The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said discussions are still ongoing on where the China-backed DITO Telecommunity will be allowed to set up cell towers inside the military camps.

AFP Spokesman Maj. Gen. Edgard Arevalo bared that the third telco would not be constructing in “the heart of military camps” and instead in the outskirts of the reservations. DITO is also given the same deal granted to telco giants Globe and Smart.

“The AFP studied the possible risks of putting antennas and cell sites inside the camps. Low threats in terms of concerns on spying or listening devices or eavesdropping,” said Arevalo, stressing that these risks will be topped with ready-made protection and other security measures to uphold national security.

The military official explained at length that AFP personnel would guard all installations, repairs, and maintenance work done on the cell sites alongside other concerned agencies, such as the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the National Telecommunications Commissions (NTC).

The continuous concerns about national security were reiterated by several lawmakers and experts, in which they maintained that DITO Telecommunity, as partially owned by Beijing-run China Telecom, can be utilized by the Chinese government to spy and gather intelligence in the country.

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