Sex harassment generals receive retirement pay
The China PostBy Joseph Yeh--An opposition lawmaker yesterday urged the Defense Ministry to stiffen its punishment for military personnel involved in sexual harassment cases after she revealed that three high-ranking generals were accused of sexual harassment last year.
January 10, 2013, 12:04 am TWN
Democratic Progressive Party's Hsueh Ling said that a total of 12 sexual harassment cases were reported in the military last year, with three of them involving generals.
Hsueh, however, said the three generals all received relatively lenient punishments in the wake of the accusations and were all able to file for early retirement despite the scandals.
They are now all eligible to receive full monthly retirement pensions, she noted.
She called on the Defense Ministry to revise current regulations to amend the loopholes as soon as possible.
Asked to comment, Defense Minister Kao Hua-chu said he felt “deeply ashamed” that senior officers would allegedly be involved in such disgraceful actions.
But he stressed that the ministry's existing punishment system is sufficient to prevent such cases from happening again.
Kao made the comments at a legislative hearing yesterday morning during which he briefed lawmakers on the military's attitude toward the Cabinet's plan to cut annual year-end bonuses for military personnel.
Kao said yesterday during the hearing that he understands a reform on the year-end bonuses for public servants and military personnel is necessary given the nation's financial circumstances.
But he noted that year-end bonuses are akin to a government-military personnel “contract.” He said any abrupt change could hurt personnel morale as it would make the government seem to be deliberately ignoring the huge contributions veterans have made to the country over the past several decades.
Removing benefits could also harm the military's push for full voluntary service recruitment, he added.
The government's plan comes in the wake of public outrage after it was revealed that the government is spending NT$20 billion annually to issue year-end bonuses to 423,000 retired military personnel, civil servants and public school teachers.