The last to know
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - September 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Defense Sec. Lorenzana apparently was unaware of the agreement between the AFP and the incoming third telecommunications company which is a partnership between Dennis Uy, a known friend of President Duterte and state-owned China Telecom. The agreement is allowing the telecom to facilities and structures such as cellphone towers within AFP camps. Lorenzana did not know anything about the agreement and now wants to scrutinize the agreement. Remember Lorenzana also commented on the POGOs and their close proximity to AFP camps? Now they want to build inside the camps themselves. Does the secretary of defense not know what is happening inside the camps?  I thought civilian authority was higher than the military? In this case he seems to be the last to know.

Lorenzana explained that the reason he was unaware is because he is currently out of the country. In this era of real-time communication, was it so hard to inform him? Shouldn't he at least be notified via a phone call, texting, viber, emailing to know that something this huge an undertaking is about to happen inside the major military camps? According to the AFP, the memorandum of agreement (MOA) would be sent to his office for his approval. As of Monday, the DND has not received any documents despite the offices just across the street inside Camp Aguinaldo.

I wonder what the outcome of the investigation will be? Did anything happen when Lorenzana commented on the POGOs near the camps? Would that agreement be revoked if the local partner is a close friend of Duterte? Duterte would certainly know of the MOA, but the Palace said nothing. Now that Lorenzana is asking, everyone is saying the MOA is just awaiting his approval.

I wouldn't be surprised if the investigation would show that the country need not fear anything. The AFP has allayed fears that any form of espionage would take place. The rationale of the AFP is that the two telco companies already have structures inside the camps so they just wanted to give the third telco a fair shake. How thoughtful of the AFP to allow a company with a foreign partner inside military camps. I wonder if the same thing is being done by other countries. I could be wrong.

I guess Sec. Lorenzana has his work cut out for him. He should study the agreement very carefully, and understand that we still have territorial disputes with China. And this isn't just a Chinese company but a state-owned Chinese company. If he was concerned with the proximity of POGO communities, he should be more concerned with a Chinese company with telecommunication technology that may even be more sophisticated than our own military. The military has downplayed the possibility but like what Sec. Gordon said, "in the realm of possibility, it can happen."

CHINA TELECOM
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