President Rodrigo Duterte answers queries from the members of the media after leading the awarding ceremony for the 2019 Model Overseas Filipino Worker Family of the Year Award at the Malacañan Palace on Nov. 28, 2019.
Presidential Photo/Valerie Escalera
Duterte sees 'no problem' in reported Chinese control of power grid
Patricia Lourdes Viray ( - November 29, 2019 - 10:07am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte does not see the stake of China's State Grid Corporation in the Philippine power grid as a threat to national security.

A few senators and retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio have raised concerns over China's co-ownership of the National Grid Corporation that operates the country's power grid.

China's State Grid Corporation owns 40% of the NGCP, a privately owned consortium.

"There are security issues that can be handled by the military. [Cannot] be a problem. The tower? I will just blow that up. I will cut the cable, it's over," Duterte told reporters Thursday night.

Duterte added that he does believe in Carpio, adding that the retired magistrate is "so enamored with China."

"What did he (Carpio) say that helped the Philippines? Their what? Their decisions?" Duterte said in Filipino.

Carpio was part of the Philippine delegation in the arbitration against China's expansive claims over the South China Sea before the United Nations-backed tribunal.

In July 2016, the arbitral tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines, invalidating Beijing's historic nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

The Duterte administration, however, refuses to invoke the arbitral ruling to seek stronger ties with China.

The Chinese government had also played down reports that it is capable of controlling the Philippines' power infrastructure.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said the Chinese partner only offers technical support to the Philippine side upon request.

"The allegation of China's control over the Philippines' power grid or threat to the country's national security is completely groundless," Geng said.

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