DND: The ‘audio record’ of the WPS talks by the Chinese Embassy is against PH legislation

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. stated on Wednesday that the Chinese Embassy’s assertion that it has an audio recording of a Filipino general discussing a “new model” deal on the West Philippine Sea (WPS) with a Chinese ambassador amounts to an admission of breaking Philippine laws.

“Kung totoo man ito, labag sa international relations at labag sa batas dahil hindi sila nakipag-ugnayan sa Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) at sila ay umoperate na pailalim kung totoo ito (If this is true, they have also violated international relations and violated the law as they failed to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs as they have operated underhandedly if this is true),” Teodoro said while speaking at the Philippine Navy’s Maritime Security Symposium 2024 in Quezon City.

Republic Act 4200, often known as the Anti-Wire Tapping Law, forbids anybody from tapping into a wire or cable without the permission of all parties concerned. It also forbids anyone from using any other equipment or setup to surreptitiously listen in on, intercept, or record any private conversation.

Teodoro stated that the investigation into what actually transpired and whether the Chinese Embassy in Manila is truly responsible for this is being left to the DFA.

“Dapat alamin kung sino ang responsable dito at alisin sa Republika ng Pilipinas (those responsible for this must be found and identified and immediately removed from the Republic of the Philippines),” he stated.

But he didn’t think the Chinese Embassy’s allegation was genuine, speculating that it was just another example of the Chinese government’s “propensity to engage in misinformation activities”.

He claimed that in response to “disinformation (and) malign influence” operations by operatives of foreign governments, they are strengthening their “operational security measures.”

Teodoro’s comments were reiterated by a Philippine Navy (PN) spokesman for WPS Commodore Roy Vincent Trinidad.

“Anything could be said by anyone. We’ll revisit these tales. We must realize that the battle of today is one of narratives, he said. It is a fight to influence people’s perceptions.We must recognize that there will be relatively few force-on-force encounters since the modern battlefield is people’s brains. The cognitive domain is the final battlefield. This will be a conflict between facts and stories, with the goal of influencing people’s perceptions,” he declared.

He restated the Chinese Embassy’s “new model” allegations, saying they are already “dead story”.

We have no need to give such myths that have been brought back to life any dignity. Now, I’ll take on the role of an undertaker and return that tale to its proper place in the tomb, where it will never be heard again.

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