The Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) yesterday accused the government of giving preferential treatment to former
Ting Hsin Oil and Fat Industrial Co (頂新製油實業) and Cheng I Food Co (正義股份) chairman Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) in several food scandals involving his firms, since Wei has been a “faithful supporter” of President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九).
Amid the latest tainted oil crisis involving Cheng I, a subsidiary of the Ting Hsin International Group (頂新集團), many of the businesses involved have been searched, while managers of several companies, including Ting Hsin, have been detained. Yet, so far, Wei has been left out of investigations.
“When investigating tainted cooking oil cases in the past, the prosecutor in charge was quick to apply for detention of Chang Chi Foodstuff Factory Co (大統長基食品公司) chairman Kao Cheng-li (高振利) and Chang Guann Co (長冠企業) chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang (葉文祥) to prevent them from colluding on testimony and destroying evidence,” DPP spokesperson Huang Di-ying (黃帝穎) said yesterday. “However, the prosecutor has yet to call for Wei’s detention.”
“We therefore question if it is because Wei has served as the vice chairman of a business leaders’ support group for Ma during his presidential campaign and has good connections to the government,” Huang said.
Huang said that during the 2012 presidential election, Wei attended meetings by business leaders to voice their support for Ma and was handed an official certificate by Ma appointing him to serve as vice chairman of the National Business and Industrial Leaders’ Support Group for Ma Ying-jeou.
“This shows that Wei may have a better relationship with Ma than Kao and Yeh,” Huang said. “However in a democracy with rule of law, prosecutors should treat all cases the same way, they should not investigate cases selectively or detain people selectively.”
In related news, Huang rejected a message circulating online that accused the DPP of blocking revisions to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation (食品衛生安全管理法) with a legislative vote on Nov. 22 last year.
“The voting was actually on the meeting agenda, not on amendments to the law,” Huang said.
“In fact, at the time, the DPP was voting ‘no’ to a Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) proposal to list amendments to the Act Governing Food Safety and Sanitation the last of all 80 proposals to be discussed,” Huang said. “The KMT’s proposal would not have left the legislature enough time to discuss amendments to the law.”
He said that just before the vote, the KMT rejected a DPP proposal to create a compensation fund for victims of food scandals using penalties from food manufacturers involved.
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