Palace: Lorenzana to probe Chinese telco-military deal

(Eagle News)–The Palace on Monday, Sept. 16, said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was unaware of the deal between a Chinese telco and the military that would supposedly allow for the construction of telecommunications facilities inside military camps.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Lorenzana, however, will probe the  deal between the military and Dito Telecommunity Inc., which Senator Kiko Pangilinan had slammed as raising security concerns.

He said Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon would address the concerns over the deal, which, in any case, could be scrapped if there were indeed security issues.

In a recent statement, Pangilinan had accused the administration of “la(ying) down the red carpet” for Dito, noting that the “planned installation of electronic communications inside our military camps raises fears of electronic espionage and interference given the record of some Chinese firms for engaging in this illegal activity.”

He said the defense department went up in arms over the installation of Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators, where many Chinese nationals work, near military camps for the same reason, “paano pa itong nasa loob na mismo ng mga kampo?”

“Atin ang Pilipinas — the land, the waters, and the air. Huwag natin i-surrender ito, kasama na ang naipanalong arbitral ruling sa para sa controlling stake sa joint exploration ng West Philippine Sea. We should be vigilant and keep watch as our safety and security are at stake,” he added.