AFP defends memorandum signed with Dito last week
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) emphasized the qualification of Dito Telecommunity, defending the memorandum of agreement they signed with the company last week.
"This has passed through government scrutiny, National Telecommunication Commission for example. They were able to secure a certificate of public convenience from the NTC," sad Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, in a television interview.
"(The) government gave it clearance for it to become the third telco, it has a concurrent resolution allowing its sale. It has a franchise to operate, so basically they are allowed to practice and do business in the Philippines," he added.
Arevalo said since the Chinese linked telco has authority to operate, the AFP can help by allowing them to build their facilities inside a guarded place like military camps.
"The next point is if they have the authority to operate, and if they are legal and they would like to help... in terms of providing our area or facilities that are guarded, then we have to look into it because it is now going inside our camps," he said.
"We have looked into this. We have made sure that the necessary safeguards are there and we saw that to be in order. And second and the third is they have not put anything yet...if they are going to that before they can build up the facility and if the facilities are there standing and they have to maintain it... that has to be accompanied and escorted by military personnel," he noted.
"The connections are not in any way physical. There will be no connection, except hosting or co-locationing areas where they are, " he added.
"The AFP is just as concerned when it comes to security, I said that... you trust us when we say that we are going to ensure that national secrets and the security of our communications will be guarded and protected," said Arevalo.
In a press statement, Adel Tamayo, chief administrative officer of Dito Telecommunity, guarantees that their facility will not be used to obtain classified information.
"Dito Telecommunity, formerly Mislatel, is first and foremost a Filipino company and will always look after the interests of the Filipino. We value transparency and integrity in our business," he said.
"With the notable exception and our commitments to national security, Dito Telecommunity guaranteed that its devices, equipment, and structures shall not be used to obtain classified information of the AFP, the other major telcos have similar arrangements with the AFP," he added.
"As part of the new major player selection process, we have submitted our cybersecurity plan to prove that our networks and facilities will not compromise national security and shall abide with the National Cybersecurity Plan. This plan has been accepted by the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) and the National Security Advisor," said Tamayo.
"Moving forward, we committed to pass regular audits by the government in order to maintain our license to operate. While we are yet to provide telecommunications services, we have set standards, controls, measures and protocols to help protect the integrity of Philippine national security especially on cybersecurity," he added. Robina Asido/DMS