DITO’s security audit is a matter of national interest, says Sen. Hontiveros

Image: Joseph Vidal | Senate PRIB

Last Monday, Philippine Senator Risa Hontiveros expressed her frustration over the government’s lack of effort to conduct a security audit over the Chinese company-backed telco DITO Telecommunity.

The senator reiterated that the third telco’s entry in the Philippines has serious implications on the country’s national security because it’s 40% owned by China Telecom.

Hontiveros pointed out that the United States has blacklisted Chinese firms that apparently support China militarily. One of them is China Telecom.

“Lahat ng mga panawagan ko, wala pa ni isa ang naaksiyunan o natupad. Sana dinggin na ang mga ito dahil ito rin naman ang hiling ng mga Filipino (No one is taking action on any of my calls. I hope they listen to my plea precisely because this is also the appeal of every Filipino),”

Senator Risa Hontiveros

As per the senator, the inclusion of ChinaTel’s name on the blacklist is not surprising since it’s wholly-owned and controlled by the Chinese government.

This means that ChinaTel is obliged to report to the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information directly. That’s a department controlled by the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council of the People’s Republic of China.

Hontiveros highlighted that these companies are obliged to support the intelligence-gathering efforts of the Chinese government as part of the country’s National Intelligence Law.

The senator added that China has a Counter-Espionage Law that forbids companies from refusing to assist the government in surveillance work.

With that, Hontiveros believes that any country would do its best to protect its national interest. Steps would include blacklisting a company or void its projects, just like what the US did with China Telecom and other Chinese companies.

She added that the Filipino people expect this defense level against China as they continue to occupy the West Philippine Sea.

Via: Manila Bulletin


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