to the Council of Grand Justices right after lawmakers passed the pension reform bill, and the request will argue that the Act of Military Service for Officers and Noncommissioned Officers of the Armed Forces (陸海空軍軍官士官服役條例) is unconstitutional because it violates the doctrines of legitimate expectation, proportionality and non-retroactivity, and because it encroaches upon pensioners’ rights, Wu said.

On Friday, association members, volunteers and Wu Shan Cultural Foundation chairman Liu Yu-min (劉佑民) visited a number of areas in Kaohsiung, Tainan and Chiayi hit by heavy flooding last week to help families affected by the disaster and offer monetary awards to rescuers on behalf of the march’s sponsors, Wu said.

The 93 groups that had agreed to sponsor the Taipei march, including associations of retired civil servants, public-school teachers, military personnel, police officers and firefighters, and former KMT chairwoman Hung Hsiu-chu (洪秀柱) agreed that the money should be used for disaster relief, he said.