Senators sound alarm over Chinese students' activities in Cagayan

Senators sound alarm over Chinese students’ activities in Cagayan

/ 08:14 PM April 18, 2024


senators sound alar over Chinese students' activities on Cagayan


MANILA, Philippines — Three senators on Thursday expressed alarm over Chinese students in Cagayan reportedly paying P2 million to obtain their degrees and other related concerns.

In separate statements, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva as well as Senators Risa Hontiveros and Francis Escudero aired their stand on the issue. 


Villanueva said the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the National Security Council should look into the matter and investigate further. 


“This issue does not only diminish the integrity of our education system but might also have implications on our national security. We need to ensure that this is not a smokescreen for more questionable Chinese citizens to enter the country, such as workers in illegal Philippine Offshore Gaming  Operations,” said Villenuava.

Escudero, on the other hand, said Professor Dexter Cabalza who initially revealed the alleged scheme – should file a complaint with CHED regarding the matter. 

This, so CHED can “investigate it by issuing show cause orders to St. Paul University in Tuguegarao.”

“A complaint is necessary, I believe, as this is an academic freedom issue that can have a serious push back against government regulators with oversight function over tertiary schools,” said Escudero.

READ: Some Chinese students in Cagayan allegedly pay P2 million to get degrees


Hontiveros, meanwhile, wondered whether or not  this is another episode of the infamous “pastillas scam”.

“Visa Upon Arrival (VUA) and other immigration processes have been abused in the past, as it enabled the unchecked entry of Chinese nationals working for POGOs. Our hearings on the pastillas scam led to the suspension of the VUA system at that time. The same might apply in this alarming new development,” said Hontiveros. 

She said it might be related to the influx of Chinese students in Cagayan. In the end, the opposition lawmaker vowed to file a resolution seeking a probe into the alleged incident. 

“Apart from possible violation on Immigration processes, the Senate should look into the reported presence of Chinese nationals around EDCA sites. This is a national security concern that must be addressed,” said Hontiveros. 

China: PH politicians only hyping the issue

In a separate statement also issued Thursday, the Chinese Embassy insisted that the Philippines and China’s “educational exchanges and cooperation” are growing fast, and claimed that Filipino politicians are merely hyping the issue. 

“Individual Philippine politicians are hyping up China-Philippines maritime issues and exaggerating the maritime differences in the name of national security to serve their political agenda and self-interest and undermine China-Philippines cooperation,” said the embassy. 

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“The unfounded accusation of our educational exchanges is yet another malicious sleight of hand to incite suspicion and hatred of China. Insightful people in the Philippines have not lost sight of this tendency by calling it McCarthyism resurrecting in the Philippines. This deserves high vigilance and must be resolutely opposed,” it added.

TAGS: Chinese students, senators

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