Updated: Mar 5, 2020
3.000 Chinese soldiers on ‘immersion mission’ in Philippines
‘A good number’ of Chinese army reportedly in Philippines – Lacson
Senator Panfilo Lacson on Wednesday revealed receiving information that “a good number” or approximately 2,000 to 3,000 members of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is in the Philippines.
However, the information, which he said he shared with Senator Richard Gordon, still needs validation by the intelligence committee.
“The information na shinare ko kay (I shared with) Sen. Gordon, na (that) a good number of PLA – unvalidated ito ah (this is unvalidated), subject for validation – and we’re talking here of 2,000 to 3,000, ‘yun ang number na nabanggit (that’s the number mentioned to us),” he said in an interview with reporters at the Senate.
“Kailangan invalidate natin. Hindi naman ito (We need to validate it. This is not) confirmed and I urge the intelligence community to confirm,” he added.
PLA is the unified organization of China’s land, sea, and air forces and is one of the largest military forces in the world.
Lacson said it is possible that PLA members are here for an immersion mission, of which exact purpose remains a puzzle.
Last week, police found PLA identification cards in the possession of two Chinese suspects in the death of Yin Jian Tao, who was shot inside a VIP room of a restaurant in Makati City.
Earlier, Gordon also warned that Chinese couriers have brought over $160 million into the country from December 2019 to February this year and that this money may not only be laundered here but may also be for the purpose of funding a “fifth column,” referring to a group of people secretly working for the enemy.
Gordon further pointed out that the discovery of PLA IDs from Chinese suspects should be investigated, noting that some of the Chinese workers in the country are within the age of army recruits.
Ex-general says VFA death means free pass for China to do what it wants in West PH Sea
Removing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) from the equation would embolden China to become more aggressive in its maritime claims in the West Philippine Sea (WPS), according to a retired general.
Edilberto Adan, also former executive director of the VFA Commission, told INQUIRER.net that the United States’ engagement with the Philippine armed forces had become a deterrent against China gobbling up more Philippine territory in the WPS.
Take the VFA away and it virtually gives China a free pass to do what it wants in the WPS. The absence of the agreement would make it difficult for the US to preposition weapons and other materiel in the Philippines to thwart Chinese intrusions or a more malevolent action by Beijing, Adan said.
The Philippine government, upon instruction by President Rodrigo Duterte, sent notice to terminate the VFA to the US government last Feb. 11. It would take effect after 180 days or six months.
Duterte went ahead with his decision and disregarded the advice of his foreign and security officials to review the agreement instead of scrapping it.
The VFA governs the mechanism for visiting American soldiers and serves as the foundation for military exercises and humanitarian work.
Chinese militia vessels forming a swarm in Philippine -occupied areas in the Kalayaan Island Group were likely to be emboldened and be more aggressive, too, without the VFA, said Adan.
He said China’s intent in the WPS was very clear—it wants to grab all of the area there, including Pag-asa Island.
“They want to take over. They claim it’s theirs with the nine-dash line,” he said on Monday.
The Western Command said it has monitored 136 Chinese vessels near the Philippine-occupied Pag-asa (Thitu) Island between Jan. 1 and Feb. 25
The vessels have been operating in large numbers since December 2018, around the same time that the Philippines started building a beaching ramp and sheltered port on the island.
The Department of National Defense (DND), in a report to Congress in 2019, acknowledged that these vessels may be part of China’s maritime militia, which positions China’s naval force in civilian disguise in the West Philippine Sea without provoking a conventional military response.
“China has been utilizing fishing vessels to discreetly conduct surveillance, search and rescue operations, as well as provide assistance to law enforcement agencies,” the DND wrote.
Retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also said he believed that Chinese will be more emboldened with the scrapping of the VFA.
He also raised the possibility that it’s not just Chinese maritime militia that would be frequenting the country’s territorial waters.
“Soon, their warships might also loiter there. These acts violate our sovereignty,” he said.
Read more: https://globalnation.inquirer.net/185808/ex-general-says-vfa-death-means-free-pass-for-china-to-do-what-it-wants-in-west-ph-sea#ixzz6FjXFESLY Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook
2 Chinese na namaril ng kababayan nahulihan ng military ID
Hinihinalang mga miyembro ng People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ng China ang dalawang Chinese na sangkot sa pamamaril sa dalawa nilang kababayan habang kumakain sa isang restaurant sa Barangay Bel-Air, Makati City noong Huwebes ng gabi.
Base sa imbestigasyon ni PSSg. Evelyn Quirante, nahaharap sa kasong murder ang dalawang suspek na sina Yang Chao Wen at Liang Yuan Wu matapos ang pagpatay kay Yin Jian Tao, 33, na binaril sa VIP room ng Jiang Nan Hot Pot. Sugatan naman ang isa pang biktima na si Zheng Kai, 25.
May isa pang kasamahan ang mga suspek pero nakatakas ito. Nahulihan ang mga naarestong suspek ng PLA identification card.
Matatandaang sinabi ng dalawang suspek na dumating sila sa bansa noong Enero 2020 para magtrabaho sa Philippine Offshore Gaming Operator (POGO). Subalit nagtataka ang Makati City Police kung bakit wala silang company ID ng pinapasukang POGO.
Nagsasagawa pa ng imbestigasyon ang pulisya sa kaugnayan ng mga suspek sa PLA. (Vick Aquino)
3K Chinese soldiers on ‘immersion mission’ in Philippines
Some 3,000 members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) may have entered the country as tourists or as workers in Philippine offshore gaming operators (POGOs), senators warned yesterday.
Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the committee on national defense and security, said he received information from a source that 2,000 to 3,000 PLA personnel are now in the country on “immersion missions” and for other still unknown purposes.
He, however, stressed the report has yet to be validated even as he described his source as fairly reliable.