The AFP should be on their toes
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - September 14, 2020 - 12:00am

Two projects where Chinese companies will be heavily involved in have been given the go signal. Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana has signed the agreement for Dito Telecommunity Corp. to build cellphone towers within some military bases in the country. Forty percent of Dito is owned by China Telecom and the rest is owned by the Udenna Corp. of Dennis Uy who is a well-known friend and supporter of President Duterte.

Some groups have expressed concerns that China could spy on the country with cellphone towers well within the country and on military bases even. According to Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, the ban by the United States and other countries on telco companies from China because of accusations of espionage should have been enough for the country to follow suit and not allow the projects to continue. But AFP spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo assured that the AFP is ready to counter any actions of espionage that China may undertake. But if America and other countries with far more advanced technology than ours have banned this company, then shouldn't we just follow them? But since Duterte's arms are always open to anything China, it should be no surprise the project has been approved.

Meanwhile, at Sangley Point where a known blacklisted company from China will spearhead the building of a new airport, the Philippine Navy is opposed to being entirely evicted from the base. China Communications Construction Co. Inc. (CCCC) is one of the companies that created artificial islands in the South China Sea that is now in use by the Chinese military. This is the reason why the US has blacklisted the company. But again, everything in the country is open to China. This is exactly why the PH Navy doesn't want to leave the base. They will co-exist with the airport once it is operational. Another issue is the planned reclamation of the historic Cañacao Bay, site of the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War. Reclaiming it would eradicate another heritage site. These sites should be preserved, not just covered up. I agree. We seem to be very poor in preserving our history as we demolish historical sites and buildings here and there.

The AFP should be on their toes. The administration's open-arms policy to anything China warrants such skepticism, especially if concerns come from a known expert such as former Supreme Court associate justice Antonio Carpio. Hopefully, the AFP is ready for anything China will do that is inimical to the country. They will soon be in our backyard. If we could not prevent China from creating artificial islands in the South China Sea, we should stop them from doing anything funny inside our borders.

DELFIN LORENZANA
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