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Gov’t to terminate AFP-telco deal if it’s a security threat – Palace

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By Prince Golez

The government can terminate its agreement to allow Dito Telecommunity to build communication facilities in military camps and installations if it compromises national security, Malacañang said.

“If it involves national security, then this government can do something about it,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo told reporters Monday.

Panelo was reacting to Senator Francis Pangilinan’s statement that the installation of telecom facilities inside military camps could be used for electronic espionage.

“I’m sure the DND (Department of National Defense) secretary and Mr. Esperon will be undertaking measures to respond to that concern,” according to him.

On September 11, the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Chinese-linked Dito Telecommunity Corporation (formerly Mislatel) signed a memorandum of agreement allowing the latter to build communications facilities and towers within military bases.

Panelo said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told him that he was clueless about the military’s agreement with Dito and would investigate the same.

“The DND secretary texted me about it and he said he doesn’t know anything about it and he is going to investigate and ask the concerned people involved in the deal so we’ll wait for his findings,” he added.

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