Defending itself, third telco player DITO Telecommunity said that it would never gather any private information in response to the growing security concerns surrounding the China-backed telco’s plan to put up cell towers inside military camps.
The response came after the Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana announced that he had already signed an agreement with the telco to build cell sites since the Senate returned the copy of the deal without offering any modification or complaint.
Lawmakers have been expressing concerns that the construction would render the country vulnerable to espionage by the Chinese government, as Chinese firms are mandated by Chinese laws to provide intelligence to the government, or otherwise known as Counter-Espionage Law of 2014 in China.
DITO Telecommunity’s partner China Telecommunications Corporation is state-owned, which suggests its probability.
Meanwhile, homeowners of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers Village, Inc. (AFPOVAI) said they would have none of DITO’s cell towers. The village filed a petition to face the telco in a referendum, citing cybersecurity concerns. Likewise, a group of netizens filed a petition in Change.org to forbid DITO from allowing to build its cell towers in military camps until its security is guaranteed.