Tighten PH security measures to stop Chinese 'soft invasion' - Pangilinan | Inquirer News
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Tighten PH security measures to stop Chinese ‘soft invasion’ – Pangilinan

/ 05:28 PM October 21, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday urged the country’s defense sector to investigate and tighten national security measures against what he called a “soft invasion” of Chinese nationals in the Philippines.

Pangilinan issued the call to the Department of National Defense (DND) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) as he expressed alarm over the number of Chinese arrivals in the country since 2017.

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“We call on the DND and the AFP to look into the national security implications of what appears to be a ‘soft invasion’ by a foreign power in our shores,” Pangilinan said in a statement.

Senator Risa Hontiveros earlier claimed that 3.8 million of these Chinese could have entered the country through the so-called “pastillas” scheme.

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Under the racket, Chinese citizens supposedly pay P10,000 each to get “VIP treatment” by immigration employees who facilitate their smooth arrival in the country without the proper documents.

“Where are these 4 million? Are they still here? If they are here illegally, is there an organized effort to trace them and have them deported?” Pangilinan went on.

“Also, are there efforts to track the whereabouts and the movements of these foreigners? In the light of the West Philippine Sea conflict, the surreptitious entry of 4 million Chinese nationals is no laughing matter,” he added.

The senator offered several “solutions” to “bolster national security against the flood of illegal entries of Chinese nationals and other foreigners.”

The Department of Justice could create an inter-agency task force with the DND, National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, BI, and the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency “to put an end to the illegal entry of Chinese nationals and other foreigners, and ensure their immediate deportation,” according to Pangilinan.

He said measures should be tightened on arriving Chinese nationals and other foreigners in our airports.

“Ensure that the BI (Bureau of Immigration) officials behind the ‘pastillas’ scam be made liable for their actions. It will serve as a warning and a precedent against officials still thinking of taking bribes,” he added.

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Further, Pangilinan attributed the government’s initial refusal to stop the entry of Chinese nationals at the beginning of the pandemic in January to the continuous rise of coronavirus cases in the country.

Pangilinan also previously questioned Chinese workers’ employment in Philippine public works projects when millions of Filipinos are jobless amid the pandemic. [ac]

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TAGS: AFP, Chinese nationals, DND, Nation, National security, news, Pastillas, Senator Francis Pangilinan
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