China embassy staff expulsion or reduction seen as possible ‘wiretapping’ penalty

May 17, 2024 People's Journal 117 views

SENATOR Francis Tolentino said the staff of the Chinese Embassy may be expelled or reduced or the Philippines may file a diplomatic protest again if it is proven the embassy wiretapped the Philippine military.

This is what Tolentino sees as possible punishment if it is proven that the Chinese embassy wiretapping the transcript and audio recording” of an alleged phone conversation between Chinese officials and the Armed Forces of the Philippines Western Command chief Vice Admiral Alberto Carlos related to the “new model” in handling the resupply mission in Ayungin Shoal.

According to Tolentino, there may be expulsions of non-diplomatic staff including administrative, technical, and service personnel of the Chinese embassy if it’s violated the anti wiretapping law of the Philippines.

Tolentino explained that the staff of the embassies have a tenure or term that the Philippine government may not renew the staff’s visa as a punishment.

Tolentino admitted that only what he mentioned can be a punishment and no imprisonment.

In this regard, if this happens, it may have an impact on our trade agreements with China and the Overseas Filipino Workers who work in China.

Senator Tolentino earlier called on the Senate committee on national defense to investigate the alleged wiretapping.

In Senate Resolution No.1023 submitted by Tolentino, chairperson of the Senate special committee on maritime and admiralty zones, it emphasized that it is against the law, for any individual who is not authorized, to secretly record any communication.

Tolentino is also inviting the Chinese embassy to the convened hearing.