Malacañang on Monday assured Filipinos that allowing China-backed Dito Telecommunity to build facilities inside military bases would not pose security threats.
“In-assure naman po tayo ng ating DND (Department of National Defense) na wala naman pong magiging security breach sa pagtatayo ng mga towers na iyan,” Palace spokesman Harry Roque said in a briefing.
Dito Telecommunity is composed of Davao-based tycoon Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corp, Chelsea Logistics Corporation and China Telecom.
Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the country could be letting its guards down by allowing a China-owned telco into its military bases.
“Nagpapasakop ba tayo? Ang isang China-owned telco sa kampo ng sarili nating militar ay lubos na kaduda-duda, lalo na at ang Tsina ay hindi humihinto sa agresibong pag-angkin sa West Philippine Sea, pagsira sa ating likas-yaman, at pag-abuso sa mga mangingisdang Pilipino,” Hontiveros said in a statement.
Roque said the move was done with good intentions.
“The way I understand it, hindi lang naman iyong third provider ang gagamit po ng mga telecoms tower; the two other telecoms providers can also lease these powers para sa sarili nilang mga cell sites,” Roque said.
“Ang ating intention po talaga ay pabutihin ang telecommunications connectivity,” he added.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana signed the contract allowing Dito to build cell sites within the country’s military camps last week.
He said he was given assurance by the Armed Forces of the Philippines that safeguards would be in place to guarantee the camps’ security and no spying would occur. John Ezekiel J. Hirro