A certain Patricia Talanay filed an online petition on Change.org addressed to the House of Representatives and other decision-makers in the Philippines that bars the entry of DITO Telecommunity to the country.
The petition aims to thoroughly reassess the potential risks brought about by the third telco co-owned by Beijing-run China Telecom, citing that its presence poses national security concerns as “China’s laws mandate its companies to provide intelligence to the government.”
The petition also appeals to the legislators to determine where the telco’s “loyalties lie” and whether or not it truly benefits the national interest of the country. The petitioners state they don’t wish the lives of Filipino people “taken over by a foreign power.”
The concerns provided were not unfounded, as various experts have been pointing out how dodgy DITO Telecommunity is, especially on the issues of cybersecurity and national security.
Former Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Albert del Rosario previously cited how grave developed countries’ measures are into blocking Chinese firms from meddling with vital industries involving energy, technology, and telecommunications.
The petition coincides with the recent approval of Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana that allows DITO Telecommunity to build cell sites in Philippine military camps.
Lorenzana admitted before that Chinese nationals can utilize DITO as a window of opportunity to spy on the Philippines, but decided to give way to the telco with the simple assurance from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to provide “safeguards” against any security breaches.
Meanwhile, residents of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Officers Village, Inc. (AFPOVAI) in Taguig will not take any chances, as they blatantly oppose DITO’s cell towers, and issued a referendum against the firm. But apart from ex-military officers, nearly none are raising red flags against the third telco player.