MANILA - The Philippine Navy must stay in Sangley point in Cavite, where an airport is set to be constructed by a Chinese contractor, a lawmaker said Wednesday.
President Rodrigo Duterte last week gave the go-signal for the Sangley Airport project, which state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC) and Lucio Tan's MacroAsia bagged in 2019.
Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has assured him that the 2 naval bases would remain there.
"Sabi niya (He said) we are going to make sure that the 2 naval bases which are protecting Metro Manila and our Manila Bay and our country will stay," he told ABS-CBN's Teleradyo.
"We cannot just remove these people. We should make sure that the 2 bases will be there, including the offices of the Navy, the berthing station and then the housing for our Navy personnel."
Rodriguez added that he hopes "there will be some change in the evaluation of this contract so we can protect our national interest and our national security."
The lawmaker, meantime, said he was "disappointed" that China-backed DITO Telecommunity was given the greenlight to install cell sites inside the country's military bases.
"Delikado 'yan dahil alam naman natin may conflict tayo with China. It’s very clear in the West Philippine Sea nanalo na tayo sa (we won in the) international tribunal and yet they are not acknowledging itong ating panalo (our victory)," he said.
(It's dangerous because we know we have a conflict with China.)
"Will we allow this Chinese-backed telecom to enter our camps, and then observe, take pictures of our camps and then be able to get info of what our camps are?"
Rodriguez cited the the United States has blacklisted several companies--including CCCC--involved in China's militarization projects in the disputed South China Sea.
"Buti pa ang America nagbaban nitong installations na adverse sa atin," he said.
(Even America has banned [companies behind] installations that are against us.)