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Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago has expressed alarm at what she called the infection of the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) by a “national security virus” from China.

In a statement, Santiago revealed that a firm run by the Chinese government holds 40 percent of NGCP’s capital stock. The company manages electricity transmission systems in the Philippines.

“The Philippine Constitution is replete with requirements of nationalism but such a vital and strategic industry such as the electric power industry is infected by a national-security virus,” the senator said.

China and the Philippines have been embroiled in a territorial dispute over the West Philippine Sea for years. China has built structures on the islands it claims as its own while the Philippines has brought the case for arbitration before the United Nations. 

Her statement comes as the Senate is set to deliberate on Joint Resolution No. 12, which seeks to grant President Aquino emergency powers to address an alleged energy crisis. The House of Representatives approved its version of the measure in December last year.

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