Dito Telecommunity: Deal with AFP subject to Lorenzana's approval

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 16 2019 09:52 PM

MANILA - Dito Telecommunity Corp. on Monday said its deal with the Armed Forces of the Philippines is not yet final and is subject to the approval of Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

In a statement, Dito Telecommunity Chief Administrative Office Atty. Adel Tamano said the company will comply with all government requirements.

"As a Filipino company, DITO Telecommunity will of course comply with all government requirements. Please note that when we signed the agreement, we understood that it was not yet final and subject to approval with the Secretary of National Defense," he said.

The AFP last week signed an agreement with the consortium tapped to be the Philippines' third telecommunications player, allowing the Chinese-linked firm to put its system, towers, and facilities within military bases in the country.

Tamano added the agreement Dito signed with the AFP is similar to the agreement the AFP had with the two other telecommunications company in the country, Globe Telecom and Smart Communications.

"We want to assure the public that DITO has a cybersecurity plan, as approved by NTC, and that the company will always protect the national and cybersecurity interests of the Philippines," he explained, adding said cybersecurity plan was a requirement for the third telco.

Malacañang on Monday said the Department of National Defense will look into the deal between Dito and the AFP amid concerns raised by lawmakers.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana and National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperson are "undertaking measures to respond to the concerns" over the deal, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said.

The Dito Telecommunity Corp., which received its license to operate last July, is composed of China Telecom and Udenna Corporation led by businessman Dennis Uy. 

Formerly known as Mislatel, the Dito consortium is expected to begin commercial operations by 2020.

Udenna Corporation is in charge of providing local knowledge and footprint in the business, while China Telecom will build and deploy the actual telecoms infrastructure.