Dito Telecommunity is a consortium led by Dennis Uy, a Davao-based businessman and a campaign contributor of President Rodrigo Duterte, and is composed of China Telecom, Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.
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Palace says Lorenzana unaware of Armed Forces deal with China-backed Mislatel
Alexis Romero (Philstar.com) - September 16, 2019 - 4:13pm

MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana is not aware of the agreement that would allow a China-backed telecommunications firm to build its communication facilities inside Philippine military camps, Malacañang said Monday.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Lorenzana would look into the agreement, which was signed last Wednesday by the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Dito Telecommunity, formerly known as Mislatel.

Dito Telecommunity is a consortium led by Dennis Uy, a Davao-based businessman and a campaign contributor of President Rodrigo Duterte, and is composed of China Telecom, Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp.

"The DND (Department of National Defense) Secretary texted me about it and said he doesn’t know anything about it and he is going to investigate and ask the concerned people involved in the deal. So, we will wait for his findings," Panelo said in a press briefing.

Asked if the military can drop the deal given concerns about its possible impact on national security, Panelo replied: "Certainly, if it involves national security then this government can do something about it."

READ: Military deal with Chinese-linked telco 'very disturbing' — Pangilinan

Under the deal, the military will identify areas where Dito can put up its facilities “without undermining the operations of affected units.”

Maj. Gen. Adrian Sanchez, Armed Forces deputy chief for communications, electronics and information systems, and Dito Chief Administrative Officer Adel Tamano signed the deal in behalf of their respective entities.  

The agreement drew flak from senators who are worried that the putting up of communications infrastructure inside military camps could lead to interference and electronic espionage.

READ: Mislatel consortium says national security a ‘top priority’

Panelo said Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. would be undertaking measures to respond to the senators' concerns.

The Philippines and China are embroiled in a longstanding dispute over the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.

An international tribunal has voided China's expansive maritime claim in the area and has affirmed the Philippines' sovereign rights over its exclusive economic zone but Beijing refused to recognize the ruling.

3RD TELCO ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES DELFIN LORENZANA DITO TELECOMMUNITY MISLATEL CONSORTIUM
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