Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto on Wednesday urged the police and the military to band together against what he claimed were security threats posed by more Chinese entities coming into the country.
“There should be connivance. Our AFP and PNP should connive, because there seems to be connivance from them (Chinese companies). They are entering the PNP, they are entering the AFP,” Recto said during the Senate plenary deliberations on the Department of National Defense’ P191 billion budget for 2020.
He said there have been security concerns raised with China co-owning the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP), which operates the high-voltage system that conveys electricity from power generators to millions of consumers.
The State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) is a technical partner and owns 40 percent of the NGCP.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, finance committee vice-chairman and defended the DND budget, earlier claimed hearing that new NGCP equipment that arrived in the country came with labels and instructions written in Chinese, and were manned by Chinese personnel.
Recto said: “Right now ang buong kuryente ng Pilipinas ang nagpapatakbo the State Grid of China. All the equipment – written in Chinese. Hindi naiintindihan ‘yan ng mga tao natin. They can turn it off remotely.”
“Ang giyera naman na darating ganon na, not necessarily missiles. Cyberwar. And what is that? Telecommunications. Di ba?” he said.
Recto also noted China Telecommunications Corporation's (China Telecom) reported plan to use NGCP wires for its middle mile telecommunication.
China Telecom, a China-owned company, is the partner of Dito Telecommunity Corporation, which has been declared as the country’s third telco.
“It is all over the papers. Why can’t the national defense and security officials look at all of these holistically? We are seeing what is happening in the DILG, in the DND, in the NGCP, in the telecom sector, not to mention there are bills filed in the Senate amending the Public Service Act to allow foreigners 100% ownership, hindi lang 40% ha. Di 'ba dapat tinitingnan mabuti ‘yan ng national security?” Recto said.
Lacson said Philippine security officials are already looking into the matter.
“I was informed that it is being done already to make sure that the security concerns you are raising now are addressed properly,” he told Recto.
Recto said if ever the DND allows Dito Telecom to build towers inside military camps, they should submit to the Senate their “reason, what clearances do we have, what regulations do we have, how do we compare to other countries in the region or our allies with regard to these regulations.” — MDM, GMA News