Lacson: Chinese soldiers’ PH immersion’ a test to intelligence community
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday said his revelation that thousands of Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may have have sneaked into the Philippines is a “test and challenge” to the intelligence community, not to the intelligence of Filipinos.
Lacson, a former national police chief, earlier revealed that a “reliable source,” who supplied him with accurate intelligence reports in the past, told him about the presence of up to 3,000 members of China’s PLA.
The source said the foreign troops appear to be “on an immersion mission.”
“It is a test all right, not of the intelligence of the Filipino people but a test and a challenge as well to our intelligence community to verify what I said, a yet-to-be validated information provided by a reliable source who had given me some accurate intelligence reports in the past,” Lacson said in a statement.
“In intelligence parlance, this information may be classified ‘A6’. Considering the implications, it is one piece of information still worth looking into,” he added.
The senator appears to be responding to a recent tweet by the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines, where it questioned Lacson’s exposé.
Replying to a tweet by Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Boy Locsin, Jr. about the supposed entry of the Chinese PLAs possibly for an “immersion mission,” the embassy said: “Is the Senator testing the intelligence of the Philippine people?
Is the Senator testing the intelligence of the Philippine people? 😱
— ChineseEmbassyManila (@Chinaembmanila) March 5, 2020
PLA is the unified organization of China’s land, sea, and air forces and is one of the largest military forces in the world.
Lacson said validating the information is the best way to resolve it.
“This is without prejudice to the Philippine government’s ongoing efforts to verify such information,” he said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines said it is validating the information and said it is a “matter of serious concern.”
Last week, authorities recovered PLA IDs from two Chinese nationals tagged in the murder of another Chinese national, who was shot inside a restaurant in Makati City.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.