Palace: Spy gadgets for terror fight, not to shadow foes
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Thursday said the government purchased equipment to curb terrorism, not to spy on the opposition.
Communications secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. was reacting to a statement from United Nationalist Alliance’s secretary general Toby Tiangco that the government uses the gadgets to spy on the opposition.
Coloma said the Department of National Defense purchased anti-terrorism equipment as part of its modernization plan of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
“According to the Department of National Defense, the equipment that was procured is part of the AFP modernization program, and will be used primarily in the campaign against terrorism,” Coloma said at a televised press briefing on Thursday.
In an interview with Inquirer Radio 990AM on Thursday, Tiangco said he received reliable information that the administration is spying on the opposition using spy gadgets.
“Our source said the gadgets would be used on us. At first, we could not believe it, until Malacañang confirmed the purchase,” Tiangco said in Filipino.
But Coloma would rather not comment on Tiangco’s allegations, but only to say the devices would be used to combat terrorism.
“Whatever his opinion or of other critics, that is our only answer to them,” Coloma said.