In an attempt to silence critics, China-backed third telco player DITO Telecommunity assured that it would provide the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) non-monetary compensation after the Defense Department allowed it to build cell towers inside military camps.

AFP Spokesperson Major General Edgard Arevalo said that the telco seeks protection from terrorist groups that’s why it insists on building its cell towers in military camps.

Arevalo, however, had no information yet on the number and the location of the cell sites to be installed.

Earlier, Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana approved the deal with DITO, assuring that the AFP would provide safeguards against any security breaches.

While DITO promised in a statement that it would never obtain classified information from the AFP through its telecom facilities, several lawmakers and experts maintained otherwise.

Cybersecurity concerns are also among the reasons cited by the homeowners of an AFP village in Taguig and an online petition on Change.org why DITO should not be allowed to operate in the Philippines.

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