Probe surge of Chinese nationals near Edca sites—Rep. Barbers

probe surge of chinese nationals near edca sites—rep. barbers

Probe surge of Chinese nationals near Edca sites—Rep. Barbers

MANILA, Philippines — Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers is urging concerned government and law enforcement agencies to investigate the surge of Chinese nationals near Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (Edca) sites and other major seaports and airports nationwide.

Barbers, who chairs the House committee on dangerous drugs, said the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Bureau of Immigration (BI) “should be held responsible and accountable for the continuing and suspicious arrival and presence of said nationals in various parts of the country.”

READ: House hearing reveals Chinese nationals recruited to PCG auxiliary

“BI should be investigated to determine how many Chinese nationals are here in the country. And what travel documents do they have, and which part of the country are they deployed to,” Barbers said in a statement on Wednesday.

Due diligence?

“And is DFA doing their due diligence in approving the visa of these Chinese nationals entering the country? We should also determine the status of the Chinese nationals who were given a visa and how many already left and are still here?,” he added.

READ: Chinese militia presence in Parañaque village disproved – police

The lawmaker also questioned the agencies’ action even after learning about the existence of a “Chinese mafia” allegedly engaged in the procurement and processing of fake documents, which include birth certificates from the Philippine Statistics Authority, passports from the DFA, driver’s license from the Land Transportation Office, and gun license from the Philippine National Police Firearms and Explosives Office, among others.

“The question is: What have these government agencies done to counter the tampering of their respective offices’ documents? They are all eerily quiet on this issue. Are some of the officials of said agencies in cahoots or enables of the Chinese mafia?” he asked.

Citing reports his office received, Barbers revealed that “fake Filipino nationals who can’t even utter a single Filipino word, use their Filipino enablers in the buying spree of huge tracts of lands near Edca sites, near major air and sea ports, and establish large number of warehouses and other business establishments.”

Sprouting like mushrooms

“One can see those warehouses sprouting like mushrooms in Central Luzon, particularly in Pampanga and Bulacan, Bataan, Zambales, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and nearby towns in the region. Now they are slowly but surely creeping in Cagayan near the two Edca sites,” he said.

Five Philippine military installations were designated in 2016 as Edca sites, and they include Basa Air Base in Pampanga; Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija; Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan; Mactan-Benito Ebuen Air Base in Cebu; and Lumbia Air Base in Cagayan de Oro.

The four latest additional EDCA sites include Naval Base Camilo Osias in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, Camp Melchor Aquino in Gamu, Isabela; Balabac Islands in Palawan; and Lal-Lo Airport in Cagayan.

Aside from this report, Cagayan 3rd District Rep. Joseph Lara and Cagayan 6th District Rep. Faustino “Inno” Dy revealed the alleged influx of Chinese students in colleges and universities in Tuguegarao amid China’s continued aggression in the West Philippine Sea.

Barbers said there is indeed a huge number of Chinese nationals nationwide, which he said “pose a risk to the country’s national security and economy.”

Although the police have already disproved it, Barbers also mentioned the alleged presence of Chinese militia at an exclusive village in Parañaque City.

During a House hearing last month, Barbers also raised the recruitment of Chinese nationals as auxiliary members of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG). During the hearing, an official of the PCG disclosed that they previously recruited 36 Chinese nationals who are now delisted.

“Are they Chinese spies or soldiers already present in the country, all hiding in plain sight?” Barbers asked.

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