Focus on finding the truth

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Focus on finding the truth

The National Assembly this week embarked on an investigation and hearing on the power abuse scandal involving President Park Geun-hye and her inner circle. The questioning will start with the presidential offices of the secretariat and security guards. Heads of eight conglomerates will then be summoned, followed by 27 key figures, including Kim Ki-choon, former chief of staff, and Woo Byung-woo, former senior presidential secretary for civil affairs, who have been implicated or already indicted with criminal charges for colluding with the president’s controversial friend, Choi Soon-sil.

All eyes will be on the National Assembly to see whether it can uncover the power abuses. The legislature must demonstrate the will and capability to save the country, which is shaken up by the excesses and impotence of its president.

The legislature’s questioning will give grounds to the motion of impeachment against the president by the three opposition parties.

Lawmakers should therefore concentrate on proving whether or how Park was involved in the excesses of the Choi clan. Park claims she was not aware of the wrongdoings by her acquaintances. If her own illegalities are exposed through questioning, the impeachment motion could gain impetus.

Lawmakers must find out from corporate heads whether they were aware of the president’s role behind the donations to the two nonprofit organizations, advertising works channeled to an ad agency owned by Choi, the National Pension Service working in favor of the merger of Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries and forcing the CJ Group vice chair out of office. Their testimonies could work to build a bribery case on the president as well as the companies.

The parliamentary questioning takes place on Tuesday, following the weekend protest rally that drew 2.32 million people. The people want truth and justice. The rival parties must question and find answers for the people.

But the problem is that most of the witnesses are refusing to attend the questioning. The National Assembly must use all its authorized power to make Kim and Woo, as well as other key witnesses, comply with the questioning. The witnesses are outright disregarding the people if they resist the legislative call. If they have any conscience left, they must at least pay respect to the people by telling the truth.

JoongAng Ilbo, Dec. 5, Page 30
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