We’ve all been aware of China’s influence on Duterte and his cronies and they are willing to bargain everything, including the Philippine sovereignty and national security in exchange of Chinese investments and support. One those close to Duterte were one of Davao’s businessman Dennis Uy who in just three short years acquired more than 36 big-time companies. Possibly, under the political influence of Duterte with whom he donated campaign funds amounting to 30 million pesos during the Presidential elections in 2016. Which is worth noting though is that in 2017 alone, the company’s total assets soared by a whopping 204% from P44.1 billion in 2016 to P134.2 billion pesos?
The Chinese backed Dito Telecom – should you be worried?
Mislatel, which has rebranded as “Dito Telecommunity (Dito),” is a consortium of Filipino businessman Dennis Uy’s holdings firm Udenna Corporation with a 35% stake, his listed company Chelsea Logistics with 25%, and the Chinese government-owned and -controlled China Telecom with 40%. And that being said — the said telecom company has a ”Memorandum of Agreement’‘ to allow its use of military bases and installations which leaves our defense infrastracture open to espionage by a foreign country like China who in the past been largely had been belligerent in its approach to harass Philippine ships and flotillas in the West Philippine Sea even as far firing warning shots at Filipino planes flying near its man-made fortresses within its the Philippines Internationally acknowledged Exclusive Economic Zone.
Many trolls would argue that Chinese rule over Filipino owned Telco should not be of critical concern since we in the past been influenced by Chinese traders and in fact for as much of our history can be linked to China. Also, most of the products and items we consume and use were all made in China. Thus, why should we worry?
Yes, we should be worried — here’s why.
First and foremost. Chinese laws, particularly under Chapter 1, Article 7 states that ‘‘Any organization or citizen shall support, assist and cooperate
With the state intelligence work in accordance with the law, and keep the secrets of the national intelligence work known to the public..” has the legal power to compel any of its citizens including companies and or organizations to willing or even unwillingly support its International espionage network
Second, of course, we know that the Philippines is a strategic location to widen Chinese influence in Southeast Asia and control the worlds busiest commercial lanes along with it of course to secure its holdings in the South China Sea which were islands and reefs stolen from the Philippines. Should China maintain its influence over the Philippines political landscape, then of course gradually China will soon continue to push forward and acquire the rest of the Filipinos controlled islands in the West Philippine Sea including the largest one known to as ”Pag Asa” island which is resided by a number of Filipino families under the municipality of Kalayaan, Palawan.
Experts review Chinese backed Dito Telecom and Philippine military agreement
According to a detailed article published by Rappler which you can read through this link. That there’s been red-flags on the agreement itself and that there has been absolutely no security safeguards that would limit the said corporation access to military installations in the country and in doing so would open for a massive espionage crisis which will surely endanger our national security.
- The MOA with Dito does not provide real safeguards against information breaches.
- It does not explicitly limit where the telco can place its facilities within military properties. In fact, the contract states that Mislatel/Dito may co-locate its facilities in “all sites owned by AFP.”
- Part of the exchange deal is for Dito to help “design, develop, and upgrade” the AFP’s information systems, products, and services – which would require access to the military’s communication systems.
- A provision allows Dito to relocate its facilities “to any designated place” inside the military property should the AFP require it. This is vague compared to another telco’s version of this provision, and may be taken advantage of by Dito’s Chinese component.
- A security provision unique to Dito’s MOA inherently acknowledges that the arrangement may enable Dito to obtain classified information from the AFP, but “guarantees” that it would not – which raises false hopes, experts say.
The said subject-matter experts also found scathing major differences with the contract with ambiguous provisions likely to favor Dito Telecom over other telecommunications providers who seeks co-location arrangements with the Philippine military. In fact, in between Smart, Globe and Dito Telecom’s MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) It says under the article “Exchange of Services”, “The AFP shall allow co-location in the sites it owns.” which points to Annex A which should contain all of the specific locations that these talks can co-locate with the military except Dito Telecom, which doesn’t have any specifics thus implying that they should be able to arrange co-locations on military bases anywhere without particularly set parameters or maybe even perhaps such locations were witheld from the media probably expecting critical backslash from the people if they find out.
The dangers of Chinese military espionage
Should China is able to access much of the Philippines military installations, communications facilities then likely our ability to respond with our defense capabilities will be greatly restricted as China knows what we plan to do, think and our daily communications with high-ranking officials in the military. Should in the event that China attempts to invade the country or launch an offensive — our military would most likely be caught off guard as China would easily fracture our communications network or even ambush our troops and naval assets since they know where and when to expect us.
Also, other dire scenarios not including the possibility of Chinese belligerence include access to confidential military records and communications of high-ranking officials, which China can then use as blackmail to keep the political environment favorable to the Chinese Communist Party.
Whichever is the case. My stance is just pretty simple. Any foreign military must not be given access to our own military installations, especially if that country has territorial claims against our own soverenithy and has currently been waging aggressive harassment of Filipino ships within our own waters. That is not how you should greet and treat a friend.
China should be avoided at all cost — if the Philippines don’t want to be the next Xinjiang or Hongkong.