Duterte made the revelation in a television interview as he was answering a question about fears that China can switch off the Philippines’ power supply because of a Chinese firm’s stake in Manila’s power grid.
STAR/File
Duterte says he refused cell phone from China
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 3, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte revealed that China had offered to provide him a hack-proof mobile phone but he refused, to avoid suspicions that he is hiding something.

Duterte made the revelation in a television interview as he was answering a question about fears that China can switch off the Philippines’ power supply because of a Chinese firm’s stake in Manila’s power grid.

“Right now they are listening to us, through satellites, without using the grid, they spy. I don’t know who is doing that here,” Duterte told GMA News yesterday.

“They know, I know because I have talked to him (Chinese President Xi Jinping). And as a matter of fact, they offered to give me a cellphone that cannot be hacked. I do not want the people to suspect,” he added.

Duterte did not say what prompted the Chinese officials to make the offer.

The State Grid Corp. of China owns 40 percent of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP).

Earlier, retired Supreme Court senior associate justice Antonio Carpio said the tapping of Chinese technicians in the NGCP is a cause for concern because they can easily shut down the transmission facility.

Carpio, who has been critical of the Duterte administration’s warming up to China, warned that Chinese technicians could also insert malware in the system.

Duterte, however, believes China won’t shut down the power grid because a Chinese firm is earning from it.

“You want a better one, better service, you want more energy distributed, China offered to help. We agreed. So it’s business. What’s the purpose of business? To spy? It’s to make money for China. And for us,” Duterte said.

“What would be a possible reason that China would spy or cut the grid?” he added.

Duterte said he does not believe that China is out to sabotage the Philippines’ transmission system.

“I now ask China. I’d like to address myself, respectfully, to President Xi Jinping. What could be the reason because I do not believe that you’d do it,” he said.

CELLPHONE HACK
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with