Security issues
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - January 18, 2019 - 12:00am

The result of the latest survey of who Filipinos trust the most has revealed that America remains at the top spot, followed by Canada and Japan. Trust in China and Russia remain low, countries that President Duterte have made moves to be closer to. Despite Duterte’s acerbic rants against America, Filipinos would still trust it more than China and Russia. Russian warships recently made a goodwill visit in Manila, followed by three Chinese warships. I wonder if American warships are still welcome, or do they just sail by in the South China Sea?

 

Trust in America has always been high since 1994. While China has always remained a bottom dweller, it has gradually improved under the Duterte administration. Trust in China was lowest during the Aquino administration, which in 2012 figured in a standoff at Scarborough Shoal, and also filed a case against the Asian giant. That case was eventually won under this administration, but set aside by Duterte again to cozy up to China. It is also noteworthy to mention that Chinese nationals topped the list of foreigners banned from entering the country, due to disrespect or being arrogant towards NAIA immigration officials. Thirty-seven were banned last year, followed by 25 Americans. Perhaps the Chinese already feel entitled. After all, they have offered billions in aid to this government.

Senator Ralph Recto is calling for an inquiry into the so-called “Safe Philippines Project”, Phase 1 which will include the installation of twelve thousand CCTV cameras all over Metro Manila and Davao. The total cost of the project is at around twenty billion pesos. According to Recto, “It is imperative that the Philippine government review and evaluate government programs and projects and their impact on national security and public interest”. The company supplying the equipment and CCTV technology is Huawei Technologies, which currently has had its share of security and data protection issues, along with hacking and espionage. Here is a company from China with security issues, wanting to supply CCTVs in two big cities. If majority of Filipinos do not trust China, shouldn’t the government think twice before handing over surveillance technology to China?

Recently, an executive from Huawei was arrested in Canada for extradition to the US for alleged violations of sanctions against Iran. China seems to have retaliated by sentencing to death a Canadian found guilty of drug smuggling in a one-day trial. This only highlights the controversy surrounding Huawei Technologies, which is facing similar issues in other countries.

korina_abs@yahoo.com

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