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June 26, 2017

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Pres. Ma should stop apologizing now: Wang Chien-hsuan

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Top government watchdog Wang Chien-hsuan called on President Ma Ying-jeou to stop apologizing for the delays in helping Morakot victims yesterday, as the Legislative Yuan called a three-day emergency session to act on a draft statute on post-flood reconstruction.

Receiving survivors of the Siaolin village mudslides at his Control Yuan office, Wang urged Ma and Premier Liu Chao-shiuan not to continue offering apologies.

Close to 500 residents of the village in the county of Kaohsiung are buried alive in mudslides and presumed dead. Survivors came to the Control Yuan to appeal for an investigation to find out who are responsible for the tragic death of their relatives and the destruction of all their homes.

"Don't get on knees and kowtow or make a deep bow lasting for 10 seconds or hug members of the bereaved families anymore," Wang admonished President Ma.

Wang, president of the Control Yuan, admitted that he also wanted to visit the disaster areas to do just like Ma. But, he said, Ma shouldn't keep on doing so.

"President Ma and his premier should stay tight in office to think hard and come out with better ideas to complete the post-flood reconstruction as soon as possible," Wang pointed out.

He said he won't oppose participation by investigators from abroad in the watchdog body's inquiry into the causes for the delays with the rescue and evacuation operations in the wake of the tropical rainstorm that struck Taiwan on August 8.

But Wang did not repeat the threat that he would call on all government officials involved with the relief efforts, including President Ma and Premier Liu, to give their accounts.

The top ombudsman hopes to complete the independent inquiry in two months at the latest. Should officials be found derelict of duty, the Control Yuan would urge the government agencies concerned to take corrective measures. If no corrective measures are taken, the officials guilty of dereliction could be impeached.

The Control Yuan cannot impeach the president.

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