The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Friday it is studying the number and military camps that would host telecommunication China-backed Dito Telco towers.
“Sa ngayon, kapipirma pa lang ng Secretary of National Defense ng memorandum of agreement so we are now in the process of discussing where exactly these military camps will be at kung ilan,” Major General Edgard Arevalo said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
“But suffice it to say, when we talk about military camps, we don’t necessarily mean na at the heart of these military camps. May mga kampo tayo na malalaki ang reservations at puwedeng doon ‘yan ilalagay, co-located with other signal facility kagaya ng dalawa pang telco, ‘yung Globe and Smart,” he added.
Arevalo, meanwhile, assured the public that AFP experts and other concerned agencies would participate once the DITO telco towers are installed.
“Definitely, kasama ‘yan doon sa sinasabi nating safeguards hinggil sa paglalagay ng mga tower na ito. Every time, we have installations to be done, may kasama tayo na IT expert from the AFP and from the other agencies of government, particularly ang NTC at DICT,” Arevalo said.
AFP discussing where to place DITO telco towers
The military official said foreigners would be allowed to enter the military camps during the construction of the DITO telco towers but they would be subject to stringent security and identification requirements.
“Mayroon tayong mga IT expert na kasama diyan, definitely if there will be non-Filipinos o foreigners na papasok sa ating kampo, ‘yung ating requirement for clearances, identification, prior notice, kinukuha po natin ‘yan,” Arevalo said.
“Basic ‘yan kahit sa pagpasok pa lang sa kampo nire-require na natin ‘yan, lalong-lalo na if it has something to do with telecom facilities. Ire-require natin,” he added.
The AFP insisted that the DITO telco towers inside military bases would not harm the country’s national security, adding it will give more benefits than risks.
“Sa totoo lang, we considered ‘yung threat na ‘yan to be low, nagsasagawa naman tayo ng assessment before tayo pumirma dito sa kontratang ito
spying,” Arevalo said.