Globe Telecom investigating 'Welcome to China' mobile message 1

Globe Telecom investigating 'Welcome to China' mobile message

by Raïssa Robles

Posted at Mar 31 2014 06:04 PM | Updated as of Apr 01 2014 02:04 AM

Globe Telecom issued the statement below in response to my piece about a passenger on a plane hovering around Ayungin Shoal receiving a text message on his mobile saying "Welcome to China."

Globe Telecom investigating 'Welcome to China' mobile message 2

The plane passengers were monitoring a supply ship that was en route to bringing provisions to marines guarding Ayungin Shoal from being taken over by China. China claims the Philippines is "illegally" occupying Ayungin.

A Chinese coast guard vessel was trying to block the supply ship for hours last Saturday.

In the Globe Telecom statement, the company's lead lawyer Froilan Castelo, said it is investigating the incident. Castelo went on to say that:

“Technically speaking, cellular phones are able to pick up a dominant signal in the area where they are. At a certain altitude, cellular signals could be as strong as radio frequencies emitted by cellsites because they are unimpeded by buildings or other on-ground infrastructure. In the case of the Ayungin Shoal, it is quite possible that the mobile phone could pick up the signal of another network since the area is within territorial borders.”

Atty. Castelo, however, does not explain whose territorial borders he’s referring to. Also, how come mobile phones can pick up China Mobile’s but not Globe’s network? Why is China Mobile’s signal dominant in an area claimed by the Philippines as part of its territory when China’s nearest land mass is miles and miles away? Where is China Mobile’s signal coming from?

You can read in full Atty Castelo’s statement below:

Globe Telecom investigating 'Welcome to China' mobile message 3

Some have commented here and elsewhere that I am making a mountain out of a molehill and this is just such a small thing.

Not to China, though. This is not a small thing. Why would it bother to have a strong signal in that area?

In addition, China in the past has used radio signals as part of its arguments that Ayungin and Scarborough Shoal and all the islands in the South China Sea are in its territorial jurisdiction.

At the height of the standoff between China and the Philippines in 2012 over the arrest by Philippine authorities of Chinese fishermen near Scarborough Shoal (which China calls Huangyan island), the Chinese embassy in Manila came out with a lengthy piece entitled Ten questions regarding Huangyan island.”

Among the pieces of evidence it presented to show that Huangyan island belongs to China was a series of visits to Scarborough Shoal or Huangyan island by radio amateurs.

Read the full article in the author's blog.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.