Pangilinan: Why let China-linked telco set-up towers in military camps?
MANILA, Philippines — Why let a China-backed telecommunications company build towers inside military camps?
This was the question raised by Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on Thursday as the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) forged an agreement that would allow Dito Telecommunity to build communication facilities in military camps and installations.
“Why build these telco towers inside camps in the first place? Are there no other available sites for their towers? How much are they paying the government for these?” the opposition senator asked.
“How can we be assured that there will be no breach of national security and respect for the privacy of communications and correspondence? Do we have guarantees that they will not obtain crucial information to the detriment of Filipinos?” he added.
Dito Telecommunity, formerly known as Mislatel, is slated to be the country’s third major telecommunications player. The telco firm is said to be partly backed by state-owned China Telecom.
“Sa isyu nga ng POGOs (Philippine offshore gaming operators) na malapit lang sa military camps, na-alarma na ang mga opisyal ng Department of National Defense sa potential security concern, paano pa itong nasa loob na mismo ng mga kampo? Our security and foreign policies have become so absurd,” Pangilinan pointed out.
Pangilinan also argued that the planned installation of towers inside military camps “raises fears of electronic espionage and interference given the record of some Chinese firms for engaging in this illegal activity.”
The senator then asked the public to remain watchful, saying “our safety and security are at stake.” /kga
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