No solid evidence vs Huawei; Duterte awaits recommendations

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THE Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday, May 21, that it has yet to obtain solid evidence of alleged spying activities by Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei.

At the Palace, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the Duterte administration was expecting the office of National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon Jr. and the Department of National Defense (DND) to look into potential cybersecurity risks posed by Huawei.

"The President will wait for any recommendation coming from the National Security Adviser and the Department of National Defense," Panelo said.

Huawei has been placed on the US trade blacklist amid the worsening trade war between the US and China. Google on Monday suspended business with Huawei effective immediately.

This means that Huawei devices will no longer be able to use products without open source licensing.

The US government, however, eased some trade restrictions imposed on Huawei for 90 days in a bid to minimize disruption for customers and users.

Both dominant telecommunications companies Globe Telecom and PLDT Inc. have issued advisories assuring subscribers with Huawei devices that services would not be disrupted.

Panelo said during his press briefing Tuesday, that the NSA and DND should have already conducted an inquiry upon receiving a memorandum dated January 25 and leaked in April from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).

The memorandum advised the Department of Information and Communications Technology, National Security Council, and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency about Czech Republic and France's orders to limit the use of Huawei products.

"Then, with more reason the Department of National Defense and the Security Adviser will be studying that since department heads raised concerns," Panelo said.

"And the President will be waiting for whatever recommendation they have on that," he added.

PNP spokesperson Bernard Banac said the PNP’s Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) has yet to release a report on its investigation into Huawei.

“Tama po yun magmula nga nang lumabas ang isyu na yan ay nagsagawa ng validation ang PNP at sa araw na ito ay natunghayan natin na walang sapat na katibayan o ebidensya na naguugnay sa kumpanya ng Huawei dun sa alegasyon na diumanoy pangeespiya,” he said.

“Wala pa tayong nakikitang anumang matibay na ebidensya na mag-uugnay or magsasabi na merong banta sa ating seguridad dahil paggamit ng mga Huawei products,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)


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