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AFP-Mislatel deal still needs Lorenzana’s green light – Honasan

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

Information and Communications Technology Sec. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II said the deal between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and DITO Consortium still needs the approval of the Department of National Defense.

In a chance interview interview at the House of Representatives, Honosan said it was “premature” to say that the agreement is final since Defense Sec. Delfin Lorenzana remains the approving authority over the agreement between outgoing AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Benjamin Madrigal and the China-linked third telco earlier this month.

“Aang nangyari, masyadong naging premature ang exposure. Wala pang final. Ang approving authority dun is DND,” said Honasan.

“Kulang lang sa public information. Premature. I don’t think we should react,” he added

Honasan added that Lorenzana still needs inputs from his agency, the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) before deciding whether or not to go with the project.

Meanwhile, Honasan revealed that he only learned the AFP-DITO deal in the news.

DITO Consortium, formerly known as Mislatel, includes consist of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation-Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corporation and the Beijing-based China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom).

AFP recently signed a deal with the Chinese-linked firm to put facilities inside the military camps in the country.

Critics hit the project allowing China-backed telco inside the military bases since it may compromise national security.

But for Madrigal, they have just given Uy’s group a fair share of opportunity since giant telcos Globe Telecom and PLDT also have presence in DND-run facilities.

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