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President Marcos Probes Alleged Embassy Wiretapping

In a recent development, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has announced an investigation into the purported wiretapping of the Chinese Embassy in Manila targeting the Armed Forces of the Philippines-Western Command (AFP-Wescom).

During a media interview on Saturday night, President Marcos stated, “We are looking into it because the fact of the matter is there have been mentions of a tape to (try to confirm) confirms that there was this agreement (between China and the Philippines).”

The President emphasized the need to hear the contents of the alleged wiretapping before reaching any conclusions. He noted that the tape is currently in the possession of the Chinese Embassy and government, making it challenging to verify its authenticity.

While there is no specific directive to government agencies regarding this matter, President Marcos highlighted the existing policies. He underscored the collaboration between the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to enhance the country’s cybersecurity measures.

To further strengthen cybersecurity, President Marcos has expressed his trust in the Filipino cybersecurity community, disclosing plans to recruit them as ‘free agents’ to work for the government. He acknowledged their talent and expressed optimism about their potential contributions, instilling a sense of pride and confidence in the audience.

In a separate development, the AFP clarified that Rear Admiral Alfonso Torres Jr.’s appointment as the new Wescom chief is an “administrative decision.” Rear Admiral Torres succeeded Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos, who has been on personal leave since May 7.

No specific reason was provided for Vice Admiral Carlos’ leave, with Rear Admiral Torres assuming the role of acting Wescom chief. The military emphasized the importance of leadership changes to adapt to evolving security challenges.

Colonel Xerxes Trinidad, AFP public affairs office chief, highlighted Wescom’s critical role and expressed confidence in Rear Admiral Torres’ ability to lead effectively.

As investigations proceed and leadership transitions unfold, the government and military remain focused on addressing security concerns and maintaining regional stability.