DITO Telecommunity hasn’t yet bared the number of cell sites it targets to install inside Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) camps, but it is already eyeing “major” military premises.
Third telco player’s Chief Administrative Officer Atty. Adel Tamano said the China-backed company intends to cover main camps, including Camp Aguinaldo, AFP’s headquarters in Quezon City.
DITO was negotiating with military officials to set up cell towers in its camps but the project discontinued due to security concerns.
Concerns are still persistent even after Department of National Defense (DND) Delfin Lorenzana signed the DITO-AFP deal as several lawmakers, advocacy groups, and individuals stress the telco’s link to Beijing-run Chinese company China Telecom.
Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Antonio Carpio pointed out the risks the telco might bring being associated with China, the country in which the Philippines has a territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea.
Carpio noted that Chinese laws mandate individuals and businesses to disclose information to intelligence services in China, a setup that would likely compromise the Philippines’ national security once DITO completes its facilities inside military camps.