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Delikado ‘yan! Robredo urges AFP: Consider banning equipment of Dennis Uy’s Dito in military camps

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Vice President Leni Robredo wants the Armed Forces of the Philippines to reconsider its agreement with Dito Telecommunity for the installation of equipment inside military camps over national security concerns.

In an interview Tuesday (September 17), Robredo said Dito should not be allowed to put telecommunications equipment inside or outside military camps since they could be used by China to spy on the Philippines.

Dito is a consortium composed of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy’s Udenna Corporation and the Chinese state-owned China Telecommunications Corporation (China Telecom).

“Iyong sa akin, iyong military iyong nasa best position para mag-assess. Hindi lang na ilabas pero iyong bansa nga totally hindi pinapayagan na maglagay ng installations, para hindi magkaroon ng pagkakataon na makuhaan tayo ng mga information na later on, magagamit laban sa atin,” Robredo said.

While the Vice President said fears on China’s possible spying could be minimized of Dito were to put up its equipment outside military bases, it will be best for stakeholders to listen to the public’s concerns on the agreement’s implications on national security.

Robredo said it was also surprising that Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana was unaware of the deal.

“Hindi tayo nag-a-accuse, pero iyong pangamba parating nandiyan, dahil na rin sa gawain na ilang beses na naipakita na talagang maraming pagkakataon na iyong information gathering iyong sadya dito sa atin, so how much more ngayon na sa loob siya ng military installations,” she said.

Department of Information and Communications Technology Undersecretary Eliseo Rio has assured that the country is protected from cyber threats and espionage even with China Telecoms’ entry into the Philippine telco industry.

Rio noted that the AFP’s deal with Dito is no different from the agreements it signed with other telcos for the construction of facilities inside military camps.

“We expect stringent physical and cybersecurity measures, including strict background checks of personnel and thorough inspection of equipment, never allowing foreigners to enter any communication facilities, would be put in place by agencies of the government knowledgeable in telecommunications operations,” he said in a statement.

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