Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Tight watch on foreign firms near vital facilities needed: PNP

From the Philippine News Agency (Aug 20, 2019): Tight watch on foreign firms near vital facilities needed: PNP

PNP facade. (File photo)

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Gen. Oscar Albayalde on Tuesday said the need for a tight watch on the activities of foreign business establishments near vital installations is to allay fears of espionage.

“It is part of our security protocol whenever there are facilities or POGO (Philippine offshore gaming operators) near our camps. That is the job of our intelligence community, whether that is a business or anything else. We should look at it closely,” he said.

Albayalde was reacting to Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana's statement expressing concern over POGOs run by Chinese nationals near military camps and facilities.

Lorenza said these Chinese workers could easily shift to spying.

Albayalde said this is the prevailing concept not only among Chinese but also among foreign businessmen of various nationalities.

"Foreigners would want that their businesses are located near police stations for instance for security reasons," he said.

"That is one consideration for them. If you are investor, you would want as many security forces in areas where they would construct their facilities," he added.

Lorenzana earlier pointed out that Chinese companies are mandated by their government to assist in intelligence collection and it is not far-fetched their workers could be compelled to do so.

The DND chief said he is supporting proposals to place these Chinese POGO centers in hubs.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said President Rodrigo Duterte is not worried about the presence of POGOs near military camps because the Philippines has its own intelligence-gathering capabilities.

He noted that Duterte also said Chinese workers could still spy on the military even if they were placed away from their bases.


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