Intelligence agency’s satirical report gets Gordon’s goat
The Senate blue ribbon committee has ordered the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) to explain why it should not be cited in contempt for submitting to the panel an “intelligence” report on the supposed operation of a Chinese missile silo under a mountain in Zambales.
Committee chair Sen. Richard Gordon did a quick online search and found out the document and photographs NICA submitted had come from a satirical website.
The report was submitted to the committee in a hearing on destructive mining operations in Sta. Cruz, Zambales, the site of the purported silo.
“You even put ‘confidential’ on the cover,” Gordon said during an over three-hour hearing on Monday, the second in the inquiry.
“Should we cite you in contempt for giving us false information?” Gordon addressed the hearing, even as no representative from NICA was in attendance.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that whoever submitted the report “should be fired.” Both he and Gordon warned that the Senate would thoroughly review the NICA budget, given its output.
Gordon directed the committee secretariat “to send a missive to NICA on why they should not be cited in contempt,” calling its intelligence capabilities “incompetent.”
“They have a huge budget and then they just lift [information] from a website that says ‘for entertainment purposes only’ and even cover [it with an] intel document?” Gordon said in an interview.
At Monday’s hearing, Gordon also reprimanded Zambales Gov. Amor Deloso for giving the committee unverified information with his claims that the Chinese had flattened two mountains in the province to create a 3,500-hectare fake island on the contested Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.
It was Deloso who had first made the claim to the media in July.
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