DITO Telecommunity, the Philippines' third telco, described as "truly misplaced" allegations that it could be used to spy for China after it was given the go signal to build its towers on military land.
The challenger to Globe Telecom and Smart Communications is a joint venture between China Telecom and Udenna Corp, controlled by businessman Dennis Uy. It has promised to outdo its much larger rivals in terms of internet speed and price when it's up and running.
"We are not at war with China so this concern about espionage and spying I feel is truly misplaced," said DITO legal counsel and spokesman Adel Tamano.
DITO is investing heavily in cybersecurity and no Chinese personnel will be allowed inside military camps. Its new hires include a a retired Filipino general and telecoms expert to ensure cybersecurity, Tamano said.
The Philippines and China have a long running dispute in the South China Sea. When he assumed office in 2016, President Rodrigo Duterte pivoted Manila's foreign policy to Beijing from Washington. The U.S. is currently China's biggest rival in terms of global influence, the stakes higher this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
FROM ESQUIRE PHILIPPINES
Billionaire Dennis Uy's Media Unit Will Invest in Entertainment and Sports Programs
Dennis Uy's Dito Will Likely Miss Tech Launch Deadline, But Says It’s On Track for Commercial Launch Next Year