The Armed Forces of the Philippines is validating reports that thousands of Chinese soldiers are in the country to gather necessary intelligence information.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Felimon Santos Jr. said such reports, if true, are a matter of serious concern.
“We are in the process of validating the report of Sen. Lacson that being a matter of serious concern,” said Santos.
Lacson had earlier disclosed that more or less 3,000 members of the People’s Liberation Army are currently in the country to gather intelligence information.
The former Philippine National Police chief urged the intelligence community to validate the report.
“I have my staff for intelligence to confirm said reports in coordination with other relevant agencies of government,” said Santos.
A military source, however, said that Lacson’s figure could be exaggerated.
“Any country that will undertake a foreign intel ops will not deploy that so much number of operatives. That is very dangerous because that large number of operatives will lead to very high risk of compromise,” said the source.
“Besides, if they want info from us, they will leverage their advantage in cyber warfare/hacking, which is less exposure and personal risks on their part, than deploying that large number of operatives,” he added.
The issue of espionage cropped up anew after police seized PLA identification cards from suspects in the killing of a POGO worker in Makati City recently.