Former party official accused of falsifying wartime achievements
VietNamNet Bridge – A rare case of denouncement was brought up in Thua Thien-Hue Province by a group of veterans who accused a former party leader of lying about his wartime record to gain the status of "Hero of the People's Armed Force".
Representatives for the accusers.
The Hero of the People's Armed Force is normally awarded to individuals with "exceptionally outstanding achievements in combat, combat service and work, represent the revolutionary heroism in the cause of national liberation, national defense and the protection the people".
Ho Xuan Man was awarded with the title in 2010 after he submitted a claim, which included a number of documents that attested to his accomplishments in Phong Dien District between the years of 1964 and 1975.
The group of veterans, however, said that the claims he made in order to earn the title were fabrications, although the award has helped him in his civilian career.
According to Man's declarations, he joined the provincial security and armed forces to protect the people's committee of the party in 1964. He also claimed that his unit killed a squad of six American soldiers in 1966.
But Le Van Uyen, former head for organisation board of Phong Dien District, said, “This is completely false. Between 1964 and 1967, Mr. Man stayed in his hometown. He was a student and herded buffalo. In 1967 he did serve as a guerrilla fighter in Phong An commune, but this would not have allowed him to protect the provincial party committee."
The group of veterans also denied that Mr. Man’s unit ambushed and killed nine American soldiers in May 1968, as well as his claims that he gave instruction to comrades to carry out an operation to kill six American soldiers at Ta Luong base the same year. They said that during this time, Man was in Phong An Commune, while Ta Luong base was located in A Luoi Distrct. In May, Phong An Commune did not witness a fight that would have resulted in the number of kills Man has claimed.
Hoang Phuoc Sum, a former provincial police officer, and one of the accusers, attested in a letter to the Party Unit in February that Man was a fellow student in neighbouring of Quang Binh Province from 1969 to March 1971, and then worked as assistant to the Phong Dien District Party Chief, Le Van Sau from March to November 1971.
"Man was just a local guerrilla and not a party member, so how could he said he have led the nearly 100 attacks he has taken credit for, or killed 150 American soldiers, and destroyed an aircraft along with 37 other military vehicles," Mr. Sum said.
Addressing the documents Man submitted to earn his award, the petition read, "At the procedures for making out official documents was top down. So we had to sign papers that we were not allowed to read. Since he was the provincial party secretary he had power. Even his ceremony was held in a stealthy way, not with the attention and solemnity given to most such ceremonies."
Man said he became aware of the denunciation on February 28 and that the provincial standing party committee had not yet called him in for testify. "Anyone who wishes to denounce me has the right to do so, but the party committee has the responsibility of taking such detractions in an objective manner.
"In order to get this title authorities had to inspect and approve both my achievements and the documents supporting their veracity," he added.
Nguyen Ngoc Thien, the current provincial Party Chief, said the standing party committee received the petition on February 5 and that it was under investigation.