AFP probe into arrested Chinese ‘hacker’ launched

AFP probe into arrested Chinese 'hacker' launched

Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson Col. Francel Padilla speaks to members of the media at the West Philippine Sea Office in Manila on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. PHOTO: Arnel Tacson/

MANILA, Philippines — The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) started its investigation of a Chinese national, who was arrested for possession of unauthorized firearms and suspected hacking tools.

AFP spokesperson Col. Francel Margareth Padilla said they are coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP) to “thoroughly examine” the seized items from Liu Yuhang.

“We are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Mr. Yuhang Liu, who was detained by law enforcement for possessing unauthorized firearms and equipment potentially linked to communications hacking,” Padilla said in a statement Friday.

READ: Chinese national arrested in Makati; suspected hacking devices seized

“The discovery of firearms and sophisticated electronic equipment is concerning and underscores the importance of vigilance,” she added.

Members of the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group arrested Liu in Makati on Wednesday, May 29, over illegal possession of firearms and for owning potential hacking equipment. Authorities said a follow-up operation also revealed that Liu kept more equipment in a condominium unit in Parañaque City.

READ: Philippines wards off cyber attacks from China-based hackers

Padilla acknowledged the “sensitive nature of this case” but still urged the public to refrain from jumping to conclusions.

“We understand the sensitive nature of this case, given the alleged involvement of a foreign national,” she said.

“At this point, we urge caution in drawing any conclusions regarding Mr. Liu’s affiliations or the implication of his actions until the investigation is complete,” she added.