De Lima: AFP deal with China-backed telco a ‘Trojan Horse’
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition Senator Leila De Lima has warned that the government’s deal with China-led Mislatel Consortium to build communication facilities inside Philippine military camps may pose a threat to the country’s national security, calling it a “Trojan Horse” waiting to expose the country’s vulnerabilities.
“Any time now, this Trojan Horse will be knocking on the gates of different facilities and expose our other vulnerabilities,” De Lima said in a statement Wednesday.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) recently signed a deal with Mislatel, now called Dito Telecoomunity, allowing the telco firm to install and manage communication equipment “without undermining the operations of affected AFP units.”
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, however, claimed he was uninformed about the AFP’s deal with Mislatel, which is notably poised to become the country’s 3rd major telecommunications player, under the name Dito Telecommunity.
De Lima also called on Congress to exercise its oversight function into the controversial deal.
“Congress needs to assert its oversight function and look into this MOA between the AFP and Mislatel Consortium. I fully support Sen. Risa Hontiveros’ Senate Resolution to look into the agreement as our sovereignty is already in a compromising position,” she said.
Hontiveros, another opposition senator, has filed Senate Resolution No. 137 seeking to investigate the national security implications of AFP’s deal with Mislatel.
De Lima likened what she called a “treacherous” deal between the AFP and Mislatel to that of President Duterte’s move to set aside the country’s claim over the West Philippine Sea (WPS) and enter into onerous deals with the Chinese government.
“Since the start of the Duterte administration, the public remains in the dark over the deals the government has been making with China. We do not know what the exact consequences of these deals are,” she said.
“We just might wake up one day with our sovereignty totally stripped off our nation, all because of the deals President Duterte made with China,” she added. /kga
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