Palace says it's important for Chinese-backed Dito telco to operate despite security concerns
Malacanang underscored on Monday the need for China-backed Dito Telecommunity Corp. to operate amid concerns on national security for allowing the telco to construct cell sites inside the Philippine military camps.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that President Rodrigo Duterte is not "micro-managing" the country when asked of his position on the installation of Dito's communication towers inside the Armed Forces of the Philippines' camps.
"It's important for our third telecoms provider to operate. And the way I understand it, it's not only the third provider that will use the telecoms tower; the two other telecoms providers can also lease these towers for their own respective cell sites," he said in a televised press briefing, referring to PLDT-Smart Communications and Globe Telecom.
He said the government's intention is really to improve the telecommunications connectivity.
Roque also noted that the Department of National Defense has given its assurance that there will be no security breach with the building of those towers inside the military camps.
Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana, in a recent budget hearing, said he already signed the contract with Dito after the AFP assured that it would institute safeguards so that the security of the camps would be maintained.
Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez has raised concern that some Chinese employees of Dito might be spies for China, which has been claiming almost the entire South China Sea including those areas within the exclusive economic zone of the Philippines.
Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, a known friend of President Rodrigo Duterte, is the chairman and CEO of Dito, a joint venture of Uy's Udenna Corp. and Chelsea Logistics and Infrastructure Holdings Corp, and Beijing-owned China Telecommunications Corp. Celerina Monte/DMS