Senators seek inquiry into Chinese presence in PH airspace, airwaves
Opposition senators are seeking a closer look at the presence of the Chinese in Philippine airspace and airwaves.
The six senators from the minority have filed two resolutions calling for an inquiry into the “technical stops” of Chinese military aircraft in Davao City, and the propriety of airing Chinese shows on the government-owned PTV network.
They sought the inquiries amid criticism that the Duterte administration has gone soft on China with regard to the latter’s aggressive stance in the West Philippine Sea.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon and Senators Leila de Lima, Bam Aquino, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes IV signed the resolution.
In seeking a probe of the landing of two Chinese military aircraft last month, the lawmakers pointed out that the Philippines had no treaty or Visiting Forces Agreement with China that would allow its military to use the country’s facilities.
“The successive occurrence of Chinese military planes making ‘technical’ stops in Davao City raises the question of whether or not the Constitution’s proscription against the presence of foreign troops in the country unless covered by a treaty duly ratified by the Senate is being violated by the Duterte administration,” they said.
They took note of a report that when the Chinese military plane landed on June 8, in Davao City — the President’s hometown — the Armed Forces of the Philippines had no information about it, except that it was in the country to refuel.
According to Sen. Panfilo Lacson, the proper protocol is for the foreign country that owns the military aircraft to make a request for landing through diplomatic channels, which would then be forwarded to defense officials for approval.
A second Chinese aircraft landed in Davao on June 24. Malacañang said all protocols were followed during the technical stop of the aircraft.
In questioning the planned airing of Chinese programs over PTV, the senators warned that this may be used to spread Chinese communist propaganda.
“Airing of Chinese shows in a state-run network may represent an insidious agenda of subtly inculcating among Filipino viewers propaganda on the Chinese Communist Party and its authoritarian one-party state, antidemocratic, and atheist ideology and principles, thus countering and possibly ultimately destroying the Filipino’s democratic, propeople, and religious culture and identity,” they said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.