Recto hits Lorenzana for ignorance on AFP deal with China-linked telco
MANILA, Philippines — “If the Secretary of DND (Department of National Defense) was left clueless about the China Telecom-AFP (Armed Forces of the Philippines) deal in his own backyard, then maybe it is time to install a radar system in his office.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said this Tuesday after DND Secretary Delfin Lorenzana denied knowing anything about the deal between the Philippine military and Dito Telecommunity Corp., the country’s third telco that has the backing of state-run China Telecom.
The memorandum of agreement (MOA) signed by AFP and the China-linked third telco player in the Philippines would pave the way for the building of Dito’s communication facilities inside military camps and installations.
“If this deal can fly stealthily under the nose of the man responsible for our nation’s defense, then it raises anew the vulnerability of our borders from intruders,” Recto said in a statement.
Recto explained that with the possible security implications attached to the deal, it should have been cleared first at the highest level.
“The concern that these could morph into embedded listening devices, and that the project is like letting an electronic Trojan horse into our camps, should have been subjected to third party expert study,” Recto said.
“This is the clean bill needed before the project can be greenlighted,” he added.
In a Palace briefing on Monday, presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he received a message from Lorenzana denying any knowledge of the said AFP-Dito MOA.
Panelo added that Lorenzana wanted the deal to be investigated.
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