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PNP looking into alleged Chinese sleeper cells in Philippines

The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Monday said it is looking into the report of alleged Chinese sleeper cells in the country.

In a press conference, PNP chief Police General Benjamin Acorda Jr. called the report “alarming.”

“With regards to these sleeper cells, there were some accomplishments the other law enforcement units natin, iyong [National Bureau of Investigation], may mga nakuha,” he said.

(With regards to these sleeper cells, there were some accomplishments our other law enforcement units, the National Bureau of Investigation, have gained.)

“This is alarming. Iyon naman ang tinitignan natin. Of course, it's not remote. All other countries are doing that. Iyan dapat bantayan natin bilang part ng security cluster ng bansa,” he added.

(This is alarming. We are looking into this. Of course, it's not remote. All other countries are doing that. We should watch out for this as part of the security cluster of the country.)

For his part, National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) chief Police Brigadier General Jose Melencio Nartatez Jr. said the report on the supposed sleeper cells is not yet proven.

Nevertheless, Nartatez said the police will still check on the operations of establishments to identify possible spies from foreign governments.

“Kapag umikot ang pulis and all of these agencies invoking their visitorial power, maiiwasan natin kung ano ang maiiwasan like the usual violations,” he said.

(If the police and all of these agencies conduct patrols invoking their visitorial power, we can prevent what we can prevent like the usual violations.)

On Friday, the Chinese Embassy belied allegations that China has placed clandestine forces in the Philippines and that the suspects recently arrested in Pasay City were among the sleeper cells deployed in the country.

“We strongly oppose and condemn such baseless allegations and malicious spreading of disinformation,” Chinese Ambassador Huang Xilian said.

The Chinese embassy is coordinating with Philippine enforcement agencies as regards the two Chinese suspects, he added.

The NBI nabbed the Chinese suspects and seized high-powered weapons including an assault rifle, and a 40-caliber gun. Ammunition was also seized.

Also recovered from the Chinese nationals were patches embroidered with the words Sniper Team, Assault Team, Blasting Team, and Machine Gun Team, which were found to be accessories of an airsoft uniform.

NBI regional director Rommel Vallejo denied that the arrested suspects were part of a destabilization plot.—AOL, GMA Integrated News